Window Dressings

Windows lend an airiness to a garage and are a design feature that can set you apart. But the elements of window design have a tendency to be… shall we say, obscured? There are umpteen different styles, and once you’ve settled on one, you have to choose the glass, if you even go with glass. But wait—you really should be taking R-value into consideration, too, which means you’re now waffling between single-pane and double-pane glass as well.

Despite the dizzying number of options, designing garage door windows is not that complicated and can be easily summed up into three main considerations.

1. Choose The Style and Placement

Window shapes fall into three categories: square, rectangle, and various permutations of an arch. Within these, there are a number of styles including Cathedral (arched), Ruston (ornately arched), Williamsburg (a series of inserts that create one big arch), Stockton (square mullion), Arched Stockton (need we say more?), among others. You can see all of these in this Wayne Dalton brochure.

Window placement can be in one or two rows along the top of your garage door, or in the middle panels as with our Designer Fiberglass Doors. With some panel styles, such as Colonial, Ranch, and Contemporary in the Wayne Dalton Classic Steel Garage Doors (Models 8300-8500), you can have a vertical window placement running down one side for a contemporary look.

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TIP: The garage door you choose can come with a set of window styles, options, and exclusions. Therefore, the best way to narrow down the selection is by first choosing a door that suits your aesthetic and takes the climate of where you live into account. Those window options will not only be pragmatic, you’ll avoid falling in love with a window style that’s not offered.

2. Approach Window Pane Design From 4 Angles

Material:  Are you going with plain glass, tempered, laminated, or acrylic? Acrylic is lightweight, durable, shatter-resistant, a great insulator, and it can be tinted. But, unlike glass, it’s prone to scuffing. Also, not all models offer acrylic windows, but Cornerstone and Gateway Premium Steel Doors by Martin Door are among the ones that do.

Opacity: Glass panes can be frosted, pebbled or otherwise obscured for privacy, and a motif can be etched overtop for added visual appeal. Wayne Dalton Specialty Vinyl Doors offer etching on top of pebbled privacy glass.

Pattern: There are several classic motifs that can be etched onto glass windows, such as Prairie, Diamond, and Eclipse. Or patterns can be created on top of the glass using grid bars. The Wayne Dalton Classic Steel Garage Doors (Models 8300-8500) offer dozens of choices including intricate motifs fashioned from lead and brass. The windows on the Richards-Wilcox Grandview Garage Doors can be embellished with beautiful wrought iron.

Colour: Windows can be tinted green, gray, bronze, and an elegant ‘smoked’ shade. Also, with some garage doors such as the Echo Ridge XL Series, the grid bars used for patterning come in black, almond, charcoal, gold, pewter, brown, and green for a refining detail.

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3. Consider Insulating Factors

If you’ve opted for a garage door with lots of decorative windows, insulating can make a big difference to the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. How well a window controls temperature fluctuations is indicated by its R-value. (Your garage door R-value can work in tandem with the windows to help keep internal temperatures even.)

Double-pane windows are an optimal choice—you can even add argon gas between the two window panes for superior thermal insulation. (Incidentally, this same gas is used to preserve fresh fruit and vegetables). Also, clear glass can be coated with a Low-E metal oxide that repels the sun’s heat while letting in light, making it a nice option for single-pane windows.

Ready To Design?

Visit our virtual Design Centre, an online tool that helps you design, customize, and visualize your ideal garage door. Using a photo of your own home, or one of the provided images, you can get a realistic view of window shapes, styles, placement, colours, effects, and more.

Wondering what your extra-large, double-pane, argon-filled, gold barred windows are going to cost? You might be pleasantly surprised. Request a free quote from any of our eight locations in Western Canada.