Customizing Garage Doors with Windows and Hardware

August 11, 2015

When your home needs a big burst of curb appeal on a little budget, there’s one surface that can act like a giant blank canvas: your garage door. It’s amazing how much a little hardware and some windows can transform an otherwise bland surface into a door that tells the story of your home and its unique architecture.

Choose Windows to Let the Sun Shine In

If you’re considering a new garage door, don’t skimp on the extras. The few dollars you spend on upgrading to a model with windows can pay dividends in curb appeal when you resell your home. After all, a solid door will do the job, but the windows and their style can give your home a personal touch.

Matching your garage door windows to the windows on your home can help tie the whole structure together, creating a sense of completeness for anyone driving by. When your garage door gives someone a reason to look at it, those windows and details may even create a sense that your home is bigger than it actually is.

There are two main types of windows in garage doors: the real kind and simulations. Simulated windows can be added to almost any type of garage doors, but in certain lighting it may become obvious that they’re fake. However, if your garage door faces the west or is in an area with no trees and very bright sunlight, simulated garage door windows may be the best option for maintaining the energy efficiency of your home. Real windows let in light, which can heat up your garage and makes it hard to cool the rooms attached to it. 

The Devil’s in the Details

Adding windows to a garage door can really make it stand out and ties your garage more tightly to the rest of your home, but you can complete the stylistic illusion by installing garage door hardware. This type of hardware is rarely functional, instead it’s used to give the impression that the door opens in a different way than a standard garage door or it reaches back to long ago garage styles that make sense with older homes.

These are the most common options for garage door hardware, but many others may be available depending on your hardware supplier:

Hinges. Long, shapely hinges attached to the front of the garage door in pairs can give the impression of doors that open outward. These are great for carriage houses and rustic doors, but can be used on almost any door.
Handles. Along with hinges, handles hung in the center of the garage door complete the illusion of side-opening doors. They can also be hung low on a small garage door to emulate the look of a single-slab door that opens up.
Knockers. Rustic and severe style doors wouldn’t be complete without a big, heavy knocker mounted near the center. No one’s going to be knocking on your garage door, but a knocker still makes a big visual impression.
Latches. Like knockers, latches are often absolutely non-functional, but they can lend a certain rural feel to a door. When you’re trying to create a barn door or carriage house look, a thick metal latch is a great addition.
Studs and Grilles. Although there aren’t a lot of doors that look right with studs and grilles, these little details are perfect for French country, Mission-style and other homes designed to be a lot different than your average suburban home. If you’re serious about creating a garage door statement, adding studs or grilles can get the job done.

It may be one of the biggest and most overlooked vertical space on your home, but if you let it your garage door can say a lot about who you are and what type of home you own. Choosing the right custom windows and hardware will turn your average door into a traffic stopper.