Increasingly, new homes are being built that have modern or contemporary styles. These styles of home lend themselves well to all-glass garage doors like those seen on bars and restaurants. Along with complementing the home style, the use of these doors gives architects and designers another method of maximizing the daylight entering the living room or kitchen from an outdoor living space, just as is done with windows and patio doors.
An important point to note: these doors are not insulated and due to their large window surface, their thermal resistance or R‑value, is around R‑2. If the thermal resistance or insulating factor is important to you, then opt for a garage door with no windows.
But are these doors safe? What should you check before buying this type of garage door? Depending on its location and use, it’s important to check several points. For instance, your plan is to set up an outdoor patio area with a closed section near your pool, and you would like to install one or more all-glass garage doors which you can close when the weather cools off.
Check the types of glass that are available for the door
The windows that come with most garage doors use
standard glass, either single or double pane. This type of glass is like what is found in house windows, entry doors and patio doors.
If you opt for an all-windowed garage door, ask for tempered glass. If broken, tempered glass breaks like a car window, meaning in many small pieces. Standard glass, on the other hand, breaks into large, sharp pieces, just like a drinking glass, that could seriously injure someone.
A double pane window, also called themopane, can be tempered on only one side, instead of both, usually the one on the inside of the door. This means that, for example, when the door is in the open position and you accidently hit the window with a ladder, only the interior pane will break, falling in many small, safer pieces.
Tempered glass comes in clear, tinted, frosted or colored (blue or gray).
Are there other types of windows that are safer?
You can use a polycarbonate window, also known as LEXANTM. It has a fluted structure and is about 5⁄8 inch (16 mm) thick. Being made of plastic, it is very shock resistant. However, it is translucent, not transparent like standard glass. It comes in clear or bronze.
Are there other features that I should check?
The construction of the door itself is important. This type of door is made with aluminum extrusions and the door is 1 ¾" (45 mm) thick. Be sure to choose a door where the extrusions around the perimeter of the door are at least 6" (152 mm) wide. As well, note that if the door you choose has double-pane (thermopane) windows, the total weight can be considerable. For instance, for a 14' x 7' (4.3 x 2.1m) door, the total weight is around 350 lb. (159 kg).
Ensure that your hardware system corresponds to the weight of the door and that it is solidly built, like one for a restaurant or bar. For wider doors, it is suggested to use heavy-duty commercial hardware.
Lastly, if your layout is for a garage-like or indoor/outdoor space with a sloping roof or cathedral ceiling, the door track system can follow this slope and be hidden in ceiling. Despite this slope, you can use an electric garage door opener and equip it with two automatic reversal systems for maximum safety.
Call a garage door specialist
Feel free to contact us. Our experienced sales staff can guide you in your purchase of this type of door, working with the amount you have budgeted for this project.