6 Reasons to Install a New Entry Door with Sidelights
- Natural Lighting
- Benefits of Tempered Glass
- Connection to Nature
- Curb Appeal
- See Approaching Guests and Visitors
Below is a brief overview of the many reasons to consider sidelights and transoms for your front entry door.
1. Natural LightingNatural lighting can brighten up a house and make cramped quarters seem more spacious. Studies have shown that natural sunlight can even improve your mood. Installing a front entry door with sidelights is an effective choice for bringing natural light into an entryway. Adding one or two sidelights along with a transom will dramatically transform a dim foyer into an inviting space that welcomes all who step foot in your home.
With many options of styles and sizes, you can control how much or how little natural light you wish to enter through. Additionally, sidelight shutters are available for purchase should a homeowner want to cover the sidelights with plantation shutters or the transom with sunburst shutters.
2. Benefits of Tempered GlassSidelights and transoms are usually crafted using tempered glass, though some artisan approaches can include the use of decorative glass, such as stained glass or beveled glass. The thought of installing glass around a front door might raise suspicion about longevity, resistance, and security—but the truth is that this type of glass holds up to time, weather, and wear.
Tempered glass is tougher than regular glass. It is heat resistant and maintains the temperature of a foyer or entry. Additionally, this glass is tough—it won’t scratch or break easily even when applying force. And with the many patterns of tempered glass available, installing sidelights on an exterior door adds unique design value to a home without relying on more delicate options, like stained or beveled glass.
3. Connection to NatureAn entry door with sidelights provides residents with a view of the natural beauty that thrives right outside the doorway. A view of green leaves and brilliantly colored flowers can brighten up both a home and the emotions and thoughts of all who live within. This can be especially important for someone who works from home or whose house has smaller square footage.
4. Curb AppealSidelights add insurmountable curb appeal to the front of a home, whether you’re looking to renovate your space for your own enjoyment or boost sales in your next move. These tall window panes add texture and color variation to break up long drags of siding on either side of a door. Similar to shutters, a sidelight also artfully frames entry doors, drawing the eye to the standout craftsmanship of the door panel. Sidelights look particularly stunning when they frame a double door crafted from a bold wood, like mahogany or cherry.
5. See Approaching Guests and VisitorsInstead of reaching on tiptoes to peek through a peephole and grasp a distorted view of visitors or deliverymen, sidelights allow homeowners a full view of all who approach their doorstep or ring the bell. Seeing guests through these panes is a much friendlier way to welcome guests and a practical way to avoid unwanted visitors.
6. CustomizationSidelights and transoms are easily customized and can be purchased along with a new door or added to an existing entry door. Like custom entry doors, the shape, size, pane design, and the choice of color and texture of wood can all be personalized. Side lights can be purchased as a single unit, installed in multiples, or accompanied by a transom. All of these choices transcend classic and contemporary styles, finding their place in modern and traditional homes alike.
How to Measure a Front Door with SidelightsFront doors are typically 36 inches wide but can be purchased in 2-inch intervals in either direction. Similarly, sidelights are generally built in 2-inch increments, with 12 and 14 inches as the standard. No matter which size you choose, the general rule is to add another 3 inches for the trim when determining your rough opening measurement.
The height of a front door usually stands at 80 inches, with an additional 1-2 inches for the jamb, adding up to a total of 82 inches in height for the rough opening. Your sidelight should match the total height of your door and jamb.
How to Install a Front Door with SidelightsBelow is a brief description of the installation process when installing a front door with sidelights. This process works best when installing a wood front door with sidelights. A door other than a traditional paneled wood entry door, such as fiberglass, steel, a double entry door, or a Dutch door will require different measurements and tools. Additionally, replacing prehung entry doors with sidelights versus unassembled doors with sidelights will require a different order of operations. It’s always best to review online directions or consult a professional for your specific type of door before beginning the installation process.
- Measure your existing door and sidelight to make sure you purchase the correct replacement size and calculate the actual cost of the project.
- Remove the storm door, if present.
- Remove the doorbell and any hardware, such as handles and locks.
- From the inside of the home, remove the trim using a utility knife, hammer, and pry bar, focusing on applying pressure on the door side of both to protect the drywall
- In an upwards motion, hammer out your hinges to remove your front door.
- Remove the sidelight using a circular saw to cut through the jamb and expose the sidelight. Remove the jamb using a hammer and pry bar.
- Use a power screwdriver to remove all screws holding the sidelight in place.
- Remove the sidelight.
- If you’ve ordered a prehung door, pull out the original header as you’ll be installing a new one.
- Line up new sidelight with rough door opening, making sure it is level and plumb.
- Mark and make pilot drill holes and then drill sidelight into jamb
- Attach doors with hinges.
- Replace trim.
- Reinstall hardware and doorbell.