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Transom Window CT-2 (Fast Built-to-Order)


    Transoms 101: Learn how to size and order your transom

    Order a perfect transom for your project. Watch this video to learn the terminology and resources available.

    Explore Installation and Upgrade Options

    Ready-to-Install (RTI)

    Our goal is to make your installation go as smoothly as possible. The video above explains Ready-to-Install Options.

    The Ready-to-Install (RTI) options allow you to buy your transom pre-configured for your installation. The configuration options are:

    • Sash Only (explained on this tab)
    • Fixed Sash in Jamb (this tab)
    • Operating Unit with Jamb (click on "RTI OPERATING" tab)

    RTI Sash Only Option

    Transoms Direct's basic product is a window sash -- that is, the wood frame carrier and glass.

    Some installations do not require a jamb -- so you order your transom "sash only".

    Also choose this option if your installation requires a jamb, but you plan on building the jamb on your own.

    RTI Fixed Sash in Jamb Option

    This is our most popular ready-to-install option -- as it matches many types of installations.

    If you select this option, your transom sash will come pre-installed in a jamb.

    Once you select this option on the order page, a box will appear where you will supply the wall thickness so that we can build the jamb the correct depth.


    Ready-to-Install (RTI)

    • Operating Transom Units with Jambs (this tab)
    • Sash Only (click on "READY-TO-INSTALL" tab)
    • Fixed Transom Sashes in a Jamb (click on "READY-TO-INSTALL" tab)

    Operating Transom Options

    Instead of being fixed in place, transoms can be designed to have sashes that open and close, making them operable.

    Note: Only the Chain & Latch design operating transoms shown below can be built with weather seals for exterior use.

    Operable transoms must have a jamb, as the mechanism that allows the sash to operate is attached to the jamb.

    We provide several options for these operating mechanisms, which are described below.

    Operable transoms can directly replace a fixed jamb without changing the size. Any interior or exterior application that requires a jamb can have either a fixed or operable transom.

    What We Need to Know to Build Your Operable Transom

    • Wall thickness (jamb depth)
    • Type of operating mechanism
    • Finish color of the mechanism
    • Screen color (exterior)

    Also Note: In the shopping section of our website, once you choose a transom sash size and proceed to the options page you will see a box for "Ready-to-Install Options". If you dont see any operating options in the "Ready-to-Install Options" box for the transom design you are investigating, try a different transom pattern or size. Transoms that are very short, very large or complex may require a custom design to be made operable. The best answer is to call us, and we will explain the options available.

    Operating -- "Chain & Latch" Mechanism

    IMPORTANT: If you order this option, the unit comes fully assembled with all hardware mounted. It is ready-to-install.

    Best for:

    Interior or exterior applications where transoms are closed or opened occasionally.

    • Comes ready-to-install with no additional assembly.
    • Simple to operate: Either closed (locked), or fully open (chain length).
    • Simple, reliable design.
    • Cost effective.
    • Hardware is relatively inconspicuous.
    • A dowel rod and hook from your local hardware store can be fabricated to reach transoms overhead.
    • Design of screen on exterior models prevents bugs from getting caught between screen and glass.

    • Opening angle cannot be adjusted (unless you manually change chain length -- which is not supported).
    • Only can be hinged at bottom for a "hopper" type opening configuration.
    • The hardware finishes that are available are shown on the order page.
    • Exterior models are weather sealed and always use stainless steel hardware on the exterior-facing side of the window (regardless of your hardware finish choice).
    • Exterior models are hinged to open to the inside and offer a removable screen facing the outside (as an option).
    • We do not sell pole and hooks (for reaching windows latches outside your reach) since these parts are readily available locally and will need to be cut to length for your application.
    • Pole shown is 1" dowel rod. Zinc screw hook is Home Depot 813636 or Lowes 605292.

    How do I order a Chain & Latch operating transom?

    In the shopping section of our website, once you choose a transom sash size and proceed to the options page you will see a box for "Ready-to-Install Options".

    Choose the option "Operating Transom - Chain & Latch".

    You will be prompted to enter your wall thickness, choose your hardware finish and screen color (if exterior).

    Operating -- "Pivot" Mechanism

    IMPORTANT: If you order this option, the unit comes assembled with all hardware mounted. It is ready to install.

