What You NEED to Know Before Buying a Full-View Garage Door

All-glass panoramic view garage doors are an amazing innovation in interior design. You might have seen them used instead of walls in restaurants, or in pool houses for easy access to the water, or even in living room designs on Instagram or Pinterest. Now, you’re convinced and would love to see one in your home.

This full-view California garage door between the living room and the outside swimming pool creates a wonderful indoor / outdoor space.

Look at this stunning California full-view double garage door. The aluminum frame in black really adds an industrial flair to this comfy livening space, making it the focal point of the room. If you don’t like how the shining hardware stands out from the frame, you can choose black hardware for a more streamlined look!

Ah yes, the full glass California garage door will open up your home to the beautiful view just outside like you’ve been dreaming of. Wherever you want to install this scene-stealing garage door, there are some things you need to know before you jump in on this major commitment.

Here are 3 things you NEED to know before buying this garage door for your garage or living space.

Number 1: The Frame is Aluminum

Each garage door is made of different materials and, according to AZO Matering, the great things about aluminum frames are:

  • That aluminum is lightweight. More so than steel or wood. This means that the garage door springs, which lift the door, won’t have to be as strong.
  • Aluminum is resistant to corrosion. Because aluminum generates a thin oxide coating, the material is resistant to corrosive environmental factors. This makes the California-style garage door, or any garage door with an aluminum frame, the best choice for beach houses near corrosive saltwater or lake houses.
  • Aluminum is excellent at reflecting light and heat. In the summertime, the aluminum frame will reflect hot air away from your home. This makes the room cooler. However, if you have a garage door that faces the sun for most of the day, know that the intense sunlight will likely mitigate that benefit.

While these are the good aspects of aluminum garage door frames, there are also some negative aspects.

Did you know that Aluminum is a great thermal conductor?

While that means it’s great for keeping a space cooler, it's not so great if you live in a cold climate. In winter, the aluminum garage door frame may make your home colder.

An illustration of houses, one of them having a scarf, they other seem to envy it

While the beauty of this door might be worth an extra blanket in the winter, if you choose to have an aluminum door frame, you must know that this door does not have a high R-value. That's the number used to rate home insulation.

This means you will choose the look over the possible energy savings.

This will not be a slight loss of insulation. We usually recommend that a heated garage that’s attached to the house, where the temperature is kept at 46 and 50℉, has a garage door that’s rated with an R-12 value or higher. Then, with a building that has an R-16 construction rating, the garage will be highly effective at reducing power bill costs.

This is in a room that doesn’t receive a lot of heating or cooling. So, imagine the costs if a lower-rated full view garage door was all that stood between your living or dining room, heated around 72℉ and the outside.

A boho kitchen with a California full-view garage door with a Nature layout, White frame color, and Clear Windows

Even though winter can’t get much colder than in North of Quebec, Canada, this doesn’t mean you can’t install a California full-view garage door in your home. The white color and crystalline windows bring in so much natural light and let this homeowner enjoy their patio space, even in winter!

Not everywhere gets buried in snow over the winter. And you may not have concerns about your energy bills because you offset the cost of your central heating and cooling in other ways, like with wood or solar panels. Or, and we don’t shame you for this, you love the look of these California-style doors so much, you just don’t care about the extra cost.

In the end, the look should be king, but it’s important to be aware of these aspects of the design before committing to it.

Number 2: The Windows Might Fog

You might have seen it happen before on other windows in your home as the weather gets colder. The windows start fogging up like crazy! A full glass garage door will not be immune to this effect.

So, what causes this fog, which is really just condensation?

Condensation forms at any time of year when warm, humid air contacts a cold surface. You’ll commonly see this phenomenon occur on the outside of a glass with ice in it on a hot day.

A picture of heart drawing in a foggy window.

While some people live in dryer climates, there is still moisture in the air wherever you go. Even in those dry places, there will be more moisture in the air in indoor spaces. Think of all the ways evaporated warm water enters the air to become moisture. Cooking, cleaning, showers, even breathing causes moisture in the air.

When this moisture comes in contact with a cold surface, like a window, the moisture turns back into liquid water and forms foggy condensation.

That’s why when the outside temperature drops, condensation will begin forming on your windows.

Most likely the windows will be the coldest surface in your house, because of their direct contact with the outside. If you have patio doors that often get foggy in winter, you’ll likely have a similar problem with your full-view garage door.

Look how this full-view garage blends well with this shed transformed into a cute, cozy cottage. The Anodized frame color fits with the exterior siding.

If you think that a full-glass garage door only looks good in an industrial, contemporary, or modern home, think again! This cozy country shed-turned-cottage seen at Houzz makes the shed feel more open while the color works with the style rather than against it.

Condensation might be a problem, but here are some solutions!

