Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What do I Get When I Order a Transom from Transoms Direct?
  2. What Size Transom Do I Need to Order?
  3. What are the Minimum Opening Requirements?
  4. Can I Add a Transom to an Existing Opening?
  5. Can I Get Custom Sizes?
  6. Can You Do Custom Sticking Profiles, Like in Historical Renovations?
  7. Who do I Get to Install my Transom?
  8. What About Operating Transoms?
  9. Are There Other Glass Options Available?
  10. Can I Use My Transom as an Interior Window?
  11. What About Exterior Use or Wet Areas, Like Over a Shower?
  12. Can I Get My Transom Made in Other Wood Species?
  13. Are Transoms Available Pre-Primed?
  14. What Can I Expect For Shipping / Lead-times?
  15. Will You Ship to Canada?

What do I Get When I Order a Transom from Transoms Direct?

The transoms you see in our standard order section are provided as a sash only. It will be necessary for you (or your installer), to fabricate a jamb frame (with stops) in order to complete the installation of your transom. This is a simple process using common parts, tools, and practices (see our Basic Installation Sequence page for a walk-through). If you are not comfortable framing your transom, we can do it for you. Just call to make arrangements. We will need the following information: wall thickness, wood species, door size ( if installing above a door), whether the transom will be paint or stain grade, and ceiling height (if applicable). Then your transom will be “ready to install”, and you won’t have to worry about rounding up parts.

TR-3 Pattern, Sash Only
TR-3 Pattern, Transom Sash Only
AC-2 Pattern, Transom Sash with Jamb
AC-2 Pattern, Transom Sash with Jamb

What Size Transom Do I Need to Order?

For installation over a single door, you will want to order your transom the same width as the finished door opening. Typical single door openings are 2’0”, 2’4”, 2’6”, 2’8”, 3’0”. You will note that our standard transoms are sized specifically for this application. Also, ensure adequate clearance height above door for transom installation. Example: A 12” transom (with frame) will require 14” above the door frame. If there is any question regarding actual transom sizes, please refer to our How to Read Dimensions page.

For installation over a double door, you will again want to order your transom the same width as the finished door opening. Typical double door openings are 3’0”, 4’0”, 5’0”, 5’4”, 6’0”. You will note that our standard transoms are sized specifically for this application. Also ensure adequate clearance height above door for transom installation. Example: A 12” transom (with frame) will require 14” above the door frame. (see: Minimum Opening Requirements) If there is any question regarding actual transom sizes, please refer to our How to Read Dimensions page.

For installation over a cased opening, you will want to order your transom the same width as the finished opening. Typical cased openings are 2’6”, 2’8”, 3’0”, 4’0”, 5’0”, 5’4”, 6’0”. You will note that our standard transoms are sized specifically for this application. Also, ensure adequate clearance height above door for transom installation. Example: A 12” transom (with frame) will require 14” above the opening frame. (see: Minimum Opening Requirements) If there is any question regarding actual transom sizes, please refer to our How to Read Dimensions page.

Other installations: To measure an arch (with constant radius) simply measure (see How To Read Dimensions) the net rise, and width of the arch segment. We can calculate the radius from those measurements. Just be sure to designate which points are being measured. Possible measuring points are taken at: (1) rough frame opening (2) jamb frame interior. Irregular or elliptical arches cannot easily be measured, and are best dealt with by templating. Templates can be made from plywood, cardboard, paper, or any other non-flexible material. We find that craft paper makes a nice template because it folds, is easy to write on, and is easily mailed. Just like with segment arches, be sure to designate at which point of the opening the template was taken from.

What are the Minimum Opening Requirements?

