What You Need to Know Before Getting a Full-View Garage Door

How much do you love those all-glass garage doors that let you see outdoors from the comfort of your garage? These are great-looking doors that are far more versatile than you might realize. You can use them for the garage, in the kitchen, living room, etc. Wherever you want to have a wall of windows and a door that leads outside, it can be a perfect solution.

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

This is a California full-view double garage door with a black frame. It works well with the colors and textures in this room, and it helps the overall look of the space. It’s a cozy room, but you get a full view of the outdoors. It could be just what you need.

How would you like to have a California all-glass garage door in your home? It’s a lovely bit of functional décor that can elevate your space. You might already have some great ideas for it, too. However, you have to take a breath and consider whether this is the right type of door for you before buying. Below are some of the most important things you need to know.

1) They Have Aluminum Frames

These doors feature aluminum frames. AZO Matering has found that there are some great benefits to using these types of frames. Let’s take a closer look.

  • The Weight: You will find that aluminum is lighter than steel or wood, the other materials commonly used for garage doors. This means your springs won’t need to be quite as powerful.
  • Corrosion: Here’s some more good news. Aluminum, by its nature, resists corrosion. It has a thin oxide coating, which helps to keep it safe. Since it will be exposed to the outdoor elements, this is important. It means that you won’t have to worry about having a rusting frame in a year or two. Getting a California door, such as the one above, or an aluminum garage door for areas near the water is a great idea.
  • Reflection: No, we’re not talking about sitting in your garage and reflecting about your day as you start out the all-glass door. We’re talking about reflecting light and heat. The aluminum is a good reflector, which helps the space stay a little cooler during hot weather.

It’s important to consider the potential drawback of getting an aluminum frame, as well.

The biggest problem is that aluminum is a thermal conductor.

What does this mean? It means that if you live in an area where it’s cold in the winter, the frame won’t help. It conducts the colder outside air into the garage. This could be a problem if you don’t take care of it by finding other ways to heat the space.

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

Keep in mind that the full-view garage doors do not have a high R-value, which means there is little in the way of insulation.

If you want the look, you will have to choose style over saving energy and insulation.

Let’s look at an example. If you have an attached, heated garage and you keep the temperature between 8 and 10℃, you will typically want to have a garage door that has an R-12 value at a minimum with R-16 construction offering better efficiency for reducing power bills. If you wanted to heat the space to 20℃, you can start to imagine how much more it would cost.

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

Quebec, Canada winters can get downright cold and rough. However, this homeowner chose to use a California full-view garage door with a nice white frame and Clear windows. This door was placed between the outdoors and the cottage kitchen. It offers a lot of natural light, but the space needs to be heated. Still, sitting here and gazing out at the woods is nice.

Some of you may live in an area that doesn’t get quite so cold. Perhaps you have other ways of heating your house in a cold environment, such as with wood or solar panels, so the energy costs aren’t as high. Or you might just love the look of the door that paying a bit more for hearing doesn’t matter. If any of those things are true for you, go for an all-glass garage door.

2) Fogged-Up Windows

Here is another truth about these types of doors. Because they have so much glass, there is a good chance that they are going to fog up with condensation, just like other windows in the house when it gets cold outside.

Why Does the Condensation Form?

When warm, humid air from inside contacts the colder air from outside at the windows, it causes condensation. The air cools and the droplets start to form.

A picture of heart drawing in a foggy window.

When the air is warmer, it tends to hold onto moisture better. Just everyday activities in the home will cause the moisture in the air to rise.

All of the activities you are doing, whether it’s running the dishwasher or dryer, doing laundry, taking a shower, etc., the moisture level rises. You don’t notice this as much when the outside temperatures are higher.

When they are cooler and they vary from the indoor temperatures, you see condensation form on the windows.

This is because the warm air cools when it contacts the cold surface of the windows, resulting in condensation. The windows, after all, tend to be the coldest surface in the home because they touch the outside. Larger windows have larger surfaces, naturally, so they are going to fog up.

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.

How great is this look? Just because the full-view garage doors look great on contemporary homes doesn’t mean they don’t work well with rustic spaces, like this cottage. When done right, they can work well just about anywhere. This cottage was found on Houzz. Check out how well the anodized frame color works so well with the rest of the property.

Condensation doesn’t have to get the better of you. You can do a few things that can help to reduce the problem.