  • Set the thermostat from 72℉ to 68℉. Did you know that raising the temperature inside your home can make you more sensitive to the outdoor temperature? Get more use out of your blankets and sweaters and lower your home temperature to avoid window fog.
  • Get a few fans! Some quality fans can really move around and dispel clouds of high-moisture air, like from the shower or dishwasher. Check to make sure your clothes dryer’s outdoor vent is clear and that you remember to use the vent fan in your bathroom and kitchen to reduce moisture!
  • Dehumidifiers or air exchangers can help. Getting one (or both) will reduce the humidity in your home during winter. An air exchanger will replace humid internal air with dryer winter air. The dehumidifier works as its name implies.
  • How about a wood-burning stove? A wood-burning stove will dry out your air. Not to mention the atmosphere created by a wood-burning fire is irreplaceable. Plus, it will keep your house warmer without the extra moisture!
  • Don’t dry clothes inside. A properly ventilated dryer, with a fan if it creates a lot of moisture, should be fine. But if you plan on hanging a clothesline in your home, don’t. The hanging clothes will produce a lot of excess moisture.

While this is a factor of having a large full-view garage door you should know about, it’s not an isolated problem. Consider how fixing your current condensation problem can help you avoid having one with your new garage door feature wall.

Number 3: Full-Glass Full-View Garage Doors Have Windows!

Yeah--of course they have windows! But these windows come with a lot of choices you can make that affect the aesthetic value and functionality of these windows that you should be aware of.

This California all-glass garage door is in the More layout with a Black frame and Clear windows is on the façade and the driveway.

Wow! This all-glass California garage door utilizes the black aluminum frame and houses all clear windows. This is great for the front of the building, as this care center project wants to welcome people inside with a clear view of the kitchen!

Consider it: Do you want your room to be open or intimate?

If this project is for a residential home and your garage door faces your neighbors, you might not feel comfortable with full glass clear windows. Especially at night, where it’s easy to see inside.

Spectacular space from Houzz! This large trendy formal and open concept living room with white walls doubles the feeling of always being outside with 2 full-view garage doors!

Look at this amazing open space curated by Houzz! The whole house could open up for a summer breeze with this pair of full view garage doors, while the wide brick fireplace will keep the room warm in the winter!

See a California full-view garage door with a Black frame and Sandblasted windows by night.

If the clear glass isn’t your style, getting Sandblasted windows installed in the California-style garage door will allow diffused natural light in, while keeping your privacy. Plus, when the lights are on at night your garage will look like a mystical lantern!

Fully clear and fully frosted are not your only options. You’ll have lots of opacity options, from a 0/5 to 5/5 rated by privacy level. The 0 stands for clear glass, which creates a full view. While the other options include tinted, frosted, and translucent glass panels.

Houzz picture - A modern kitchen that opens to a private courtyard thanks to a full-view garage door. - From Jeannette Architects

Still, a full glass garage door with clear windows can be great if you have a tall fence and some trees to block the neighbors view into your home. Just look at the great view this fence makes in this design by Jeannette Architects on Houzz.

A close look at a California full-view door in 8'x7' with a White aluminum frame.

While it may be harder to get full-view garage doors in an urban space, when you have a mountain view like this, it’s almost tragic not to have windows to look at it through. Here a California all-glass garage door can make your dreams come true!

What about improving energy efficiency?

If you’d like to make up some of your lost energy costs, picking an energy-efficient thermopane window with LOW-E Argon can be the perfect solution.

The slight covering on these windows allows in warm sunlight and traps it inside during the winter. Once summer hits, these windows help keep reflective light heat from cars and pavers down while you get to enjoy the pleasant sunlight.

Useful chart about Insulating Glass Unit Performance

Not sure how these windows work? This chart and picture help describe how these windows save you money and energy. Get all the info you need about LOW-E Argon thermopane windows.

Do you want safer and more resistant windows?

Accidents happen, a widow could be broken by a thrown rock, or kids playing baseball or hockey outside could suddenly bust open one of your windows. You might start getting anxious about storms and rough play near your new pristine door.

Worry no more! Pick tempered glass for your windows and let that stress melt away.

Tempered glass?

Tempered glass is glass that is heated and cooled more than normal glass making it 4x to 5x stronger. Even when the glass does break, it’s into duller pieces that aren’t as sharp. In fact, tempered glass is what’s been used in car windows for some time now! When you pick thermopane window, you can choose to have either one pane or two panes made with tempered glass! We California.

A beautiful modern house with 2 California full-view garage doors, 6' x 8'6" and 16' x 8'6", Black aluminum frame, Sandblasted glass.

Going out of the box and having a garage door in your living or dining room might not be the best choice for you. That doesn’t mean a full-glass garage door won’t make a great statement just for your garage!

Are You Ready to Add Value and Curb Appeal to Your home?

Getting home renovations done means changing everything. And if you’ve invested in a new color for your home exterior, or if you’re looking to replace the roof, overlooking your garage door could be a fatal error!

Get it done, replace your garage door! Don’t let it be a bland unappreciated space anymore.

Get in contact with us at 781-769-8988.

Do you know if you need a new garage door opener, overhead door, or both?

If you have this question or another, we at Norwood Door Systems are experts in garage doors and renovation projects. In just a few minutes, we can help you pick a budget and understand what you should expect from your garage door.

Wait, already have your dream garage renovation figured out?

Then get in touch, and we’ll send you a free project quotation by email.

Perhaps you’d like more time to consider your design options?

Take a look at our photo gallery that features great garage door projects. If you’d like to try your hand at designing your own garage door, pull out your smartphone or get to a computer and utilize this handy Design Centre. Once you’re done, you can even take a picture of your current garage door and see what your new one would look like instead!

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