Rough openings:Just like any door or window, transom sashes require a surrounding jamb frame. To account for this, minimum rough opening requirements are transom size plus 2”. Since both cased openings and doorways require 80” clear (finished) headroom, the minimum corresponding rough opening height requirement is 96” (above finished floor) for 12” transoms, and 100” (above finished floor) for 16” transoms. Minimum rough opening widths are transom width plus 2”. For example: Let’s say you want to install a 12” transom over a 3’0” x 6’8”door. The door unit (door slab and jamb), requires a minimum rough opening width of 3’2” (or 38”), and a minimum rough opening height of 6’10” (or 82”). The 3’0” transom is the same width as the door, and the transom frame will be the same width of the door frame, thus, it will not affect the overall width of the rough opening. The minimum height required for the 12” transom will be transom size plus 2” (or 14”). We add this to the 82” door rough opening, and end up with a minimum rough opening height of 96”. Below we have provided a chart for easy reference. Measurements below represent minimum required rough opening W x H (in inches) above finished floor.

Finished
Opening
6’8” tall w/
12” transom
6’8” tall w/
16” transom
8’0” tall w/
12” transom
8’0” tall w/
16” transom
2’0” Wide 26 x 96 26 x 100 26 x 110 26 x 114
2’4” Wide 30 x 96 30 x 100 30 x 110 30 x 114
2’6” Wide 32 x 96 32 x 100 32 x 110 32 x 114
2’8” Wide 34 x 96 34 x 100 34 x 110 34 x 114
3’0” Wide 38 x 96 38 x 100 38 x 110 38 x 114
4’0” Wide 50 x 96 50 x 100 50 x 110 50 x 114
5’0” Wide 62 x 96 62 x 100 62 x 110 62 x 114
5’4” Wide 66 x 96 66 x 100 66 x 110 66 x 114
6’0” Wide 74 x 96 74 x 100 74 x 110 74 x 114

Can I Add a Transom to an Existing Opening?

Yes. To add a transom into an opening that is already finished, simply measure the clear opening width, and order a transom that same width. (Keep in mind you will need to maintain 80” minimum headroom clearance after final installation). Minimum finished opening height (before transom installation) for a 12” transom would be 94”. A common technique for dealing with slightly lower openings, (or lower ceilings) is to install a 10” transom. This works in finished openings as low as 92”.

Can I Get Custom Sizes?

Yes. Many of our designs are available in custom heights, and widths, at no extra charge. Since the website ordering process is based on standard sizes, it will be necessary to contact us by either phone or e-mail to place an order for custom sizes. As a rule of thumb, pricing will be based on the nearest standard size offering. With really long transoms (over 8’), we recommend horizontally mulling smaller transoms together. The additional framing makes the unit more rigid and less likely to sag. Call us and we can advise you on how to best accomplish this. Note: Transoms longer than 72” may require special boxing and/or shipping arrangements.

Can You Do Custom Sticking Profiles, Like in Historical Renovations?

Yes. In addition to our 3 standard available profiles, our manufacturing process can accommodate a wide range of moulding patterns or wood thickness. Of course there will be a tooling charge if we don’t have a matching knife. But if we do, we will run your transom at no extra charge.

Who do I Get to Install my Transom?

Any carpenter should be able to easily complete a basic installation (see our Basic Installation Sequence page for a walk-through). Transom installation requires only basic tools and average carpentry skill. Transoms are also a good DIY project. Most of the work will be in preparing the opening and tying in to existing trim work. The actual transom portion takes as little as 20 minutes for an experienced installer. If you do choose to do your own installation, we recommend ordering your transom with the jamb frame to speed the process and eliminate some of the potential trouble spots.

What About Operating Transoms?

There are a few additional steps required to make your transom operable. In a typical setup, you will need to bevel the top and bottom, add a spacer, install hinges at the bottom of the transom sash, and attach some type of transom operator or latch to open and close your transom. As far as operator / latch mechanisms are concerned, we like integrated transom operators because they offer greater ease of operation, and have fewer parts to track down. Simple transom latches are an inexpensive alternative to transom operators. But keep in mind, it may be necessary to keep a specialized pole in order to reach the latch, and will also require some sort of additional hardware (a chain) to limit travel. This arrangement is perfectly acceptable if you are intending to leave the transom in one position most the time, but you may find it cumbersome if you plan on opening and closing your transom frequently.

