Application: Exterior Doors

Front Door

Front door units are readily available from many sources that have transoms and side lites already built-in.

However, did you know that exterior units can be easily customized to match your interior transoms and side lites? How? Most door units can be readily ordered with the sidelites and/or transoms not installed. Then order your matching interior and exterior units from Transoms Direct.

This way the transom and side lite design for your front door can exactly match the design of a transom at a nearby cased-opening or French door in the foyer. The transom from the kitchen onto the porch can match the transom from the dining room to the kitchen.

Custom side lite and transom variants of our Traditional TR-1 and TR-5 patterns
Transitional Entry by Burnsville Design-Build Firms Highmark Builders

Hints: If you decide to order a pre-made front door unit without side lite and/or transom sashes, let the door unit arrive and get actual measurements before ordering your sashes. You can use cut plywood to temporarily fill the holes for the 10 to 15 days until your sashes arrive.

Single Exterior Doors

Laundry rooms, mudrooms, kitchens and master bedrooms are just a few locations that commonly contain single exterior doors. Well planned, these exterior doors can be more than just an entryway -- they can make a statement that is carried through the rest of the room.

Stained transom over a single exterior door that sets the "mood" for this kitchen entryway
Rustic Kitchen by Lagrange Kitchen & Bath Designers Splash Kitchens & Baths LLC

French Doors

Exterior French door units are used in a wide variety of situations. Transoms above French doors need not match the muntin pattern below. Often interesting and pleasing combinations can be found by mixing and matching styles.

Custom transom and top lites for French front door
Traditional Entry by Hilton Head Island Architects & Designers Group 3

Hints: When ordering transoms and sidelites for stain-grade doors, ensure that you have the correct wood species when placing your order.

Sliding Doors

Unlike interior pocket (sliding) doors, exterior sliding doors come with a track mechanism built into the jamb. So no extra header is needed.

Hardware and door slabs for barn door sliding units are similar to pocket door units -- so a header is needed between the door and the transom units. The track above mounted on the exterior. Notice how the header in barn door picture below is carefully integrated on the inside into the cabinet plan.

Ganged transoms similar to our Traditional TR-3 ganged together above large barn doors
Traditional Dining Room by Seattle Interior Designers & Decorators Sandra Lindsay Design

Hints: If you are trying match the combined width of two or more sliding doors, we recommend receiving the door units and making exact measurements before ordering.


Side lites are really no more than transom windows rotated by 90 degrees, with three exceptions:

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