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Sidelight Windows

Sidelight Windows Enhance a Main Entrance and Provide Natural Lighting

By: Mark J. Donovan


Sidelight windows are vertical windows that border a door. They are most commonly used in main doorway entrances however they can also be used in interior door applications. Sidelight windows are used to enhance the size of a main doorway entrance and to make, for example, the front entrance of a home the center focal point when observed from the curb. In some cases only one sidelight window will border a door however more commonly two sidelight windows flank each side of a door.


Sidelight windows provide visibility but also lack privacy. In most cases they are fixed windows that canít be opened.

Sidelight windows are commonly used in concert with a transom window. A transom window sits above the door. Both transom and sidelight windows are used to allow more natural light to enter the home. Transom windows offer natural privacy due to the fact that they are located high up above a door.

Sidelight windows on the other hand do not offer privacy, unless a glazed glass is used, and as a result sidelight window treatments are commonly used. Sidelight windows typically vary in width from 6 to 18 inches.

Sidelight windows also pose a bit more of a security threat compared to a transom window, however their security risk is no different than any other window on the ground level of a home. Also, since they are normally found on the front of a home they are usually the last windows a thief would consider breaking to enter a home.


There are many different types of sidelight windows to choose from. Sidelight windows can run the full length of a door, or only partially. Sidelight windows can be constructed out of a single pane of glass or multiple window panes. One method of sidelight window treatments is to select sidelight windows with beveled or stained glass to add some level of privacy.

There are many types of sidelight window treatments to choose from to address privacy concerns. Simple long and narrow sheer curtains can be used, as well as shutters, mini-blinds and micro-blinds.

Transom and sidelight windows flanking the top and sides of a main door entrance.

Photo by Mark Donovan

Each of these solutions can provide privacy while still allowing some level of light to enter the home. In addition, they can add warmth and character to the interior of the home.

So when designing your new home consider transom and sidelight windows to enhance the main entranceway to your home.

See the Installing Interior Window Ebook from HomeAdditionPlus.com.  The Installing Interior Window Trim Ebook provides easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to install interior window trim around a window. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

Find a Local Window Installation Contractor

For more information on Installing a New Window, see the Installing a New Window Ebook from HomeAdditionPlus.com.  The Installing a New Window Ebook provides easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to remove an old window and install a new one. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

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