When you see a glass garage door, it’s hard to see regular garage doors the same way.
We don’t have anything against more traditional garage doors… in fact, we recommend and install them all the time. But just look at a few of the ones we’ve done for our customers here in Utah:
Although we use the term “glass garage doors” frequently, it is a bit of a misnomer. These doors aren’t just made of glass–they’re usually an aluminum frame with glass inserts, though some options may be available for steel. Most suppliers have a specific product line for the style and use that in their terminology, such as Vista by Amarr, Athena by Martin Door, Avante by Clopay, and Modern Classic by Northwest Door.
If you’re considering a glass garage door for your home, there are some advantages and disadvantages to carefully consider.
Pros of Glass Garage Doors
- Natural light. Dark spaces are more difficult to work in, and garages often don’t have enough natural or artificial light. Having a floor-to-ceiling series of windows really helps to let in more light, and frosted, tinted, or mirror glass can allow light in while still maintaining privacy.
- Design choices. Although glass garage doors might seem like the sort of thing that can only be pulled off with a modern home, they are more versatile than you might think. Door manufacturers provide a range of colors, finishes, and patterns to choose from that look great with other styles of homes as well.
- Curb appeal and resale value. Front-facing garage doors are one of the more prominent, noticeable features of a home, taking up as much as 40% of the facade. Glass garage doors really give a “wow” factor to a home’s overall aesthetic, especially when indoor lighting is used to highlight the feature. It also helps that a new garage door is one of the best cost/value remodel projects you can make to improve the value of your home.
- Versatility. Overhead glass doors aren’t just popular in garages–they can also be used in clever ways to enhance a mixed-use space. At our headquarters in Sandy, Utah, we use a glass door to divide our conference space from our call center to keep the noise levels down for everyone and still allow natural light.
Cons of Glass Garage Doors
- Cost. Although the exact amount varies depending on what you’re comparing it to, the bottom line is that you can expect a glass garage door to cost roughly twice as much as a regular steel garage door. This is mostly due to the materials and manufacturing processes used to create the doors, plus the extra care in delivery and installation.
- Insulation. Even with insulated glass, windows are less energy efficient than traditional materials. And although windows allow heat via solar radiation (light) to enter in, this may or may not be desirable depending on your climate. This can be minimized by using a mirror or tint finish on the glass.
- Care and cleaning. Every garage door needs a good cleaning every now and again, but large glass windows can collect dust and dirt on the outside and look very dirty very quickly, especially with a mirror or tint finish. In most cases, a quick rinse with soap and water will do the trick.
- Impact resistance. Where steel and other metals tend to dent or bend, glass is more likely to break. While the tempered glass does not pose an additional safety hazard (it breaks without shattering into pieces, like a windshield), it may be more susceptible to physical collisions such as small animals, baseballs or basketballs, and so on.
Alternatives to Full Glass Garage Doors
Although glass garage doors may be prohibitively pricey depending on your budget, there are several alternatives that are more affordable and offer many of the benefits without some of the disadvantages.
Single Panel Windows
One of the more practical ways to allow more light into a garage without breaking the bank is to have a row of windows on a single panel. This allows a good amount of daytime light without all of the extra cost of full glass. Plus, the options for color, shape, and window finish offer a lot of choices for just about any type of home. Windows are most commonly placed on the top panel, but can also be positioned lower for practical or aesthetic purposes, such as when an archway would partially cover up the top panel.
Flush Panels with Side Windows
While perhaps not as modern as full glass doors, a flush (flat) panel with side windows can really update the look of a home quickly. We love the way these look and recommend them highly to our customers.
For a look with more variety, some manufacturers also will do a mixed window arrangement. This typically works best with short panels along with a window style and door color that complement the home well. When implemented properly, this style really stands out.
Glass Garage Door Installation Services in Utah
If you’re interested in any of the options we’ve covered above and are located in any of our service areas in northern Utah, we’d love to take a look at your project and provide a free estimate for a new garage door.