Ever look at a home, enamored, and wonder what makes it stand out? Chances are the home features door sidelites. Sidelites are framed windows that can be placed on the sides or above your front door. In this piece, we’ll detail how sidelites can improve home aesthetics, how to choose colors, styles, and materials, how sidelites impact security and privacy, and how to fit them into your budget.
Why You Should Consider sidelites for Your Door Project
The primary reason most homeowners opt for door sidelites is increased curb appeal. Sidelites help to make the front door the focal point of a home, especially when they accompany a premium door. Doors with sidelites generally give homes a grander look, emulating more expensive properties.
In addition to elevating the look of an entry door, sidelites improve natural lighting. They often feature large windows, which can help populate your front entryway with plenty of sunlight. This can completely shift the look and feel of that space, allowing for creative changes to interior design and layout.
Choosing the Right Sidelite Color, Style, & Material
Generally, when picking a sidelite color, you will either want to match the door or the trim of the home. If you have a more traditional door, such as woodgrain, black, or white, you can go either way. If you have an unusual color, such as bright blues and greens, it’s typically a better choice to match the trim of the home.
Style is of course subjective, but there are a few guidelines to take with sidelites. Usually, you’ll want to match the shape of the sidelites to that of your windows to create a clean and uniform look. For more symmetric homes, you don’t want the sidelites to be disruptive unless you’re specifically going for that type of statement with your door. To help it stand out further, sidelites should frame the door in the same way a frame borders a window.
Another style element is choosing if you want sidelites to the left, right, or top of your door. For double-doors, homeowners sometimes opt for just a top sidelite, also known as a transom window, since the door is already quite wide. In situations with narrow doors, they may go for sidelites on each side to give the door a bigger, grander appearance. If you’re really getting creative, you can try out only having a sidelite on one side of your door.
The last style element we’ll cover is how much glass you have in your sidelites. This choice often depends on the style of the door itself. Normally, a door will either have glass from top to bottom or have just a small window at the top. Sidelites usually mimic this to keep symmetry. However, you can switch things up if you want a bolder front entryway. Security also comes into play with this decision, which we’ll discuss later.
Sidelite materials will vary based on the style you’re going for with your home. Usually, sidelites will match materials with either the door or the trim of the home. Materials used do impact energy efficiency. Wooden doors and sidelites are traditionally better insulators than steel and fiberglass. Window choice also factors into energy efficiency. Triple pane windows with special coatings and gases will be more efficient than their single and double pane counterparts, for example.
Security & Privacy Considerations
One downside to exterior door sidelites is they can create an additional security vulnerability for your home. However, if you use sturdy, high-quality materials, you can lower this risk. You can also opt for sidelites with less glass to prevent vulnerabilities.
Privacy is another concern. By nature, sidelites allow more light to enter your home. However, this also awards outsiders more vision. If you’re worried about this, textured and blurred privacy glass is available. These options will obscure vision from the outside while still allowing natural light to enter.
A Note on Cost
Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact that sidelites increase the cost of a door project. These costs can be further inflated if you need custom fitting or doorframe work. The good news is you can offset this cost by making efficient choices in other areas of your project. For example, if you’re set on sidelites you can go for a cheaper, less ornate door. As a good rule of thumb, keep your budget in mind and try to find good compromises between cost and quality.
West Shore Home Installs Beautiful Doors with Sidelites
If you’re looking for a reliable company to install a new door with sidelites, West Shore Home is ready to assist you. We offer a variety of different door and sidelite styles to fit your home’s exterior. Also, a lifetime warranty and one-day installation are included in all of our projects.
Contact West Shore Home today to get started.