Can You Add Windows to Garage Doors? (7 Considered Factors)

Can You Add Windows to Garage Doors? (7 Considered Factors)

One of the biggest trends in home renovation is simple but highly effective – adding windows to traditional garage doors.

They look chic and modern, but these small windows have another huge benefit – they can also help transform an often-forgotten part of our homes. With the increased sunlight and ventilation, their potential is limitless.

There are some considerations you must recognize before trying to install these windows. Every garage door is unique, and the type and style of window you want may not be practical or, indeed, possible

This article will explore whether you can (and should) add windows to your garage door. We’ll highlight different concerns you should consider and how to make the best of your newly updated garage doors.

Can you add windows to a garage door?

The short answer is yes – in most cases, you can install windows on your garage door quickly and easily. But to yield the best results for your garage door, there are certain things you need to be mindful of to protect the interior space of your garage and the door itself.

Below are seven essential factors to consider when adding windows to garage doors:

1. Window placement – where do you put the window pane?

One of the most important parts of installing a window into your garage door is figuring out where it should go.

Homeowners often install windows at the top panel of their garage doors, arguably the best spot in most cases. Windows at the top panel allow maximum natural light to enter the room during the day while offering you privacy from the outdoors.

Some homeowners may add windows on the third door panel from the bottom. In this instance, you can still get excellent sunlight levels throughout the day but have a more direct, eye-level view of the outside.

While some people may want windows on the lower panels of the garage door for design reasons, they are generally not that user-friendly. They won’t allow for much (if any) sunlight to come through and are more susceptible to accidental breakage and dirt.

Window placement – where do you put the window pane

2. Extra weight – make sure it can hold

Once you’ve worked out the location of your garage door window, the next step is calculating the additional weight your garage door will have to carry.

Garage doors often operate with a spring system, which can only carry a specific load at any time. This number often includes the weight of the heavy door itself. Adding windows, especially if they are long, wide, or double-paned, can add significant amounts of weight to the springs and can tamper with how well they open and close.

Garage door springs generally can support a 5% weight variance, though some older systems may perform poorer than that. Check your door manufacturer’s guidelines for exact measurements. At any rate, you should aim for windows that weigh no more than 8-10 lbs.

A good test to try is lifting the panes with one hand. If you can’t do so, the pane may be too heavy. Finally, ensure you evenly distribute the row of windows across the garage door. Any imbalance can compromise its ability to open and close and cause the door to slant to one side during operation.

3. Security concerns need to be addressed

While adding more windows to a home allows for more light to enter, they come with safety and privacy concerns that many homeowners need to address and be conscious of.

Windows can invite unwelcomed guests into your home, and any new point of entry, no matter how small or if it opens or closes, should be reinforced and secured. This includes the window frame itself.

Some homeowners may wish to hook their alarm systems to their new garage windows or place them high on the door to prevent a passerby from seeing directly into their home.

If placing windows lower down on the door panels, you might consider frosted or tinted windows. These frosted panes are only on one side of the window, allowing the same sunlight to penetrate through but preventing outsiders from looking in.

4. Weather & insulation

Windows on a garage door can reduce your garage’s energy efficiency, making heating and insulating the room more challenging. And while garages aren’t high on anyone’s priority list to keep warm, they can pose problems, especially if there are many plumbing pipes.

During winter, if your garage is not adequately heated, inside pipes can freeze and burst, causing massive damage and risking flooding. But there are ways to install windows and protect yourself from this risk.

If you live in an area susceptible to harsh frost, you may consider installing double-paned windows. These panes add another layer of insulation to your garage door, limiting heat loss and, when probably sealed, can prevent cold air and moisture from entering through.

You can also place insulation around the window frame (or the entire garage door if need be) to further limit any heat loss in the garage.

Weather & insulation

5. To open or not?

As well as allowing additional sunlight, many homeowners opt to install garage door windows for improved airflow. No matter how small, many modern windows can open up to allow fresh air into the garage.

This is especially useful if you are one of the many homeowners with a workshop in your garage and who often works with chemicals, fumes, paint, or car exhausts. Being able to open the windows can improve not only your comfort but also your safety.

Even if you aren’t in the habit of doing DIY work in your garage, having just one open pane can allow you to regulate heat, humidity, and airflow better than before. It can even open up the opportunity to use the garage as a home gym, office workspace, or playroom in the future.

6. Maintainance

One of the factors which often goes overlooked in installing door windows is that they come with specific maintenance requirements. Glass must be cleaned and replaced if a crack forms.

Inspect the window frame for signs of rot, damage, or warping in the case of wood. Any signs of moisture or unusual levels of grim on your window can be a tell-tale sign that it has slipped out of position or is not sealed correctly and may need replacing or repair work.

7. Design and Style

The final reason to consider garage door windows is the design. Garage door windows are incredibly trendy right now and can reinvent the entire exterior of your home in just one go.

Many retailers sell highly decorative, customizable window panes in different shapes and sizes. Some even come in vertical or curved styles, allowing for some genuinely creative renovations to take place.

Not only that, but garage door windows are an incredible return on investment, increasing your home’s curb appeal and, thus, its potential property value. If you are keen to sell your home in the future, researching modern trends in windows can be well worth your effort. First appearances matter, after all.

Design and Style

How much does installing garage windows cost?

There are two ballpark prices to consider when installing garage door windows. Many DIY kits range between $25-55, though they may require power tools and a degree of skill to work with.

If you hire a professional garage door installer, you can expect to pay between $100-$250 for the window installation.

Conclusion

Cold, dark, and usually used for storage, the garage is often one of the most forgotten rooms of our home. But many homeowners now realize it has enormous potential if you add just one thing – garage door windows.

Not only will garage door windows allow for more daylight to enter, but they can give you viewpoints of the outside, dramatically improve the exterior appearance of your home, and, if they open, can improve airflow in the room.

That said, there are some considerations to factor in. More windows mean you’ll need to ramp up your home security and privacy. If windows are not correctly installed, they can also reduce heat retention in your garage.

Finally, windows will require regular maintenance and cleaning to keep the tip-top shape. But in our opinion, the pros outway the cons, and when done right, a garage door can be the signature feature of your entire home.

If you still have questions about adding a window to your garage door, please leave a comment below. In short, remember:

  • Always ensure the existing garage door can withstand the weight of the window panes.
  • Properly seal windows to prevent moisture and cold drafts from entering.
  • Many garage door windows can improve property values. Opt for modern designs that complement your home’s appearance.

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