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Hi,
We are in the process of beginning some new projects. Our house is a rambling cape, and we have a sunken family room with nine foot ceilings that currently has two sets of sliding doors to our deck, each unit 8 feet wide. We are going to have french doors installed, with applied grilles to simulate the look of divided lights. We are considering transoms, but have been advised that the header needs to be moved up in order to do that, which will allow us to have twelve inch transoms above each of the six door panels,

An alternative to the transome is to get doors that are taller than standard. My guess is that the header will still have to be moved up to accommodate the new height, but I am not sure. I suspect that the cost of taller doors would be less than standard doors plus transoms, and that installation would be less complicated, and hopefully less expensive.

Here is my question: Does anyone have opinions on which alternative would look better? On the one hand, I love the look of transoms. On the other hand, I worry that perhaps the transom look with be to this time period what the palladian window was to the 80's/90's. Taller doors might be a more classic look, but not sure that I want to give up on the transoms!

Thanks in advance for your input. By the way, the doors we are considering are Andersen. We were tempted to consider Marvin, but they are much more expensive. We especially like the ones that have a large panel on the bottom rather than the ones that have glass all the way to the floor.
 

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The first thing I would check is to find out exactly what clearance you actually have. It very well could be that the header already has 8' of clearance and the wall is built down to frame in the current doors. 8' tall doors are usually quite a bit more expensive than standard doors. Not sure what kind of view you have outside, but you will be losing much of that view if you go with a paneled door versus full view. To get a feel for the difference, you could paper over the bottom of your current sliders to see if this has any bearing on your choice of door style.
HTH,
Brett
 

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The Op has decided on the Andersen French doors as opposed to the permashield doors. The view, for all intents and purposes is the same.
I used the 6' wide French doors with the archtop window above in the gable bumpout of the kitchen. It was taller then 8'.
I don't think either scenario will fit in your room if it has 8' ceilings.
Ron
 
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