  • Drop the Temperature a Bit: Keep the temperature in your home a little lower than usual, and it can reduce the condensation. Wear warmer clothes inside, so you can still stay cozy.
  • Use Fans in the Cold Weather: Your appliances create a lot of heat and humidity in the house, but many of them will have fans and vents that can push that air outside. If you have good-quality fans, make sure you are using them. If you don’t, you should replace them. You can also use a vent fan in the bathroom for those hot showers, which will move some of the humid air to the outdoors. Make sure you are using the range hood fan when preparing food, too.
  • Use a dehumidifier and / or air exchanger: Having an air exchanger is a great option. These will take air from the inside and bring it outside, which can help to dry the humid air in the house, helping to reduce condensation on the windows.
  • Put a wood burning stove in the Home: Having a wood stove in the home is a great idea. Not only will it help to dry out the air, but it provides the scents and sounds of a fire, which can cozy up your space nicely. How great would it be to snuggle up near a woodstove while you watch the snow falling outside, all without trying to peer through fogged-up windows!
  • No Drip Drying of Clothes: While you can still use your dryer, you don’t want to drip dry your clothing in the house during the winter. It tends to take a long time, and it will put a lot of moisture into the air.

Keeping these simple tips in mind can help to keep condensation at bay. These techniques will help to keep the full-view garage door free of condensation, just as it will the other windows in your home.

3) Do You Like Having All of These Windows to Worry About?

Full-view garage doors have a lot of windows. This is usually the thing that makes them appealing, of course. However, you have some choices to make when it comes to the types and styles of windows you want to have. You have to think about things like privacy, safety, style, and energy efficiency. You can’t pick the first door you see and just opt for standard windows without knowing your options. You have to choose the ones that make sense to you.

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.

Here is a California all-glass garage door in the More layout. It has a nice black frame along with clear windows. This door looks out onto the driveway, and it doesn’t have any walls or hedges for privacy. However, in this case, it was for a care center, and this was the community kitchen. No one minded seeing people outside.

First Consideration > How Private Do You Need It to Be?

Often, the answer to the question above will depend on where you live. If you are in a rural or suburban environment, you might not feel you need as much privacy as you would in an urban environment. If you have a hedge, wall, or trees around the property, it can provide more privacy even if you have clear windows.

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!

Here is a lovely room found on Houzz! It has an open living room, and white walls, along with two all-glass garage doors. This brings the outdoors inside and it looks great.

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

This is a lovely garage door. It features sandblasted windows, which provide you with more privacy. This works well with the California full-view garage door for those that want natural light, but who don’t want people seeing inside, especially at night.

It’s nice that there are so many types of glass available today for these garage doors. They range from 0/5 to 5/5 for the privacy level. Naturally, clear glass will provide you with the most natural light. However, with frosted and tinted glass, you can still have some natural light while keeping your privacy.

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

When you have a yard like this one with a fence and trees, you can opt for clear windows because you still have privacy. Look at what they’ve done with this kitchen from Jeannette Architects on Houzz.

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

If you have a great view, like the one in the image, you want to take advantage of it. This California full-view door can provide beautiful views of the mountains and lake.

Second > What About Energy Efficiency?

If being as energy-efficient as possible is important, you should choose a thermopane window with LOW-E Argon.

These windows have some nice advantages. When it’s cold, they can still allow the sunlight to enter the home for light and some added warmth. The windows help to keep the heat inside of the home, too. When it’s warmer, the windows can limit the amount of heat that gets into the home from the sun, as well as vehicles, paved driveways, etc.

Useful chart about Insulating Glass Unit Performance

Check out the image above. This shows how different types of glass perform. You can see the difference between the two clear panes with air space and the 1 Low-E pane with argon and a clear pane. Find out more on LOW-E Argon thermopane windows here.

Third > How Important Are Resistance and Safety?

Naturally, you want your windows to last and to be safe. If you live in an area where there is a lot of crime and vandalism, this is even more important. It’s also something to think about if you have active kids that might accidentally break a window while playing.

You can put your mind at ease by choosing tempered glass

Why use tempered glass?

Tempered glass is four to five times stronger than normal glass thanks to the heating and cooling processes it goes through. If it does break, you won’t have to deal with dangerous shards of glass. They are smaller and dull when they break. When you choose a thermopane window, you can have the tempered glass on one or both sides. If you are choosing a full-view garage door, such as the California, you will want to have thermopane glass tempered on both sides.

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.

As you can see here, the California door looks great on your regular garage, too, not just for an added wall in your home that leads outside!

Is It Time to Replace the Garage Door?

When you are making improvements and changes to your home, don’t forget about your garage door. Changing the garage door or adding one to another area of your home can elevate the space.

Give us a call at 902-439-7907.

Are you interested in getting a new garage door opener or a new overhead door?

The team at Island Overhead Doors has the knowledge needed to help you find something that fits your style and budget. All you need to do is answer some easy questions, so we have a better idea of what will work for you.

Do you have the perfect door in mind already?

We can provide you with an emailed quote.

Are You Still looking for some inspiration?

Scroll through the photo gallery. You can also use the Design Centre to see what different doors will look like on your home!

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