Helping you plan your home improvement project, from start to finish

How Much Do Entry Doors With Sidelights Cost?

Entry doors that include a skylight will have a large variety of glass or faux-glass inserts. Leaded glass is the most premium of components and adds a crystal effect to the door panel. The door panels use variations of frosted or colored pinhead glass with insulating properties. Stained-glass patterns can be customized to mimic famous pieces of artwork and styles as well. If still interested, see all the costs associated with sidelight entry doors below.

The Costs

  • Minimum costs: $1,000 for materials plus labor

  • Maximum costs: $10,000 for materials plus labor


A lesser-known technique in designing entry doors with sidelights is the addition of an operable or venting sidelight panel.

  • This panel uses a sash or pin mechanism similar to a casement window hung from the side.
  • This allows the door to act as a source of ventilation for the home in the entryway when needed.
  • This also creates an architectural feature that enables the sidelight to function like a double-entry door to the house.
  • The flexibility can create a French-door-type effect.

Operable sidelights can also be only half the height to allow for a contrast to the bottom part of the sidelight panel. It can crank out like a casement window without affecting the entrance to the door.


Tempered insulated glass adds an extra level of protection against cracking and air loss. These panes are typically the glass found in heavy patio doors and windows. This creates an impact-resistant surface to face the exterior of the door. Tempered glass can be included as part of an entire package on a door that may have more precious textured glass such as rippled-glass-pattern types. 

Leaded glass can add geometric patterns and contrast to a door panel. The beveled glass creates a stained glass look by taking a thick piece of glass and angling the surface to create large 'prisms' of refraction in the panel. The effect is a wide spectrum of color and differentiation in the glass. Beveled glass is typically 1/8-inch thick to .5-inch thick for contrasting sides on interior and exterior panels.

Stained glass adds an extra level of customization by combining basic glass material and installing various pieces of colored glass to achieve a custom effect. Extra care is given to stained glass windows by using a faux-leaded glass technique to reduce damage. The glass can also be pieced in a leaded technique on the interior side with a clear sheet of glass on the exterior for added strength and insulating factor. This extra plate of glass is usually insulated tempered glass.

Fiberglass is the most superior material in terms of maintenance and insulation for encasing doors with sidelights. These doors can also mimic certain textures for a faux-grain look. Fiberglass also has a stronger insulating factor in the door frame due to the hollow cavity of a fiberglass panel.


Steel entry doors combine tactile strength in the door panel as well as increased levels of security. Many steel entry doors that have sidelights use additional insulation surrounding the glass plates. The insulation can be hidden behind a high-definition profile to accent the glass plates in the sidelights. These doors are also relatively lower in cost compared to fiberglass and wood. Unfortunately, they can be prone to dents and scratches that may contrast with the side panel's natural light enhancement.

Many high-end doors make use of precious metals clad on the door. Copper finishes and variances in material create a natural look. The drawback is the natural patina that comes with environmental exposure to the elements. Some homes may benefit from this natural patina, depending on the sidelight pattern and overall home architecture style.


Wood has the architectural advantage that makes it distinct from other sidelight-style entry doors. Wood also offers superior adhesion to glass surfaces and can create a framed technique for stained glass for a more authentic architectural look. They do require more maintenance, which generally includes staining and protecting it from the elements. The cost is also similar to that of fiberglass doors. 


Vinyl clad combines the durability of other materials minus the cost. The vinyl is practically maintenance free. It will need to have slight maintenance to prevent ripping or warping from natural UV sunlight radiation. There are several ENERGY STAR ratings with vinyl that include an eco-friendly construction method when combined with other materials.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Entry doors with glass inserts have the advantage of increasing the curb appeal of the home and allowing more natural light into the home. Colored glass and beveled glass with leaded panes can mix light into the entry for a rainbow of colors. There are also several types of combinations to choose from. Unusual shapes and sizes can match the historical or architectural style of the home.

For example, a Craftsman built home may make use of transoms in conjunction with sidelights that feature beveled glass. Sidelight panels also add additional choices in expanding the entryway. Transom panels can be used along with the side panels for a major design update to the home in one complete package.

One of the drawbacks of an entry door with a sidelight is added expense. This variance in expense can sometimes be dramatic. This is why it is important to determine how a door panel will look prior to purchasing. Simple, glass side panels can be expanded to include elaborate stained glass or leaded glass pieces that have to be custom designed.

The door may also require substantial changes to the entrance of the home. Extra header studs and the opening up of walls will need to be a part of expanding the standard entrance size in the frame. This additional framework may have to double up studs to avoid creating a load-bearing issue with the wall. Another small drawback is the additional maintenance of keeping the glass panel clean and clear from nicks and abrasion over time.

Last updated on Sep 12, 2014

Top Articles on Entry Doors With Sidelights

View All Articles

Looking for accurate quotes on your project?

  • Get multiple quotes for any home improvement project
  • See pro's rating, reviews, projects and more
  • 100% free, no obligations
  • Only takes a few minutes

Find pros in your area.

Close ×