    Best for:

    Universal interior application.

    • Most simple to operate -- just push to change position.
    • Fully adjustable -- can be set to closed, slightly open or fully open.
    • Friction bushing at pivot point ensures that sash will stay put where it is set.
    • Unique, clean look with no visible hardware.
    • Less traditional than Chain & Latch option.

    How do I order a Pivot operating transom?

    In the shopping section of our website, once you choose a transom sash size and proceed to the options page you will see a box for "Ready-to-Install Options".

    Choose the option "Operating Transom - Pivot".

    You will be prompted to enter your wall thickness. A pivoting transom's hardware is concealed -- so choosing a hardware finish is unnecessary.

    Operating -- "Slider Operator" Mechanism

    IMPORTANT: This option requires additional hardware (purchased separately by you) before it is ready to install. We do not recommend this option for most customers since it can be difficult to install correctly so that it operates smoothly. We offer it only because customers have requested it.

    Best for:

    Unique, historic appearance.

    • Adjustable: allows transom to be opened to any position in range of motion.
    • Relatively simple to operate once installed correctly.
    • Flexible: "awning," "hopper" or "pivot" style operation.
    • Self-contained: does not require a separate pole and hook that have to be stored.
    • 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. Angled or sloped casing will not work.
    Slider Operator Available from houseofantiquehardware.com

    How to I buy a slider operated transom?

    A slider operated transom is really composed of two separate parts:

    Usually, with the same hardware kit you can mount a transom hinged at the top, pivoting at the middle or hinged at the bottom. Please do your research, and call us if you have questions before you place your order.

    If you order the Ready-to-Install option from us titled "Operating Transom - Slider", you will receive a transom sash in a jamb hinged on one side. When you install the unit, you can deicde to place the hinges at the bottom ("hopper" style) or the hinges at the top ("awning" style).

    The "Operating Option - Slider" option from us works identically to the chain and latch transom demonstrated in the "Operating Transoms" video -- but DOES NOT include the chain or latch portion of the hardware (only hinges in the hardware color you specify).

    The "Operating Option - Pivot" option from us is exactly the same mechanism shown in the video -- which just happens to also be compatible most slider mechanisms. However, the mounting hardware for some slider mechanisms is larger than the 1-3/4" we provide for typical pivot models. If you are not sure, we suggest that you leave us a "Special Instruction" on that same options page to "make pivot stile size 2-1/4 for slider". Doing this for the hinged version is not necessary because they are always made 2-1/4".

    To summarize, we build the transom mounted the way you want (hinged or pivoted), and you buy and install the hardware on your door casing.


    • To order a transom hinged at the top or bottom, order the "RTI Operating Transom - Slider" option. You will decide top or bottom by flipping the transom unit when installed.
    • To order a transom that pivots for the slider option, order the "RTI Operating Transom - Pivot" option. The design of the regular pivot option is identical to the design used for a slider. Add the Special Instruction "make pivot stile size 2-1/4 for slider".

    Pro-Tip: The proper installation of a slider kit requires careful work by a knowledgable person. If you (or your installer) do not have significant mechanical aptitude, we suggest you chose the Chain and Latch or ordinary Pivot mechanism. We do not provide support for slider installation -- you will need to get that from the dealer or manufacturer of the mechanism you choose.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Operable Transoms

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

    Can I order transom sash by itself and build my own jamb to make the window operable?

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

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

    How are exterior operating transoms protected from the weather?

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

    Which way does the window usually swing?

    How far does the window swing open? Can it be partially opened?


    Standard Glass Information

    All of our interior and exterior windows come standard with clear glass included.

    • Interior transoms come standard as single-pane, true-divided-lite windows. This means each pane is a separate piece of glass.
    • Exterior transoms come standard as insulated, double-pane, simulated-divided-lite windows.

    For unheated applications (such as barns and garages), interior models can can be configured with single-pane glass and rot-resistant wood as a cost-effective alternative to an exterior-grade window.

