Ready-To-Install Means Adding a Transom Jamb

Ready-to-Install Model AC-2: Transom Sash Hinged to Jamb (Operable With Chain & Latch Mechanism) Whereas the transom sash is the carrier for the glass (just like a sash on an ordinary window), the jamb is the perimeter piece that connects the sash to the wall.

An operating transom has a sash that is attached by hinges to the jamb. With the help of some additional hardware the sash can be opened or latched closed.

Whether operating or not, the transom unit installs the same way. With the sash locked closed, the jamb is mulled (that is, attached) to the door jamb below or attached directly to the studs (on sides) and header (above) the opening. This can be done with trim nails or screws.

See Basic Installation.

What We Need to Know to Build Your Operable Transom

Please Note: Only rectangular or square transoms are offered with an operable option. If you would like to explore making another pattern of window operable, please chat or call.

Choices of Operating Mechanisms

Our operating transoms come with a choice of two operating mechanisms:

  • A hinged window hung by a chain and operated by a pole and a hook.
  • A hinged window that is operated by a rod and lever assembly first patented in 1899.

We sell both.

"Chain & Latch" Mechanism (Most Common, Hardware Included)

IMPORTANT: If you order this option, the unit comes fully assembled with all hardware installed. It is ready-to-install following the Basic Installation instructions.

Ready-to-Install Model AC-2 (Operable With Chain & Latch Option)

Best for:Transoms closed or opened occasionally
Pros:
  • Comes ready to install with no additional assembly.
  • Simple to operate: Either closed (locked), or fully open (about 45 degree angle).
  • Simple, reliable design.
  • Cost effective.
  • Hardware is relatively inconspicuous.
  • Can be installed without regard to casing profile.
Cons:
  • Opening angle cannot be adjusted (unless you manually change chain length which is not supported).
  • You may want a pole and hook for operation which must be stored elsewhere.
  • Only can be hinged at bottom for a "hopper" type opening configuration.
Notes: The hardware finishes available are shown on the Order Page. Pole and hook sold separately.

"Slider Operator" Mechanism (Most Flexible, Hardware Purchased Separately)

IMPORTANT: If you order this option, the unit comes assembled with a sash hinged to a jamb only. The "Slider Operator" can be ordered separately from HouseOfAntiqueHardware.com. Our unit is ready-to-install as-is following the Basic Installation instructions, but you will have to install your own hardware kit after the casing is installed and painted. REMEMBER to place hinges in desired location (at top or bottom) during transom unit installation!

Slider Operator Available from houseofantiquehardware.com

Best for: Transoms that will be opened or closed often or where opening size must be varied.
Pros:
  • Adjustable: allows transom to be opened to any position in range of motion.
  • Relatively simple to operate once installed correctly.
  • Flexible: hinge can be placed top or bottom for an "awning" or "hopper" style operation.
  • Self-contained: does not require a separate pole and hook that have to be stored.
Cons:
  • Considerably more expensive (between $90 and $360 more).
  • Additional, in-depth, onsite assembly of slider mechanism needed (requiring some mechanical aptitude).
  • Hardware is very conspicuous (and its beauty is in the eye of the beholder).
  • More complex design may require adjustment or maintenance over time.
Notes: Casing profile must include a "flat spot" where slider rod mechanism can be installed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Operable Transoms

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for a section on operable transoms.

  1. If I order an operable transom, do I get a jamb?
  2. Does the rough opening hole for an operable transom need to be any different?
  3. Will an operable transom fit inside a hole where a previous fixed transom existed?
  4. Does the window open "down" or "up"?
  5. Which way does the window usually swing?
  6. How far does the window open? Can it partially open?

If I order an operable transom, do I get a jamb?

Yes. The operable transom comes ready-to-install with a jamb included. The window is actually hinged to the jamb.

Does the rough opening hole for an operable transom need to be any different?

No. The installation of the the jamb and sash is identical to an ordinary fixed transom. As long as the hole is 2" wider and 2" taller than the sash size you order, it will fit fine.

Will an operable transom fit inside a hole where a previous fixed transom existed?

Yes, as long as the hole is 2" wider and 2" taller than the sash size you order.

Does the window open "down" or "up"?

For the "Chain & Latch" option the hinges are at the bottom of the unit -- so the window folds opens from the bottom like a "hopper". In fact, in England they call them hopper windows. For the "Slider Operator" option the hinges can be oriented on the top or bottom for an "awning" or "hopper" operation. Additionally, the unit can be hinged in the middle for a "pivot" operation.

Which way does the window usually swing?

Traditionally the window swings into a room and not into a hall. This serves two functions. First, you don't see the sides of the transom while you are walking down the hall. Second, the closing and locking mechanism will then be located on the room side -- much like the privacy lock on the door handle is on the inside as well. This way the hook and rod used to operate "Chain & Latch" transom can be stored in the room's closet, ready for use when the door is already closed.

How far does the window open? Can it partially open?

For transoms with the "Chain & Latch" option, opening the transom is an "all-or-nothing" affair -- meaning that it has only two positions, fully-opened or fully-closed. These transoms are held open by a small chain that restricts the window to about a 45 degree angle. Theoretically, the chain could be lengthened or shortened as desired (but we do not support this). "Slider Operator" transoms can be opened and locked at any position in the operating range of the lever which can be as much as 90 degrees.

 

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