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Operable transom windows for interior use?

Posted by bevangel (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 23, 07 at 19:26

I'm building a "new old-house" and want to put transom windows above eight of the interior doors for improved air-circulation and to bring in more natural light into a couple of hallways. Seems like the only transom windows now available are "fixed" windows for exterior use. That is, they are invariably vinyl or aluminum clad and typically double- or triple-glazed. I don't need multiple glazings for interior use and sure don't want or need the aluminum or vinyl cladding! I'm just looking for simple single-glazed wood-framed windows that opens on a hinge at top or bottom... like I remember being in my Grandmother's house fifty years ago!

I really prefer the kind that are hinged at the bottom and open at the top (I think they're sometimes called "hopper" windows) but will be happy to find either so I don't have to spend and arm and a leg having something custom made. The windows are all going over standard 32" wide doors and I can go with transoms that are anywhere from 9" to 18" high. (Will select the door height based on the transoms I find.)

I've already searched through the antique shops in my area (central Texas) and haven't been able to find one that would fit - much less eight windows so would very much appreciate any advice anyone can offer.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Operable transom windows for interior use?

You can get cheap ones at the home centers howevr they are vinyl. Lowes sell some that are only about 1.5" (+/-) thick so you could trim them out with wood. They should run you around $60 (+/-) or you can order nice wood ones from Brosco. I can't tell if you are going after price or looks, seldom can you have both.

RE: Operable transom windows for interior use?

I am assuming your house design is traditional (old) with so many interior doors that go well with transom. I LOVE these older style homes. To add a touch of class, do take a look at Marvin if you want wood transom. Even if you do not buy them, they can set a high quality standard against which to compare your final choice.

Marvin will almost customize anything to your heart's desire, almost :-). I am sure you can get a single pane interior operable transom from them.

When we did our research for new windows 4 years ago, we looked at transom for a large French back door to add an open feel and we thought Marvin made really nice ones at the time. They were even able to customize it using a unique design by my wife. Too bad we later changed our plans. I really wished we had done it.

For high quality wood work and beautiful grain, Marvin is worth a look. You can go on-line and google for Marvin Windows and Doors.
Good luck!

RE: Operable transom windows for interior use?

Thank you to both responders. I had not heard of Brosco and they don't seem to have a distributor in our area. I'm going to take a look at Marvin ASAP.

Calbay03, do you happen to have any idea how Marvin windows generally compare in price to Jeld-wen's Custom-line (their top level). Based on internet research, I was planning on using Jeld-wen's Premium line (middle-level) for my exterior windows until I actually saw them at a showroom. Didn't like the look of the "jamb-liner" (or whatever you call the thing that the windows slide up and down on) at all! Some sort of PVC, I think. Looked like cheap tan (or white) colored plastic. Since we want to stain the interiors rather than paint them, I decided they would not do at all.

Jeld-wen's Custom line looked somewhat better but I still wasn't totally happy with it... and the Custom's cost about 25% more than their Premium counterparts. So, I'm back on the hunt for something else.

RE: Operable transom windows for interior use?

Hi bvangel,

We did not research Jeld-Wen 4 years ago so I have no info there. I can give you the Marvin pricing. The pricing is based on exterior windows, not interior because we have no interior windows. You may be able to extrapolate the pricing.

We are in CA, SF Bay Area, San Jose. For a 36" wide by 48" tall Casement, double pane, Low-E II, argon fllled, exposed wood interior for staining and Aluminum clad outside ran us around $440 a pop 4 years ago; excl. installation. Another owner who posted here 3 to 4 months back bought similar size from Marvin in Texas for $420. So I was surprised the price did not change much after 4 years. Then again, SF Bay Area is always more expensive :-(.

Sorry, no interior pricing but may be you can get a ball park.

I also recommend seeing the Marvin in person. Marvin sells through local dealers only and their web site should show a local dealer in your area. Some Marvin dealers are not very good, we bumped into one of these. He tried our patience, looked down on us and if not for our liking for Marvin, we would have gone with another brand.

The one store we bought from has been in business for 40+ years and they are classified as "Master Marvin Dealer" (whatever that means? :) ) and the buying experience was absolutely incredible. So hopefully you can find someone as good.

Again, I do not mean to push Marvin; but for your house, given you want to stain, Marvin can be a good gauge to measure what you like and dislike.

Good luck and have fun!

RE: Operable transom windows for interior use?

????Has anybody have any luck locating to purchase windows that:
-for interior use over doors, size range 12in tall & up x 24in wide & up.
-paint/ stain ready
-operable or fixed ok.
-reasonable cost, framed or not
please ???

RE: Operable transom windows for interior use?

I need one operable transom to go above a new door in an apartment. Have you found one yet? Please let me know.


RE: Operable transom windows for interior use?

Go to to find transom sash and for operating hardware. Get a local carpenter to fabricate a frame and install. It is a fairly simple task as long as you won't have to move any framing. We do these all the time and they don't take more than half a day or so. Honestly, they take longer to paint than to install.

RE: Operable transom windows for interior use?

Here is link for Marvin's product. It is called an inswing hopper.

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