One of the best ways to upgrade your garage is to install windows, either in the garage door, or the walls themselves.
Many garages might have a window or two at the back or the sides to allow for natural light, but you could improve your home’s aesthetics and bring even more natural light to the space.
Should a Garage Have Windows?
Most homeowners think they shouldn’t have windows to make their garages more secure. They’re afraid burglars can easily break in, so they avoid installing them altogether.
However, good-quality windows will keep your garage secure, even making it impossible to open when locked.
Windows made from frosted glass are an excellent example because they allow light into the garage without providing an easy view.
You can install locks on the windows to prevent burglars from opening them outside. Alternatively, add curtains, blinds, or tint to obscure one’s view into the garage when away from home.
Be sure to choose the windows’ location carefully too. Adding a window to the garage door may provide easy access to your garage, so you want to avoid these areas. The side or the back wall are great places to install garage windows as they’re almost inaccessible, and they create a homey feel similar to a regular room in a house.
However, the installation process takes a bit of effort because you need to cut through the wall. The placement can also enhance or compromise security. Windows placed in the higher sections of the garage panels make it difficult for burglars to access while allowing lots of natural light into the garage.
What Are the Different Types of Garage Windows?
Garage windows play a critical role in a home’s appearance, especially if the garage makes up the first part of your home. As such, it’s essential to consider a few factors when choosing them.
Before looking at the different types of garage windows available, we explain some factors you should consider:
Type of Glass
The type of glass determines a home’s aesthetics and privacy. If you don’t want neighbors peeking into your garage, look for windows made from obscure glass, but if you’re big on decorative windows, it’s best to buy those made from translucent glass. Here are different types of glass windows:
- Tempered glass: This is a type of safety glass which if broken, breaks into small chunks that you can pick up easily
- Double pane glass: This kind is a combination of different glass types. It has better insulation and reduces the appearance of condensation between glass panels.
- Patterned glass: It has a flat surface and a patterned surface that creates a blurry image when you look through. Patterned glass obscures the interior of a space, making it a perfect choice for those who want to safeguard privacy without losing natural light. There are different glass patterns, and each has unique aesthetics depending on a home’s architectural style.
- Frosted glass: This type has an etched pattern to create a misty appearance. Frosted glass is similar to patterned glass, except it doesn’t have a single pattern on the entire surface. Some parts are transparent, and others are partially veiled.
- Tinted glass: It’s any glass with added pigments. Metallic oxides like cobalt, iron, or selenium oxide are added to create a translucent color to the glass and achieve shades of green, blue, gray, or bronze. The aesthetic options are infinite, but homeowners prefer windows with homogenous colors to match a home’s other architectural elements when it comes to garage windows. It’s best to request samples before buying tinted glass windows because the glass thickness, reflection intensity, tint color, among other factors, can distort the appearance of the glass color.
- Mirror glass: This type has a mirror on one side and is transparent on the other. It’s a great option if you want privacy and wants to see the outdoors clearly. It also reflects light keeping the garage cool on hot days. You may need to hang curtains if installing mirror glass because it becomes transparent when the light intensity is higher indoors than outside.
The window styles and the finishing also play a critical role. If you want to keep it simple, standard windows like the double-hung and casement windows are suitable. However, you can choose a style that compliments your home’s window design.
Design and Aesthetic Appeal
Decorative windows are a popular option for regular windows and can bring together the look of a garage too.
It will help if you look for windows that complement the windows at the front part of the house. You must also consider the window design of a home. If there’s a specific design you desire, ensure it matches your home’s windows.
You want to cut back on utility bills beyond choosing windows that allow as much natural light. Adding windows already reduces energy costs, but looking for energy-efficient windows is crucial.
Nowadays, garage windows come with improved protections against UV rays using different materials, films, low-emissive coatings, and glazes. The type of glass used to make the windows also plays a critical role in its energy efficiency.
Heavy windows like double-paned windows, for example, are more energy-efficient than single-paned windows. Additional glass sheets create air pockets between the layers, preventing air from entering or escaping to enhance insulation. Other features of an energy-efficient window are:
- Low-E glass coating: The coating controls how heat energy from the sun flows. An exterior Low-E coating prohibits heat from entering a home but allows the sun’s rays to pass through
- Window spacers: The distance between glass panes enhances insulation and improves energy efficiency
- Window gas fills: Energy-efficient windows also have gas fills between the window panes to insulate the home windows better. Some of these gasses include krypton and argon.
The primary benefit of installing garage windows is to allow more natural light into the space. As such, you don’t need to rely on lighting fixtures much except at night. This feature is very convenient during the day when you need to store or grab something quickly.
