A great way to spruce up or refresh your garage door is to add garage door window inserts. Often people seek this stylish addition to alter the appearance of the door but to also allow more natural light into the garage. It can also increase the sense of space in the garage, making a small enclosure seem much larger than it really is.
If you are considering garage door window inserts then I recommend you talk to a professional local garage door installer. If you plan on installing them yourself, then read on for the proper steps.
Step 1: Measuring the garage door – Measure twice, cut once as the old addage goes. This is imperative when you are cutting through the garage door panels. The window is placed within one panel of the door. It should be smaller than the pnel itself but can run the length of the panel or only a portion of it depending upon personal preference. A good rule of thum is to havea bevel area around the window of a couple of inches which will provide a good sized window without compromising the strength of the garage door panel.
Step 2: Selecting your window – When it comes time to select your garage door window insert there are several options to choose from such as the thickness which affects the durability and the finish. The finish can be clear or foggy depending on personal preference. A fogged window affords more privacy but can let in less light. If you have a garage that receives a lot of sun, you may want to consider the smoked option as it will keep the garage slightly cooler than a clear window.
Step 3: Cutting the garage door – After the size is measured and window is selected you can make the cut. A jigsaw is the best tool for the job with either wood or aluminum garage doors. Make the cut slowly checking the window against the cut several times to ensure it is fitted properly.
Step 4: Sealing the door – After the cut, place the garage door window insert into the cut portion of the door slowly and carefully to ensure a proper fit. Fit one end in first then lower the other end into place for the best results. If the window doesn’t fit quite right, file down the edges of the door panel testing an retesting the window insert until it nestles comfortably. Remove the window.
Next, caulking is required to seal the window from the elements, hold it in place, and add to the aesthetics. Use a waterproof caulk that adheres to both metal and glass. This is not to be confused with a garage door threshold seal, which is a rubberized weather proofing accessory that seals the bottom of the door to the floor of the garage. Your local hardware store will likely have a good selection of caulking to choose from. Dispense the caulk along the length of the door panel slowly and evenly allowing for a thick bead from one end to the other. Then re-seat the window as you did during testing. Wipe away the remaining caulking with a rag applying even pressure throughout a single stroke from one of the window pane to the other.
Some window pane will require screws to help secure it in place. If the model you chose does, then insert them at this point. Allow the caulking to dry according to the instructions, likely 24-48 hours and then, voila! Your new garage door window inserts are done. A panelled glass garage door or even garage door screens can really be a great addition to your garage. Consider one for your next home renovation project.