Over the years the garage door has evolved from a manually operated device to a motorized device to a device you can control from a smartphone app when you’re halfway around the world. In that time it’s not just the way the door is opened that’s changed but the materials the door is comprised of. For many years after overhead garage doors became commonplace you had your choice of wood panels or… wood panels. That was about it. Thankfully, in the past 20 years or so that’s changed. And in the past decade the pace of change has picked up speed. One of the most startling developments in garage doors lately has been the rise of the all-glass garage door. Below we’ll examine the pros and cons of such a door.
All-Glass Panel Garage Doors: A Closer Look
If you’ve ever seen one of the new all-glass panel garage doors it’s not something you’re likely to forget. They can be visually stunning and add a degree of luster to a house that’s hard to beat. But they’re not without their downside as well. So let’s examine their relative strengths and weaknesses.
Glass Garage Door Pros
- Curb appeal - There’s no doubt about it, if you’re in search of a way to elevate the curb appeal of your home there are few things will ramp it up like installing an all-glass custom garage door. This is without a doubt the number one reason people opt for a glass garage door. In an age where contemporary house designs seem to have lost their way just a bit the glass garage door is a great way to imbue your home with both beauty and gravitas.
- Opening up the garage space - Whether you use it primarily to store your car(s) or have converted it into an office/work space or home gym bringing natural light into the garage is a great way to make it more welcoming. The garage is by nature a fairly dingy place. By installing an all-glass garage door you’ll turn it into a warmer, brighter, more versatile part of the house. One that can be put to good use in myriad ways.
- They’re stronger than you think - Glass door panels today are not made of yesterday’s brittle window panes. They’re often made of tempered glass that is every bit as strong as a wood or aluminum panels. If you’re really into security (and you have the money to spend) you can even have the panels fashioned from bulletproof glass. The point is, the sky’s the limit.
- No painting required, ever - With many types of garage door panels you need to paint or stain them every couple of years. Not so with glass panels. Just make sure to take some glass cleaner and a soft cloth to them every few months and you’re all set. Of course, you’ll still have to have other aspects of the door, like the garage door springs, rollers, hinges and more, maintained on a regular basis. But you can cross “painting the door” off your maintenance checklist.
Glass Garage Door Cons
Now that we’ve listed some of the many benefits of all-glass garage doors let’s look as some of the disadvantages of this type of overhead door.
- Weight - Make no mistake, all those glass panels weigh quite a bit. As such if you’re retrofitting your current door with glass panels you’ll likely have to install a more powerful garage door opener as well. You may also need more robust torsion or extension garage door springs. While these changes aren’t all that difficult to do they will increase the cost of the project.
- Expense - High quality tempered glass panels are not cheap. If you want them to be frameless and perhaps have a mirrored exterior so people can’t see in, it’s going to increase the cost even more. If you want them tinted, that’s going to increase the cost. If you want an evocative design etched onto the glass that will increase the cost. You get the idea. The bottom line is that glass panels are a luxury and luxury is almost never cheap.
- Limited applicability - Glass garage doors might look great on a contemporary minimalist house but they’re going to look more than a little out of place on your bungalow or your Victorian. Therefore you need to think long and hard about whether a glass door will dovetail with the rest of your home’s exterior before you plunk down the money to have one installed.
- Lack of insulation - One of the big advantages of hollow panel aluminum, steel or fiberglass garage doors is that they can be filled with insulation. Insulated garage doors help to keep your garage warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. With all-glass panels you lose this insulation. Unless of course you opt for double pane glass panels. In which case you’ll retain much of that insulation capability but you’ll also increase the cost of the project.
As you can see there are compelling arguments on both sides of the glass garage door argument. Which side you come down on will depend in large part on the style of your house, you’re personal tastes and your budget. If you would like to learn more about glass garage doors call the pros at A Better Garage Door today. They’ll give you the rundown on all your options and help you decide which is best for your home.