Happy with how your garage door operates, but feel that it might need something of an update in terms of appearance? If you’re wondering about add decorative windows, understand that it’s definitely possible. However, there are quite a few considerations that you’re going to need to make. Whether you’re thinking about adding more windows to a garage door that already features them, or adding windows to a windowless garage door, this blog will help you plan your next move.
The Aesthetics – What to Know
The first thing we want to consider is the aesthetic appeal, which is going to be very important to you. This is particularly true if you’ve spent time and money renovating the outside of your home, and you’re about to wrap up that project with the alterations to your garage door. One trend that might have caught your fancy is that of tying the garage door windows into the window on your home’s front door, and even the windows on the front of your home.
If you’re on the fence about it, think about how you can coordinate your front door and your garage door. Do you see grids dividing the windows into smaller panes? Garaga and Novatech have both started offering collaborative, related product lines to help you get the cohesive look and feel that you want.
You can also use design center available from some of the more reputable garage door manufacturers, like this one from Garaga. You can use these centers to upload images of your home, and then “try on” different garage doors and garage door window designs to see what works and what doesn’t.
The Practical Side – What You Need to Consider
You need to think about why you want to add windows to your garage. For most homeowners, it’s so that you can enjoy more natural light inside the garage, and that is most likely because you want to use it for something other than storing your lawn mower or parking your car.
There are several important aspects to consider here. We’ll begin with security and privacy. Both of these are compromised by the addition of plain windows, but you can opt for tinted or mirrored windows. With these two treatments, you can still see safely out of the garage, but no one can see in, preventing the loss of security or an invasion of your privacy.
Next, you need to consider comfort, particularly if you are going to be using the garage during the colder months of the year. Whether you’re turning that garage into a workshop or a crafting station, it can get cold and damp during the winter. You’ll need to think about insulation and weathertightness. Understand that most garage door windows have a thermal resistance of R‑3.6 at the best, and that’s only if you utilize argon-filled, double-paned windows. The garage door itself can offer a thermal resistance of R‑16 if it’s a 1‑3⁄4” model with injected polyurethane insulation.
Will Adding Windows Affect My Lift System?
Yes, you can count on it. This is particularly true if your garage door currently lacks any windows. Remember that glass weighs a great deal, so the more windows you add, the more weight you’re adding to the door, and that’s true whether you have a torsion or extension system. Sure, your garage door opener might be able to lift 250 lbs. without a problem, but that’s not the real issue here.
The problem you’re actually facing is one of imbalance. If the garage door becomes unbalanced, the door will weigh far more than it should. Correctly balanced, it will only weigh about 10 lbs., meaning you can open it with a single hand. However, if it is unbalanced, it can weigh a lot more. It can even overwhelm your opener, meaning that it will come crashing down (potentially causing damage or injury in the process).
To be on the safe side, we recommend that you always work with a professional to make sure that your garage door is completely balanced, and that your garage door opener is not overtaxed.
Uncertain? Overwhelmed? Not Sure Where to Turn?
We can help if you’re feeling a bit out of your depth. This is a big project, and it deserves a lot of careful thought and professional skill. Contact us at any time at 607‑687‑5126. We’re garage door experts, and we’d be happy to explain your options, advise you on how best to proceed, and more. We’d even be happy to send you a quote by email if that works better for you.
Feel free to drop by our showroom to discuss your needs in person. You can also use our design center and check out the window designs available, and how they look on your garage door. If you’re stymied for ideas, hit up our image gallery to see some real-world options.