Note: This is a more advanced installation project, and requires reasonable mechanical aptitude. If you (or your installer), are not comfortable rounding up parts and making the necessary alterations, Transoms Direct can fabricate and ship your transom as a “ready to install” operating unit direct from our factory. Just add our our Operable Transom Option to your order before checkout. Also, please include the wall depth for your application in the comments section of your order. If you have questions about wall depth, feel free to give us a call before or after placing your order.

***Before ordering your transom*** If you are considering making your own operating transom, please inform us so that we can alter the transom stile and rail width to accommodate various transom operating hardware. Standard transom stiles and rails may not provide adequate surface area on which to mount commonly available latches / chains / or operators.

Are There Other Glass Options Available?

Yes. Adding non-standard glass presents a unique opportunity to personalize your transom and to create a myriad of interesting effects by altering the way light passes through it. Standard glass for one of our transoms is 1/8” clear plate, but common available glass options are etched (frosted glass), seedy glass, water glass, mirror, or antique glass. Other glazing options are also available, but please note that we are limited to a 1/8” maximum glass thickness.

  • Unless otherwise specified, patterned glass will be oriented vertically.
  • Not all glass works with all transom designs or sizes.
  • Beveled glass is available for many of our designs. Price and lead times will be calculated on a per order basis.
  • For customer supplied glass, we are not responsible for breakage that may occur during cutting or shipping.
  • All alternate glass options will be priced on a per order basis. Please call for pricing.

Note on tempered glass: Tempered glass is not typically required for over-door use because it is not considered to present an impact hazard in that location. Local codes may vary, so be sure to check with local building officials if there is any question.

Can I Use My Transom as an Interior Window?

Yes. Our product can be sized and oriented for a variety of applications.

What About Exterior Use or Wet Areas, Like Over a Shower?

Transoms Direct manufactures a single glazed glass product designed for interior use. Exterior installations are possible, but may require some sort of additional glazing (depending on the climate and exposure). In the event that you wish to install one of our transoms in an exposed location, we recommend adding an exterior storm window, or glass panel, to protect the entire exterior surface of the transom from the elements, and to prevent possible condensation issues. Transom construction using exterior grade wood species such as cypress, or cedar, is recommended in any application where it may be exposed to significant moisture.

Can I Get My Transom Made in Other Wood Species?

Yes. Our transoms can be fabricated in almost any wood species. If you do not see your required wood selection in our options list, just call and we will find it. Some exotic species may be more expensive, harder to machine, or require a longer lead time. We will price and evaluate special requests on a per order basis.

Are Transoms Available Pre-Primed?

Unfortunately, no. The added steps involved in pre-priming , the potential complications with assembly, and problems with glass tolerances, make this operation impractical for us at this point. See Transom Painting and Finishing for instructions on how to finish your transom.

What Can I Expect For Shipping / Lead-times?

Standard shipping is via UPS. Ground delivery typically runs 2-4 days. For most orders ( 1-2 transoms up to 6’ in length), shipping costs range from $15-$25 USD. Costs vary by size, weight, and shipping destination. Transoms over 6’ in length, and larger half round transoms, usually require additional packaging, and may have to ship common carrier due to size restrictions. We will notify you to make other arrangements if UPS delivery is not possible.

Lead times may vary based on production schedule, size of order, and design complexity. Simple designs with standard options will usually ship within 3-5 business days. More complex designs, specialty glass, or alternate wood species may take longer. If lead times are an issue, call us and we will see what we can do to accommodate your scheduling requirements. Rush shipping requests will be evaluated on a per order basis.

All transoms are triple packaged to prevent breakage during normal shipping. Still, there are occasions where no glass product will survive shipping intact. In the unlikely event that glass breakage should occur, Transoms Direct reserves the right to repair or replace transom at our discretion. If you hear broken glass before opening, do not open the box. Just return transom (freight collect) in original packaging. If you discover breakage after opening, notify Transoms Direct immediately and we will determine the best possible solution.

Will You Ship to Canada?

Shipping to Canada is no problem. Quoted cost includes product and standard shipping. Taxes and import duties are the responsibility of the recipient.

 

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Kind Words From Our Customers

"The transom just arrived. It looks great and fits my rough out perfectly. Many thanks." --K.W. Akron, OH