    Specialty Glass

    Glass for both interior and exterior windows can be upgraded to specialty glass in a number of ways, including:

    • Substitution of artistic glass for clear glass
    • Tempering
    • Adding energy coatings and tints (e.g., Low-E, bronze or grey tints)

    Not all specialty glass options are available on all patterns. Check the ordering page for a specific pattern/size combination to learn what is available.

    Artistic Glass

    For artistic (art) glass, the surface or composition of the glass is altered to make it distinct from clear glass. The resulting appearance can be uniform (frosted), organized (fluted) random (glue chip, antique, wavy) or even obscure (seeded).

    In general, clear glass helps a transom blend-in to room, artistic glass helps the transom stand out.

    Art glass certainly makes a stylistic statement, but some varieties also help obscure objects behind the glass adding privacy for bathroom and bedroom applications.

    Artistic Glass Options


    Clear, annealed, untempered is standard on all sashes.

    Satin / Frosted

    Satin or frosted glass is made by sandblasting or acid etching a clear pane of glass. This process renders the glass translucent because the light passing through the glass is randomly scattered. Frosted glass is a good option for maximum privacy while still permitting light transmission.

    Reeded / Fluted

    Reeded or fluted glass is a ribbed glass that provides good obscurity with lots of light transmission. When we assemble your transom we will run the ribs in the vertical orientation unless you give us a special instruction to run it horizontal.


    Seeded glass (or "Seedy" Glass) is still clear, but it is intentionally "seeded" with small imperfections (gas bubbles) to give the glass more interest. Use seeded glass where you want generally clear glass with some distortion.

    Glue Chip

    Glue chip glass is a texture that looks like frost on a window pane during the winter cold. This attractive random pattern is created by applying hot glue to the sandblasted surface of clear float glass and allowing it to dry under controlled temperature and humidity conditions.



    Antique glass is also still clear, but it has noticeable "running of the glass" that produces distortion. Genuine antique glass differs from modern glass in that antique glass was fabricated in a transition period between hand blowing and modern manufacturing. In this period, certain portions of old techniques were replaced with mechanical devices. The mechanical "rolling" of this period in the 19th and early 20th centuries gave this glass a unique appearance. Our modern replica glass resembles glass of this period.

    Water / Wavy

    Water or wavy glass first became popular around the turn of the 20th century. It's clear but has a pattern that obscures the item behind it while leaving it largely identifiable. We see this glass used both in historical renovations and in homes that want to achieve a more slightly more elegant feel.


    Mirrored glass is exactly what you think it is -- mirrored glass that replaces regular, clear glass. Choose this glass if you plan to hang a the transom sash from a wall (for decorative purposes) or if you embed the transom in a wall to simulate an exterior or room-to-room window. You can see examples of these ideas in our Houzz Gallery LINK NEEDED here.

    No Glass

    We do occasionally have orders for transoms without glass. Most "glassless" applications involve screened porches or other areas where ventilation is required. Transoms ordered without glass will be manufactured without a glass slot. See our Sticking Profile customization for more information on sticking profiles that are available without a glass slot.

    Tempered Glass

    Tempered glass (also known as safety glass) is specially coated or specially formulated so that it is much stronger than regular glass and shatters in a way less likely to cause injury.

    Our clear and artistic glass can be ordered tempered for your application. Be aware that all tempered glass transoms are made as simulated divided lite windows, and generally require an additional week or more to deliver since the glass has to be specially made.

    Typically, tempered glass is only installed in areas where the building code requires it. These so-called "hazardous locations" are generally adjacent to doors, in stairways, halls or bathrooms.

    Check your local building codes, but most locations where transom windows are installed (over doors or openings) are not considered hazardous and thus are not required to be tempered. This is because the windows are higher than the typical "plane of travel" -- that is, you can't run into them easily. Accordingly, sidelights (windows next to doors) are near the plane of travel and must be tempered. Windows in bathrooms should be verified carefully, but generally if they are 66" above a tub or shower's drain, they don't need to be tempered.


    Standard Wood

    Our standard windows come paint-ready and free of all but the smallest imperfections.

    Interior, paint-grade sashes are generally made of Poplar and jambs are made of Pine.

    Exterior, paint-grade sashes and jambs are made of a rot-restant wood like Red Grandis or Cypress.

    We only fabricate windows in wood. Vinyl or steel windows are not available.

