Installing a Door With a Sidelight

installing a door with a sidelight
Installing a door with a sidelight attached can dramatically add to the aesthetic appeal of your home’s exterior. However, it requires just a little extra attention; especially if the sidelight is attached to hinge side of the door. In this situation, there is no way to fasten the swinging door to the wall studs.

Correctly Installing a Door With a Sidelight

This is normally accomplished by driving a 2 1/2 inch screw through the top hinge. However, if the sidelight is fastened to the hinge side of the door, this step cannot be completed. Installing trim screws through the exterior jambs will aid in securing your door.

Sidelights come in various sizes, such as 12”, 14” or 15”. Sidelights widths will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Adding a sidelight can be very stylish and add a high curb appeal. Per building code, the sidelight glazing must be tempered glass when installed next to a door.

As always, properly preparing the opening is critical for a quality installation. Be sure to properly install the building wrap, apply a sill protector and properly flash the top of the door.

We also recommend viewing how to flash an exterior door video if you will be installing an exterior door.

Options: Sidelight Doors

There are options when wanting sidelights or glass beside your entry door. Most often doors with sidelights are used on the main entrance for visual appeal. One option is to just use a regular entry door and frame the opening accordingly, and then frame openings for windows of the size to your liking beside the door.

These windows would need to be tempered or safety glazing regardless if they directly mounted to the door or not. The best option is probably to order the sidelight attached at the factory. That way you get exact matching glass and or door panel configurations. This also gives you options for various widths and sidelights on one or both sides of the door.

Another option for an attractive door is to also have a window light above the door and the sidelights. This is called a transom. If you only have 8′ tall ceilings, it’s unlikely a door with this option would fit for height. A minimum 9′ wall height or vaulted area where the door will fit would be needed.
Watch this short video of an installation of a door with a single sidelight attached:

For more information, check out our exterior door installation instructions.

Door Installation Has Never Been Easier

  • Install 5X Faster
  • Eliminate Shims
  • Perfect Fit Every Time



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