Sidelight windows are one of the most common architectural features in homes today. These are the long narrow windows you’ll find at one or both sides of a door. Sidelight windows may range from as narrow as six inches to about eighteen inches wide. They are usually close to the height of the door. These windows present a challenging situation to window covering dealers. Since they are generally at the front entrance to a house, your customer will want to cover them for privacy. At the entrance, operation is also essential in order to look out to see who is knocking without opening the door.
Sidelight windows look innocent enough, until you start trying to place a blind, shade or shutter into them. That’s when you’ll find the minimum sizes available in many products will not allow them to fully function within a sidelight. But there are some products that work well in sidelights.
Fully Functioning Shutters
Shutters, like Vinylbilt Shutters, are a great application for sidelight windows. They fit well into most of the narrow widths and can fully tilt. The Vinylbilt ClearView™ option is particularly well-suited for sidelights because it doesn’t have the visible tiltbar in front that may tend to dominate on narrower panels. Down to twelve inches wide, frames may be used, usually on all four sides. For panels over eight but under twelve inches wide, you may want to install with hinges only, using the frame of the window to support the shutter panel. This can be difficult to adjust if the window is out of square, but it can usually be accomplished fairly easily.
Panels over fifty inches tall use a divider rail that allows the upper and lower sections to operate independently. Shutters look and work great in sidelight windows even if there are no other shutters in the house. The tilt operation is easy, tilting all the vanes of a panel section by hand.
Tilt Only Silhouette Shadings
Silhouette® Shadings, in a special tilt-only format, are also a terrific application for sidelight windows. These shadings fit in as little as six inches wide! They have a looped cord that looks much like the one used on standard Silhouette Shadings, but the cord will only tilt the vanes open an closed. The shading cannot be rolled up into the headrail.
Installation is quick and easy, using standard Silhouette installation brackets to attach the headrail and hold-down brackets to secure the bottom rail. The hold-down brackets are shipped automatically with all tilt-only Silhouette shadings. Without the hold-downs, shadings in this size will tend to twist out of the window, so they should be used on every installation of tilt only shadings.
The tilt only format is available for shadings that are under twelve inches in width, down to six inches. Shadings in these sizes are not available any other way. For sidelights twelve inches wide or wider, standard Silhouette shadings may be used.
Uplifting Duette® Honeycomb Shades
As with most other window applications, Duette honeycomb shades are a great option for sidelight windows. In the narrowest windows, standard cord operation may be used. EasyRise may also be used to keep the lift cord up off the floor.