Can Windows Be Installed in an Existing Garage Door?

Homeowners often ask if windows can be installed in their existing garage door. Replacing a modern garage door system can be expensive, so this is an interesting question. But yes, you can install garage door windows in your existing door. They’re one of the best custom garage door features you can add.

Garage door windows have a visual appeal that makes them popular. They can help boost the curb appeal of your home and let natural light into your garage (providing warmth and brightness that reduces reliance on electric heating and lighting). But if your garage door doesn’t have windows, how do you enjoy these benefits?

Considerations for Installing Windows in Your Garage Door

If you are thinking of retrofitting your existing garage door with windows, here are some of the most important factors to consider:

  • The Type/Brand/Dimensions of the Door: Windows are a common feature on Victorian, Georgian, Colonial, Edwardian, and some contemporary garage doors. The brand of garage door is important. Windows are more suited for some door makes and models than others. Depending on the brand, dimensions, thickness, and features like embossed motifs or deep grooves, you may not be able to install windows in the door.
  • Window Placement: Think about why you’re installing windows on your garage door. Windows on the upper section let in plenty of daylight but also maintain security. It’s much harder for curious onlookers to peek into your garage—unless they’re extremely tall. The third section of your garage door (from the bottom) is a good place for windows if you want the ability to look in and out.
  • Privacy: No matter where you place garage door windows, you can install frosted glass that lets in light but doesn’t let one distinguish what’s on the other side. Or, two-way mirror glass can be installed so you can look out but not see in. Textured, opaque, and other glass styles are also available.
  • Glass Features: The window glass may be plain and simple or add detail to enhance the garage door’s overall design. Glass can be tempered or laminated to increase safety in case it breaks. Insulated glass can help retain heat or keep it out to improve comfort and efficiency.
  • Style of Your Home and Its Windows: The windows on your garage door should complement the style of the windows on the front facade of your house. Square-shaped garage door windows may not pair well with arched or oval-shaped glass on your front door. The resulting contrast would look strange. It’s best to use shapes, designs, and patterns that are already in your home. Try to create a sense of harmony.
  • Spring Balance: Adding windows to your garage door changes the balance of its weight. Therefore, the spring system can be thrown off balance. Garage door spring systems are calibrated to allow for about a 5% variance in weight. Any significant changes can strain the garage door opener, so you need to change the spring system if you’re installing windows on your garage door.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Types of Windows Are Used for Garage Doors?

Small areas of glass installed as inserts are called garage door lites. Mimicking older window styles, these divide a large pane of glass into smaller parts. There are also lites that are separated by their own structural frame. However, larger areas of glass can be used with garage doors; if desired, a large glass pane can be divided into lites using decorative elements.

Can Garage Door Windows Be Replaced?

Replacing windows on a garage door not originally built with them can be a complex undertaking. It’s easier to replace windows on a door that was originally designed with glass inserts or grilles. Consult with the door manufacturer to learn about your options.

What Window Styles Are Available for Garage Doors?

Garage door windows generally come in a square or rectangular style with a 90-degree angle in each corner, or arched style windows with bottom corners at 90 degrees and top corners with sharper angles. Arched windows are sometimes placed above square windows.

Contact Mesa Garage Doors

As Southern California’s leading garage door company, we offer many garage door products with window features. We have highly experienced installers and repair technicians. While garage door windows can be installed in doors that were originally built without them, it’s best to consult a professional familiar with garage door design and the many options available on the market. To learn more or receive a free new door or repair estimate, call (800) 893-1107 today.