Whether you’re investing in a new garage door or adding a garage to your house, adding windows to your door is an important decision. There are many considerations when deciding whether to add windows to your garage doors, particularly safety.
Windows in garage doors are generally safe, depending on your neighborhood. There are also customizable options that lower the risk of a break-in, including frosted windows and shades.
There are several pros and cons to adding windows to your garage doors. If you decide to go with windows, there are several considerations and tips to find the right garage door, from tinted windows to how to match your house’s exterior design.
Garage Door Windows are a Low-Security Threat
The security concerns with garage door windows arise with the ability for thieves to see inside your garage. Determined thieves may even break one of the windows and override the garage door lock or opener. Despite these speculations, windows in garage doors are safer than the windows in your house.
Most garage door windows are high enough that it’s tough to see inside. Suppose you live in a safe neighborhood with a low crime rate, no need to worry. The likelihood of garage door windows affecting your home’s security is minimal at best. However, if you’re concerned, there are ways to increase security while still reaping the benefits of a windowed garage door.
How to Increase Security with Garage Door Windows
Whether you live in a safe neighborhood or consider your street dangerous, there are several ways to increase security while owning a garage door with windows. Keep in mind that garage door windows are very tiny, and thieves will likely have a hard time squeezing into them to break into your garage.
Go for the Frosted or Tinted Glass
When installing a new garage door, you can opt for frosted or tinted windows. Frosted glass hinders the ability for anyone to see inside, keeping your belongings safe. They also add a relaxed look and feel to your garage door aesthetic!
Tinted glass not only keeps unwanted eyes out, but it also helps with sun glare. They save energy by letting in light but blocking UV rays. Because of tinted windows’ ability to block harmful sun rays, it’ll keep furniture and upholstery in the garage from fading.
Consider Adding Curtains
Curtains or blinds are an easy, inexpensive way to ensure privacy in your garage. Garage door and window companies can customize blinds that will fit the size and shape of your windows. Vinyl shutters are the most popular; the material is extremely durable and will last for years. Metal or vinyl blinds are also durable and add a great style to your garage’s interior.
Lock Up Your Valuables
Whether you have the world’s most expansive tool bench or piles of sports equipment laid out in your garage, it’s best always to lock up anything valuable. Keep tools and objects you treasure in lockboxes or storage containers and away from windows. Lock up valuables even if you do purchase frosted glass windows for your garage doors.
Install a Security System
A security system for your garage – and home in general – is recommended whether you live in a safe area or not. Install a system that will notify you and a security company if the door is opened or a window was broken while you’re away.
Install Deadbolts on All Doors Leading into the Garage
Sturdy locks and strong deadbolts on doors leading out of the garage and into your home, basement, or outside are essential. Also, a reliable security system will keep you and your family feeling safe and secure.
Pros and Cons of Windows in Garage Doors
Windows in garage doors add a pleasing, elegant look to your house. But do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages? Consider the following pros and cons when deciding on getting garage doors with windows:
|Add natural light to your garage||Windows add on the cost|
|Windows add curb appeal||Glass is breakable|
Pro: Add Natural Light to Your Garage
If you spend a lot of time in your garage working with tools, fixing up bikes, etc., natural light from garage door windows can add a warm and cheery feeling to the garage. You won’t have to open the doors to let in light, which not only saves the doors from a lot of wear and tear, but the garage will stay a little warmer in the colder months while still giving you great light.
You won’t have to turn on the light while getting something out of the garage during the day. You’ll notice significant energy savings because of your garage door windows. The natural light is also a lot more appealing than drab fluorescents.
Con: Windows Add on the Cost
Getting new garage doors is already a costly endeavor, and adding windows makes the cost go up. The price isn’t exponentially higher, but it might affect your decision if you’re working on a tight budget.
Pro: Windows Add Curb Appeal
If you’re giving your home a facelift, garage door windows will add an aesthetic appeal and make your home look great. It provides old garages a fresh look. You can even coordinate your garage door windows with your home’s windows’ style to add a seamless touch.
Con: Glass is Breakable
Like any window, the glass on a garage door window is breakable. This isn’t just a security concern but might cause worry over bad weather, kids playing baseball or basketball outside, and other factors. Fortunately, glass windows are easy to get fixed.
Choosing the Right Garage Doors
So you’ve decided to get new garage doors with windows. But where to start? The perfect garage door style will transform your home’s look and make it the envy of your neighbors. Use these tips to get the right garage doors for your home:
Decide on the Overall Material
Did you know garage doors come in a variety of materials? The most popular is steel because they are low maintenance and the least expensive. They’re also more insulated, making them reasonably energy efficient.
