July 27, 2018

Pros and Cons of Adding Windows to a Garage Door

Prestige Xl with Novatech door

If you like the overall look of your garage door, but think something is missing, it could be natural light. Are you wondering if you should add decorative windows to improve the look of your garage? There are several pros and cons to consider before you start – but this beautiful and stylish addition to a home is a great way to give your space an instant face lift.

Aesthetic Pros and Cons

One of the big things that convince homeowners to give garage door windows a try is aesthetic appeal. If you have recently renovated your home’s exterior and the garage door is the last project to undertake, this could be a way to give the garage a fresh new look. A more recent and popular trend has seen consumers clamoring for decorative windows that are not only attractive but that coordinate with the windows in their front doors.

Pro: Front door windows and garage door windows can be coordinated. Take a close look at the design of the windows in your house. Are there grids dividing the windows into smaller panes? Companies such as Garaga and Novatech have collections that mimic this grid look so that your garage door windows match the home.

Con: It can be hard to tell what a window can add to the garage door until you’ve already cut the hole and committed to the change. One way to envision the windows better is to check out Design Centres that some garage door manufacturers put at your disposal, like the one from Garaga. You can upload photos of your garage door and see how a window might look with the architectural style of you home.

Practical Pros and Cons

The biggest pro from a practical standpoint that a window offers is all the added natural light in the garage. When you enter the garage, you’ll be able to see your car and supplies more easily without turning on a light, and it just makes the space feel bigger and cleaner.

Con: Having a window in the garage door may make you feel like security and privacy are concerns. If these are high on your list of priorities, don’t worry. There are many ways that garage door companies have come up with to reduce the risk of prying eyes through garage door windows. There is tinted or frosted glass that allows you to see outside if you are in the garage while making it almost impossible to look into the garage from the exterior.

Another Con: Sometimes, windows can have an impact on the insulation and weathertightness of your garage. If you use your garage as a workspace, yet don’t want to be in a cold, damp workshop, this could be a big issue for you. It must be remembered that the thermal resistance of a garage door window is at best R‑3.6 (using Argon‑filled sealed double panes) while the garage door can be up to R‑16 for a 1¾" (45 mm) polyurethane injected model.

How Windows Impact the Lifting System

Yes, adding windows will affect the lifting system, if your garage door doesn’t currently have decorative windows. Depending on its type, either torsion or extension, as well as how old it is, you had better add a few dollars more to the cost of your project in order to adapt everything to this addition to the total weight of the door. However, garage doors with windows already inserted may not have this issue. The best way to get an accurate idea of how much a window addition will cost altogether, is to have a certified garage door specialist inspect your door and the lifting system.

Another thing you may have to change is the garage door opener itself. Yes, it is true to say that a door opener can lift a weight of 230 lb. (115 kg), but an aged spring system could make the entire thing off balance. A correctly balanced door appears to weigh around only 10 lb. (4.5 kg), but an unbalanced door can over tax your opener, and even more importantly, cause a safety hazard. If it isn’t working correctly, it can push down just as much weight as it can lift – meaning you and your loved ones could be in danger.

Still Weighing the Pros and Cons?

It’s totally understandable to be unsure if a garage door window is right for you. We can answer your questions at any time; just contact us at 508-875-3508. We know garage door systems like the backs of our hands and we are able to help you figure out which garage door window, lifting system, or opener is right for you. Ask us how we can send you a quotation by email if you want.

Another option is to come and meet us at our showroom. You can also use our Design Centre to select the window design that suits you best. Lacking ideas? Then peruse our image gallery for some inspiration.

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