As previously discussed, our house is heated with two ductless mini-split heat pumps; one at the top of the stairwell to the second floor and the other in the main living area on the first floor. To ensure that pressure is equalized between the rooms and conditioned air can freely moved into those rooms when the doors are closed, I installed transoms above the doors to the bedrooms and bathrooms.
At least for now, I don’t plan to install windows in the transoms over the bedrooms and 2nd floor bathrooms. As I see it, this type of detail would be largely decorative, and would have almost no functional purpose. Yes, there’s the issue of privacy (sound). But in a 2000 square foot house with only two or three occupants, that just hasn’t proven to be an issue.
I did, however, recently finished installing the transom window over the powder room door on the first floor. This is a necessity due to the proximity of the room to the main living area. The room is actually off the front foyer. But it’s still close enough to provide some potentially embarrassing or uncomfortable moments for guests.
It didn’t occur to me (until it came time to install it) that a properly installed transom window is in the same plane as the door below it. Initially, I thought that I’d have the window open to the inside of the powder room. But that wouldn’t have looked quite right because the door opens to the foyer, and therefore the window should do the same. At first I thought it might look odd with the window mechanism on the outside of the bathroom. But looking at the final installation, I think the window and the mechanism add something interesting and unique to the foyer.
Also, as I understand it, ideally the window stiles should be the same width as the stiles on the door. I cheated on this a bit because it seemed a bit “heavy” to me.
I laminated up two pieces of 3/4″ clear pine to make the frame. That allowed me to end up with a thickness that matched the door (one and three-eights inch).
Both the construction and installation of the window are pretty straight-forward. But the mechanism isn’t cheap, at just over $100.