Aluminum is a cheap, lightweight option that’s rust-resistant (ideal if you leave near the ocean). However, aluminum garage doors are a dent magnet, and the slightest bump might cause the most unsightly blemish.
You can’t go wrong with the rustic beauty of wood garage doors, but big money investments often go along with them. Wood garage doors need repainting every few years, and you must continually check for potential wood rot.
Consider the Door’s Insulation
Do you plan on spending a lot of time in your garage? You may want to get a higher insulated door that will keep the garage warm on cold nights. The R-value defines a garage door’s insulation and energy efficiency values.
The higher the R-value, the more insulated the door. Higher insulated garage doors are more expensive, so if you live in a warmer climate, you don’t need to worry about investing in a higher insulated garage door.
Consider Weather Effects
Do you live in an area with a lot of extreme weather? Suppose your region is prone to hurricane-force winds or damaging tornadoes. In that case, you may want to look into a wind-rated garage door. Wind damage often destroys garage doors, so a door that meets wind load reinforcement requirements will ensure your house is safe.
Coordinating Your Garage Door with Your Home’s Exterior
Coordinating the garage door’s style with the rest of your home may be the most important decision you have to make. You don’t want your garage to clash with your home. Fortunately, companies offer a variety of prefinished colors that will match most homes. If you’re feeling like a DIY project, you can even paint or stain the door yourself with a custom color.
Online visualization tools are available on many garage door company sites. This tool allows you to digitally visualize what different garage door styles will look like on your home before actually investing in them.
Selecting a Complementing Style
The garage door style should complement the rest of your home’s exterior design. If your home’s style is more contemporary, you most likely want aluminum and glass garage doors. If your home is a Colonial style, you can’t go wrong with a carriage style for your garage doors. Choose the type of door carefully to match your home and enhance its curb appeal.
Windows or No Windows?
If you’ve decided to go against windows, there won’t be much else to consider here in terms of design. If you already have a garage door with no windows, it might be challenging to visualize what a completely new style would look like. Using an online visualization tool and playing with different styles will help you see the potential in adding windows to your garage doors.
If you’re pro-garage door windows, there are several considerations:
Type of Glass and Overall Quality
As with any window, you’re adding to your home. There are a variety of glass types available. Keep in mind that it’s best to get glass windows for your garage door. While they might break from bad weather or a stray ball, materials like acrylic scratch easily and don’t last very long.
You can opt for standard, transparent windows. If you like your privacy, you can get opaque windows or have them frosted – or tinted. If you want to add some style to your windows, you can get seeded or rain glass.
Research different materials that will be used to make the window frames. The best material is polypropylene. Its color doesn’t fade, and it keeps its shape. If you need insulation in your garage, make sure to get double panes, called “thermo panes.” A single pane doesn’t keep the cold air and harsh weather out.
Coordination with Home Windows and Entry Door
Keep the shapes and styles of other windows in your house in mind. If you have very rectangular windows, don’t choose a garage door with half-circle windows. If you have tall, arching windows, choose garage doors with windows with a similar style.
Garage door windows and the overall style is very customizable. If you get decorative window inserts, you can even remove them for cleaning. You can also customize your door and put the windows on any section you desire. Want windows on the bottom section for a funky, modern feel? It’s possible!
If you live in a high-wind area, there are options to get glass designed to withstand extreme weather. If you live in the mountains, you can even choose a high-altitude glass that will equalize pressure above 5,000 feet.
Can I Add Windows to an Existing Garage Door?
While it is possible to install windows on your current garage door, it’s highly recommended to replace the entire door if you want windows. Adding windows affects the door’s weight, causing damage to the springs and creating issues with electronic door openers.
It also might be difficult to match colors. If your garage door is a few years old, you may notice color fading from being exposed to sunlight over the years. A brand-new color on the section you’re replacing will not match.
Compare Prices and Get a Warranty
Once you’ve decided on the style and materials you want for your garage door, and whether you’re adding windows, it’s time to shop! Don’t go for the first door, you see that matches your needs because other companies might have the same qualities for a lower price. This is an essential part of your home, so it’s necessary to take the time to choose right.
Local dealers may quote you differently than prices you’ll see at home improvement stores. Often, salespeople will even match a store’s price if you find a lower cost of the same garage door.
Don’t forget to inquire about a warranty, either. Some garage door companies have extended warranties, while others are shorter – many times, it depends on the material used to build the door. Don’t forgo a warranty, because you never know what might happen.
Garage door windows are safer than you might think. They’re typically placed high, so it’s hard to see in them (especially if you get opaque or tinted windows). You can add a security system and lock up your valuables to ensure security as well.
Adding windows to your garage doors adds an aesthetic appeal that improves the overall look of your house. The numerous customizable garage doors’ options make it easy to match the style with your home’s exterior color and window shape and style.