    All wood transoms and jambs are carefully sanded before shipment.

    Stain-Grade Wood

    We also can build your sash or jamb in a number of what we consider stain-grade wood species. We have the following stain-grade species available as standard options:

    • Red Oak
    • White Oak
    • Maple
    • Cherry
    • Ash
    • Alder
    • Pine
    • Cedar
    • Cypress
    • Mahogany
    • Walnut
    • Douglas Fir
    • Red Oak - Quarter Sawn
    • White Oak - Quarter Sawn

    Most people who order a stain-grade sash also choose to order a stain-grade jamb, if needed. However, our system does allow stain grade sashes to be ordered with paint-grade jambs if that is your preference.

    Special notes on Stain-Grade Wood

    Some types of wood are machined differently -- so not all transom designs are available in all wood species. The ordering page will show wood species available for the pattern selected.

    If you do not see your favorite wood selection in our options list, please call. We can source most any wood species. Just know that 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.

    Staining and Painting our Windows

    Wood samples shown in the picture have been finished with one coat of clear polyurethane. If you plan on using a different stain color (other than clear coat), we recommend testing it on the outside edge of the sash or jamb to obtain the correct mix BEFORE attempting to stain the transom unit.

    All of our transom windows (interior and exterior) are delivered un-painted and un-stained. We do not offer painting or priming for our windows. Our installation section has detailed tips about preparing and painting or staining your transom.


    What is a Sticking Profile?

    Sticking is the edge profile on the wood immediately adjacent to the glass.

    For window makers this transition is called a sticking profile, and the profile can be carved into different shapes.

    Standard Sticking Profile

    The traditional Beaded profile is our standard sticking profile.

    Probably 90% or more of all windows ever manufactured have this profile, and it is our standard as well.

    Unless you are trying to match a specific profile listed below, you are best going with this standard profile.

    Optional Sticking Profiles

    You may desire to match your transom to the sticking profile of adjacent wood windows, sidelites or french doors. Again, those items are likely to match our Beaded profile. If not, we offer additional options below:

    The Ogee profile is similar to the "Ovulo" profile common to Colonial or Williamsburg style homes in the northeast United States. Our Ogee is nearly identical to our Beaded profile, but the part of the Ogee profile closest to the glass is rounded instead of squared. Our advice: unless you know you are matching the Ogee profile to something else in your project -- order the Beaded profile instead.

    The Beveled profile matches the style of Arts & Crafts windows. Model numbers for our Arts & Crafts transoms always start with "AC." Instead of a "bead," the "beveled" transition is a single, simple 45 degree angle that clips the 90 degree turn. You occasionally see this profile on Bungalow and Mission style windows as well (look for "BM" patterns).

    The Square profile matches the style of Shaker doors, furniture and cabinets. If you have Shaker elements in your home, consider this Square profile on a TR-1 or TR-4 pattern. This profile does not look good with patterns that have curved muntins.

    No Glass Sticking Profiles

    If you order your transom with no glass, the transom will come to you with no glass slot. Such "no glass" transoms are typically used for ventilation or decorative purposes.


    General Information

    First, some general information so you can understand terminology used in the FAQ below.

    The pieces comprising the wood perimeter of the transom sash have names. The top and bottom pieces are called rails. The side pieces are called stiles.

    So the height of a transom sash is composed of the height of the rails at the top and bottom plus the height of glass sandwiched in between.

    Likewise the sash width is the sum of the width of the stiles plus the area between them that is filled with glass and muntins.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The size I need is not listed, or it says I have to call. What should I do?

    I plan to order an operable transom, how does this affect size I can order?

    What is the difference between standard and custom sizes?

    How do I tell if I have a custom size, and why do some custom sizes cost so much?

    How accurate are your custom sizes?

    How close is the look of the black and white line drawing of the transom to what I will receive?

    Price Change Class:
    Ext Price Change Class:
    Interior Operable:
    Exterior Operable:
    Default Height:
    Height Minimum - Chain & Latch:
    Height Minimum - Standard Rails:
    Height Minimum - Reduced Rails:
    Height Maximum:
    Height Slot Low:
    Height Slot High:
    Default Width:
    Width Minimum:
    Width Maximum:
    Std Production Days:
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