What Are Transom Windows?

Are you interested in elevating your home’s look with stylish and unique windows? If so, transom windows could be the perfect way to do it. Transom windows offer more than just eye-catching design elements; they can also bring natural light into dark areas of the home while adding a beautiful architectural touch. Whether you’re revamping an entire house or simply looking for a small change, transom windows are an easy update that can significantly impact any space. Read on to learn about transom windows and how they can add value and style to any home.

At Window Depot, we want to share our knowledge so you have the confidence to buy new windows, siding, or doors. We’ve found that most of our clients have many questions, so we’re doing our best to answer them publicly.

What are transom windows?

what are transom windows

Transom windows are an architectural feature that has long been used to bring light and fresh air into space while adding visual interest and aesthetic charm. Popularized by Greek and Roman architecture, transom windows were designed to maximize building ventilation. They come in different shapes, sizes, and styles; the height of transom windows can range from 18 inches to 3 feet or more, with the height usually 50-60% of the total width. No matter what size or style you choose, transom windows are a great way to bring timeless beauty and practical airflow into your home.


Can transom windows open?

Yes, but not every transom window can be opened or closed. Most transom windows are fixed or stationary; however, operable transoms exist. Such windows typically come with a top-hinged mechanism for opening and make for quite a unique home interior design statement when open! It’s best to double-check whether you’re looking for a transom window that opens or one that is purely decorative before making your purchase.


Where to buy transom windows

Most window manufacturers offer mulled windows on top of others, creating a transom window. Transoms aren’t a window type but are created when windows are stacked on top of each other or on top of the front or patio door. At Window Depot of Dallas, we sell and install transom windows throughout the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.


How much are transom windows?

It depends on whether your transom window is fixed or operating like an awning window. Fixed windows are typically less expensive than operating windows, but if the glass is tempered, it could be more expensive. For context, most windows are priced based on the size and components that go into the window. A small transom above a larger window or door will result in a less expensive window. Our transom windows start at $699, including installation. Depending on the size, location, and material selections, this price could be higher or lower.

A quick Google search for transom window pricing shows Home Depot offering fixed transom windows for as little as $279 + tax and installation.

Why are transom windows usually in bathrooms?

It’s common to see transom windows in a walk-in shower or above a toilet or bathtub in North Texas. Transom windows bring natural light to these spaces rather than relying on artificial light. Most homeowners want light and airy bathrooms, so transom windows with obscure glass fits the bill to let light flood in while maintaining privacy.



Not as much as they used to be. Today’s windows can be built in larger sizes than the aluminum windows of the 80s and 90s, so the use of transom windows has declined. When we receive transom window requests, it’s typically for a Georgian, Colonial, or Spanish Revival-style home where window transoms add architectural intrigue.

From a practical, cost-savings standpoint, if you have a window with a transom on top, it will be less expensive to replace both windows with one larger unit. Our homeowners will typically opt for one window instead of two.



Transom windows are mulled to the window or door beneath it and shipped to our warehouse as one item. We rarely field-mull transom windows to doors or windows. That makes installation quicker because once the old unit is removed, we set the new window in, level it, and secure it to the framing.



Transom windows can come in two styles, depending on what your opening and architect call for.

The most common transom window type is a picture or fixed window. Since it’s typically high up in a room, opening it doesn’t make sense. Some manufacturers offer operating assistance rods to help you open the window from the ground, but they’re not practical.
The second most common type of transom window is an awning window. Awning windows have a horizontal hinge, allowing the window to flip up/down, increasing ventilation.


In closing

We hope you learned something about transom windows and now feel equipped to decide whether they are the right choice for your home. If you have replacement window questions, please get in touch with us – we would happily answer them. And, if you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we’d love to help you choose the perfect windows for your home. Call us at (214) 399-9592 today to discuss transom replacement windows.

Cover image provided by our window partner, Alside.