An exquisite entrance design does more than just making a striking first impression. It sets the tone for the entire home's decor style and the mood of any visitors who cross the threshold. In light of such, a front door with sidelights conspicuously stands out as one of the most admired types. Its elegant styling and abundance of natural light make it a stellar choice for homeowners wanting to amplify their home's curb appeal.

Understanding Front Door with Sidelights

Also known as sidelites, sidelights are narrow, vertical windows that flank either one or both sides of an entry door. Door manufacturers typically design them to complement the main entrance door, thereby creating a harmonious, well-rounded facade. Servicing a dual purpose, sidelights not only augment the aesthetic appeal but also increase the amount of natural light that filters into the home.

The Style Spectrum of Front Doors with Sidelights

The beauty of incorporating a front door with sidelights into your home lies in the vast array of designs, styles, and configurations available. Depending on your preference, the siding can either match or contrast with that of the main door for a unique and original style.

Single and Double Sidelights

Choice between single and double sidelights often depends on the size and design of your entryway. Single sidelights work excellently for narrower entrances, adding a touch of sophistication without overpowering the area. On the other hand, double sidelights are perfect for wider entrances, enhancing their grandeur and allowing abundant natural light.

Material Choice

Materials for the front door with sidelights include everything from wood, fiberglass, and steel. Whilst wood radiates a timeless charm, fiberglass and steel offer excellent resistance to weather elements and durability.

Decorative Glass Options for Sidelights

When it comes to sidelights, selecting the right type of glass contributes significantly to accentuating the visual allure. Here are some popular options:

  • Clear Glass: This lends a simple yet elegant touch, allowing uninterrupted light into the house.
  • Decorative Glass: Featuring various patterns or artwork, it infuses a unique element to your entrance while ensuring privacy.
  • Stained Glass: Combining vibrant colors and intricate patterns, stained glass sidelights artfully hide the view inside while maximizing the light.

Safety and Energy Efficiency of a Front Door with Sidelights

Admittedly, front doors with sidelights add a visual charm, but they also need to be safe and energy-efficient. Consider sidelights with tempered or laminated glass for enhanced safety. The use of insulated glass can also increase energy efficiency, reducing heat loss in winter and cooling loss in summer.

Residential Security

It’s crucial to ensure that your front door with sidelights doesn’t compromise on the security front. Opt for a well-structured door frame alongside high-quality locks for the best results.

Installation and Pricing

Installation of a front door with sidelights should ideally be carried out by professionals to ensure appropriate fitting and security measures. As for pricing, it varies depending on the materials, glass style, and the customization involved.

In conclusion, a front door with sidelights can bring a tasteful, splendacious look to your home’s exterior while inviting more natural light into your entryway. The flexibility in design, material, and glass choices makes it viable for any homeowner seeking to elevate their home aesthetic significantly. With the right safety measures and professional installation in place, you can enjoy the many benefits that this type of door brings to your home.

Frequently Asked Questions about Front Doors with Sidelights

What materials are typically used in front doors with sidelights?

The materials used in front doors with sidelights can significantly determine their durability and appearance. Typically, steel, fiberglass, and wood are commonly used. Steel doors offer excellent security and weather resistance. Fiberglass doors, on the other hand, are rot resistant and provide superb insulation. Wood doors offer a classic feel and aesthetic variety. Lastly, the sidelights are often made of transparent or semi-transparent glass to allow light in and enable homeowners to see outside.

Are front doors with sidelights more expensive?

Yes, front doors with sidelights tend to be more expensive than traditional single-entry doors due to added materials, complexity, and installation labor. However, the added cost on the front end often results in greater home value due to enhanced curb appeal, improved natural lighting, and overall aesthetic impact.

Can sidelights be added to an existing front door?

Yes, sidelights can be added to an existing front door, but the process might be complex and expensive. It will often require reframing the door area, careful fitting, and a professional touch. In most cases, it’s recommended to consult or hire a professional to ensure the project’s success.

Are front doors with sidelights safe and secure?

While front doors with sidelights provide greater visibility and light, one common concern is security. The increased glass can potentially be a target for burglars. To bolster security, you can choose reinforced or tempered glass for the sidelights. Also, some homeowners consider adding security cameras or decorative bars for added peace of mind.

What are some popular styles of front doors with sidelights?

Front doors with sidelights come in various styles catering to different architectural styles and personal tastes. Popular ones include Craftsman-style doors, typically featuring a wood door with glass sidelights; Victorian-style doors, which often have ornate decorations; and modern-style doors, known for clean lines and sleek glass sidelights.

Can front doors with sidelights be energy-efficient?

