Separating transom from window

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scrappe7
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Separating transom from window

#1 Post by scrappe7 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:18 am

Hi, first post so please be gentle. I am looking to remove 2 side-by-side casement windows and replace this opening with a french door. My issue is that the casement windows each have a transom that is attached (stapled?) above and separated with some wood trim work. I have included a sample picture below.

I've had 8 carpenters/contractors provide me quotes and I can't get a good answer on whether it is feasible to separate the casements from the transoms, allowing us to salvage the transoms. The maker of the transom (and current windows) is no longer in business, so we won't be able to match the transom if we do a full replacement. We have about 10 other windows in this room so we want to preserve the look and not have 1 transom that isn;t aligned or matching. So carpenters think it's possible to save the transoms, some said it's impossible because the 2 pieces are mechanically attached with staples. Who do I believe? In the end, we want to keep the look and just add a door where the casements are.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Image
https://goo.gl/images/Dqddk1

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Separating transom from window

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:39 am

Anything is possible so the short answer is "yes". The question becomes what will you spend taking on that extra labor vs a full replacement.

Can you snap us a picture from closer up?

scrappe7
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Re: Separating transom from window

#3 Post by scrappe7 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:53 am

Thanks for the reply. The estimates for both options tend to run about the same price as extra labor generally equates to the material cost of new transoms.

The most expensive quote was $18k which included removing the transoms. The cheapest was around $6k to preserve the existing transoms and install a 400 series Andersen door. There's another 10 quotes with different options all in between that spectrum. Leaning towards the $6k option and hoping the separation goes as smoothly as they promise. I;; send a pic tonight of the molding in between the window and transom. Anything else that would be helpful? Thanks again.

scrappe7
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Re: Separating transom from window

#4 Post by scrappe7 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:29 pm

One follow up on this. If I decide to try to keep he existing transom, can a new door still be mulled to the casement windows? Just want to make sure when it's all finished, it looks finished, and not like a wack job.

Randy
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Re: Separating transom from window

#5 Post by Randy » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:11 pm

Yes, the casements can be separated from the transoms, and yes, you could install a door under them. The caveats are: (1) the door may have to be ordered with a custom height (2) additional trimming may be required that would make it look somewhat different from the others.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Separating transom from window

#6 Post by HomeSealed » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:44 pm

I would not separate them personally. I agree with those that say that it CAN be done, I just personally don't like the idea. Many things can go wrong in the process, and you will still end up with a weird finished look of old windows attached to a shiny new door. If they were separated by 6" or so of wall space and not touching, I'd do it all day, but as is, I'm not a huge fan. In my opinion, if you are spending thousands on new windows/doors, spend it once and do it right.

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Re: Separating transom from window

#7 Post by TheWindowNerd » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:45 pm

I have done it many times. The staples are usually corrugated fastners, we cut through them with an oscialting saw.

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Re: Separating transom from window

#8 Post by masterext » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:01 am

HomeSealed wrote:I would not separate them personally. I agree with those that say that it CAN be done, I just personally don't like the idea. Many things can go wrong in the process, and you will still end up with a weird finished look of old windows attached to a shiny new door. If they were separated by 6" or so of wall space and not touching, I'd do it all day, but as is, I'm not a huge fan. In my opinion, if you are spending thousands on new windows/doors, spend it once and do it right.
Im with HomeSealed on this. I would not do it.

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Re: Separating transom from window

#9 Post by scrappe7 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:22 am

Ok, for those that suggest avoiding the separation method, how do I go about matching the rest of the transoms and windows in the room since the manufacturer (Bonneville) is no longer in business? I’d imagine putting in a new transom from a different manufacturer will look just as off as having a new door next to a 8 year old transom.

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Re: Separating transom from window

#10 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:32 am

They tend to be a bit off at that point.

Do your current windows have Low-e?

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HomeSealed
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Re: Separating transom from window

#11 Post by HomeSealed » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:05 pm

Fair question, my response would be two-fold:
1) A new window/door even from a different brand will match better than something almost a decade old. Care can also be taken to choose the product strategically for appearance.
2) Differences on adjacent walls, or even just separated by a little bit of wall space will not be as pronounced as units that are in direct contact with each other

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Re: Separating transom from window

#12 Post by TheWindowNerd » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:24 am

You got 8 quotes. Way to many IMHO.
You have three basic answers, all of them good but differing... yes it can be done, maybe it can be done, no it can not be done.
You can throw out the no it can not be done, that is not true. But some good people, talented install minded, say they would not do it, which is different from it can not be done.
So the answer to concentrate on is yes it can be done. All who say yea it can be done realize there are more risk/concerns with splitting the unit and leaving the transom.
The biggest risk is final outcome, how it looks. The installer( and hopefully the salesperson) will need to pay more attention to detailing the project correctly. Size and style of trim, blending site lines, etc.
So you need to find the right install team, have you met them yet out of the 8 so far. Then you have to pick product and see if the two of them, product and install will work together.
So yes it can be done and be done super good.

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Re: Separating transom from window

#13 Post by WindowsDirectCinci » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:11 pm

So let me get this right. A complicated and sketchy install method and your leaning toward the cheapest $6k quote. I fell like this is recipe for disaster. Adding the transoms to complete the install the right isn't going to cost that much if any more. I'd just do the whole opening properly so you know that opening matches and blends well. Your much less likely to notice a different brand across the room than a botched install. Also the door option would be fine to look different than the others since it would be a door transom and not a window transom. But hey if you like to roll the dice then go for it

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Re: Separating transom from window

#14 Post by scrappe7 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:47 am

Thanks for all of this feedback. Good point on this new door and transom set being slightly off from adjacent fixtures being less noticeable than having a split in the window and transom.

I agree 8 quotes is way too many but of these 8, half of the guys i wouldn't let hang up a poster. S I had no choice but to get more and more feedback. Just way too lackadaisical in measuring and giving details on options. The one "professional" feelign quote was the 20k estimate from Andersen Renewal which is just insane.

I think I'm going to use this feedback to narrow my replacement down to a single french door with a custom height that will line up with the existing fixtures. Seems easier to just lose the transom and hope it looks decent. Thanks

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Re: Separating transom from window

#15 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:55 am

...8 quotes....?

We need to get you a patience award scrappe7. :D

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