You also don’t want to sacrifice any privacy for natural light. Frosted, patterned, and tinted glass windows are great examples of windows with a good balance of natural light and privacy. You get light and aesthetic without compromising on privacy.
Look at the windows’ impact resistance if living in a storm-prone area. You don’t want to replace garage windows every time the storm hits.
Having acquainted yourself with critical factors for picking garage windows, you’re ready to compare the different garage windows available:
They are a staple in many properties as they perfectly strike a balance between function and class. Casement windows open outward and sideways on a vertical axis which is great for garages that need lots of ventilation.
Casement windows also compliment other window styles, meaning that you can mix and match casement windows with picture or double-hung windows.
And if you’re worried about security, casement windows shut on all the sides, making it difficult for burglars to enter a home. Even if a burglar broke the glass, it’s difficult to reach into the crank.
These are large windows with a single pane not broken up by lines to give a clear view of the surroundings without obstructions. You can’t open picture windows, making them more suitable for well-ventilated garages. In addition, they have a fixed-pane construction that makes them highly energy-efficient.
They are cost-effective and come in different colors, sizes, and materials. Double-hung windows open by raising or lowering the window’s sash, which is the main difference between them and single-hung windows.
They have two operating sashes that move up and down to allow air to flow on the top, bottom, or both parts of the window frame. This opening and closing mechanism also provide better ventilation.
Double-hung windows also consist of different materials, mainly tempered glass and insulated Low E glass. Tempered glass is more durable and tolerates impact more effectively than regular glass.
On the other hand, insulated low-E glass windows are more energy-efficient. They have argon gas trapped between two or three panes of glass layers. This construction creates highly insulated windows that can store heat and help cool a space.
This type of window is similar to casement windows, except that it opens upward. This opening mechanism makes them suitable for cramped spaces and provides weatherproofing. If there’s light rain or wind, the window prevents water from getting into your garage.
Awning windows can be installed higher up the walls than other window types providing ample ventilation and privacy.
They are similar to picture windows, except you can open them to allow ventilation. Gliding windows have large glass areas with a sash that operates horizontally to allow top or bottom ventilation. The opening and closing mechanisms are the easiest to use among window types.
Gliding windows are an excellent choice if energy efficiency and lighting are critical factors. They come with high-quality window glazing that offers superior thermal insulation. The expansive glass panels allow lots of natural light, illuminating the garage.
Another benefit of installing gliding doors is that they don’t need much maintenance. They have fewer parts hence more durable and easy to maintain in the long run.
Advantages of Garage Windows
Still skeptical about installing garage windows? The following advantages may convince you:
1. Add Natural Light
Natural light is an essential part of any space, including a garage. Installing windows goes a long way in adding natural light to the garage, especially for homeowners using the space as an office or working on a project.
Windowless garages can get damp and musky due to rainwater collecting and vehicles bringing melting snow into the space. Windows allow light into the garage, which helps to minimize dampness.
2. Boosts a Home’s Curb Appeal
The windows enhance a home’s curb appeal making the garage feel part of a home. Picture windows improve aesthetics by providing a continuous view of the outdoors. Dormers also help dress up a garage while allowing lots of light into the space.
3. Enhance Ventilation
Garage windows enhance ventilation which is critical to keeping a space fresh and free from toxic fumes.
Efficient window ventilation is essential in garages since vehicles, paints, chemicals, and other harmful products get stored in the space. Even two windows provide adequate ventilation as air flows from one window to another.
Additionally, it’s much harder to cool a room that doesn’t have any windows.
4. Create a Seamless Look
Adding matching windows creates a seamless look between your home and the garage. You don’t want the windows to appear tacked into the property. If you can’t find matching windows, install casement windows.
Disadvantages of Garage Windows
Even with so many advantages, garage windows still presents some drawbacks you should be wary about:
1. Privacy is Compromised
Privacy is one drawback that deters many homeowners from installing garage windows, but it depends on the property setup. If your home is close to a busy street, the windows might attract prying eyes.
Installing windows made from frosted or tinted glass may solve the problem because they minimize visibility while allowing light into a space.
2. Security Hazard
Security concerns are a common reason why some homeowners avoid installing garage windows. However, most modern windows have the necessary safety features. You can also reinforce them with grills and bars to restrict unwanted access.
The insulation of some garage sections reduces as soon as you install the windows. It may be a concern if planning to move an office or gym into the garage. That’s why it’s essential to look for highly insulated garage windows like double-hung windows. Proper installation also goes a long way in enhancing insulation.
4. Water damage
If the garage windows are not correctly installed, your garage may develop water damage. The holes cut through the walls create an opportunity for water to seep through. Having a professional install the windows goes a long way in avoiding such a problem.