Absolutely! When choosing your front door and sidelights, look for ones with energy-efficient features. These might include doors made from materials with good insulating properties, and sidelights with double-pane or low-E glass. These features can help to keep warm air in during the winter, and hot air out during the summer, which can lead to substantial energy savings over time.

What is the typical size of front doors with sidelights?

The size of front doors with sidelights can vary depending on the space available and the house's architectural style. However, a common configuration is a 36-inch wide door with one or two 12-inch sidelights. The overall height is usually standard at 80 inches, but custom heights are also available if needed.

What types of glass are available for the sidelights?

The types of glass available for the sidelights can significantly impact the door’s overall aesthetic. There’s clear glass, which provides unimpeded views and maximum light. Frosted or textured glass provides a balance of light and privacy. Stained glass can introduce color and a unique stylistic element. Choosing the right type of glass will largely depend on your privacy needs and decorative preferences.

What is the best way to maintain a front door with sidelights?

The maintenance of a front door with sidelights largely depends on the materials used. Wood doors require regular sealing or painting to avoid warping or rotting. Steel doors are relatively low maintenance, but they may need repainting over time. Fiberglass doors are also low maintenance, requiring only occasional cleaning. For the sidelights, regular cleaning with glass cleaner is typically all that is needed to maintain visibility and aesthetic appeal.

Pros and Cons of Front Doors with Sidelights

Pros of Front Doors with Sidelights

1. Enhanced Aesthetics

Front doors with sidelights can improve the overall appearance of your home. The sidelights can create an elegant and inviting entryway, making a great first impression.

  • The different options for sidelight design can complement the style of the house and the front door itself, providing an opportunity to create a unique, personalized aesthetic.
  • The added detail of having glass, wooden or decorative metal sidelights can make an ordinary front door more striking.
  • Sidelights also add symmetry to the design of the exterior of a house, giving it a balanced and pleasing look.

2. Increased Natural Light

Front doors with sidelights allow more natural light to enter the home. This not only creates a warm, inviting feel, but also can reduce the need for artificial light.

  • The additional daylight can make the entryway and adjacent rooms feel more spacious.
  • Light filtering through decorative or stained glass sidelights can create beautiful lighting effects within the home.

3. Enhanced Visibility and Security

Front doors with sidelights can increase visibility, providing an extra layer of security for the home. Homeowners can see who is at the door without having to open it.

  • Many modern sidelights are manufactured with tempered glass, which provides added durability and shatter resistance.
  • Certain designs offer tinted or frosted glass sidelights for enhanced privacy without compromising the amount of natural light entering the home.

Cons of Front Doors with Sidelights

1. Limited Privacy

Front doors with sidelights can potentially allow outsiders to see into your home, reducing your privacy.

  • If the sidelights are made of clear glass, they can provide a view into the home’s interior.
  • Even with frosted or tinted glass, shapes and movements can be discernible from the outside.

2. Increased Energy Costs

While front doors with sidelights can let in more natural light, they can also let in more heat in the summer and cold in the winter, potentially impacting your energy bills.

  • Glass is less insulating than the materials used for most doors, resulting in more heat transfer.
  • Older sidelights may lack proper sealing and can let in drafts.

3. Higher Initial Cost and Maintenance

Front doors with sidelights can be more expensive both in initial cost and maintenance.

  • The design and installation of front doors with sidelights can be more complex, affecting the overall cost.
  • Sidelights might require additional cleaning and may require replacement if they get broken or cracked.
  • The decorative elements of the sidelights may also need periodic upkeep or repair to keep them looking their best.

4. Fewer Design Options

While front doors are available in many styles, shapes, and sizes, sidelights may limit these options. They typically come in a narrower range of designs and may not always perfectly match the door design.

  • Modifying or replacing a front door with sidelights can be more challenging, as the sidelights have to be taken into account in the design process.


There's no denying that a front door with sidelights can create a stylish impact and brighten up a home's facade. It's this feature that often grabs the viewer's attention, offering a charming blend of welcome and elegance. Adding sidelights to your front door doesn't only improve your home's aesthetic appeal, but it also increases its value, due to its functional and design benefits.

It's wonderful how a front door with sidelights can enhance your home’s entrance, right? The sleek design and added light source that come with the entry boost its overall appearance. And don't forget about the extra security layer it provides. By having sidelights, you get an additional view of the exterior, which ensures you of who's knocking at your door.

Choosing the perfect front door with sidelights requires attention care. You need to consider several factors such as the architectural style of your home, the right materials, and the type of glass for your sidelights. But once you've made the right choice, you can look forward to an entranceway that’s not only welcoming and beautiful but also equipped with the practicality and security you need.

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