How Garage Windows Can Transform Your Home From Simple to Stunning

One of the best ways to upgrade your garage is to install windows 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. Still, you could improve your home’s aesthetics and bring even more natural light to the garage.


Why Add Windows In Your Garage?

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 tints 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, creating a homey feel similar to a regular room in a house. 

However, the installation process requires 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.

Garage with windows

Choosing Windows for Garage Walls

Garage windows play a critical role in a home’s appearance, especially if the garage makes up the first part of your home. 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. Still, if you’re a fan of decorative windows, buying those made from translucent glass is best. Here are different types of glass windows:

  • Tempered glass: This is a type of safety glass that, 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 and patterned surface that creates a blurry image when you look through it. 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 has no single design 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 colors that match a home’s other architectural elements for garage windows. It’s best to request samples before buying tinted glass windows because the glass thickness, reflection intensity, and 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 want 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.

Style

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 you desire a specific design, ensure it matches your home’s windows.

Energy Efficiency

You want to reduce utility bills beyond choosing windows that allow as much natural light as possible. Adding windows already lowers energy costs, but looking for energy-efficient windows is crucial. 

Nowadays, garage windows have improved protection 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. 

For example, heavy windows like double-paned windows are more energy-efficient than single ones. 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.

Natural Light

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 when you need to store or grab something quickly during the day.

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.

Impact Resistance

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.


Types of Garage Windows

Having acquainted yourself with critical factors for picking garage windows, you’re ready to compare the different garage windows available:

Casement Windows

They are a staple in many properties as they perfectly balance function and class. Casement windows open outward and sideways on a vertical axis, which is great for garages requiring lots of ventilation.

Casement windows also complement other window styles, meaning you can mix and match casement windows with picture or double-hung garage windows.

And if you’re worried about security, casement windows shut on all sides, making it difficult for burglars to enter a home. Even if a burglar broke the glass, reaching into the crank is difficult.

Picture Windows

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.

Double-Hung Windows

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 provides better ventilation.

Double-hung windows also contain 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.

Awning Windows

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.

Gliding Windows

They are similar to picture windows, except you can open them to allow ventilation. Gliding windows have large glass areas with a horizontal sash to allow top or bottom ventilation. The opening and closing mechanisms are the easiest to use among window types.

Gliding garage 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, making them more durable and easy to maintain in the long run.


Great Reasons to Install Garage Windows

Still skeptical about installing garage windows? The following advantages may convince you:

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.

Boosts 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.

Improved 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 are stored there. Even two windows provide adequate ventilation as air flows from one window to another. 

Additionally, it’s much harder to cool a room with no windows.

Create a Seamless Look With Your Home

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.  


Why You Shouldn’t Install Garage Windows

Even with so many advantages, garage windows still present some drawbacks you should be wary of:

Limited Privacy

Privacy is one drawback that deters many homeowners from installing garage windows, but it depends on the property set up. The windows might attract prying eyes if your home is close to a busy street. 

Installing windows made from frosted or tinted glass may solve the problem because they minimize visibility while allowing light into a space.

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.

Insulation

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 looking for highly insulated garage windows like double-hung windows is essential. Proper installation also goes a long way in enhancing insulation.

Water Damage

If the garage windows are not correctly installed, your garage may develop water damage. The holes cut through the walls, allowing water to seep through. Having a professional install the windows goes a long way in avoiding such a problem.


Wrapping It Up

Installing windows in your garage can greatly improve its appearance and functionality by letting in natural light and enhancing ventilation. While there are clear benefits like better aesthetics and energy efficiency, there are also potential drawbacks such as security and privacy issues. However, these challenges can be managed with the right type of glass, appropriate window styles, and correct placement. If you’re considering this upgrade, research and consult professionals to ensure a secure and beneficial installation.

Photo of author

Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including BobVila.com, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.