Buying Full-View Garage Doors? Consider These 3 Things First

Unless you’ve been living under that proverbial rock, you’ve seen the panoramic, all-glass garage doors that are so popular today. They might remind you of fire station doors, and you’ll see them in public areas, such as indoor/outdoor dining spaces. They adorn restaurants and cottages alike, and they’re absolutely stunning.

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

The frame designed for this California full-view double garage door accents the other architectural elements of the space – the gray stone and blond wood. The hardware is chrome, which adds a unique touch to the space, as well. Imagine what this would do for your indoor/outdoor space!

Dubbed the “California”, these doors offer an amazing way to blend the indoors and outdoors. If you’ve started thinking about how to make one of these work in your own home, there are a few things that you need to know first. We’ll cover those below to help ensure that you’re able to make an informed decision.

1) The frame is made from extruded aluminum.

Aluminum is a good thing for your frame. Why? According to AZO Matering, here are a few reasons:

  • Aluminum is super lightweight. Because of that, your springs can be less powerful, which in turn offers less risk for repair work.
  • Aluminum doesn’t rust. While aluminum will eventually oxidize, that layer is a protective coating that helps it withstand wear and tear. This makes aluminum a great option for use in corrosive environments. If you have a home on the water or a boathouse that needs a new entryway, you should certainly consider an aluminum garage door.
  • Aluminum reflects both light and heat. Because of that reflectance, you’ll notice that the frame is much cooler during the summertime.

Okay, so we’ve got the good news out of the way. However, there is a downside to this metal.

Aluminum is a very good thermal conductor.

While aluminum reflects heat, it conducts cold very well. If your home is located in an area where cold weather is common, the frame will conduct the outside cold into your indoor space.

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

A full-view garage door can be gorgeous. However, it does not offer the same R-value that a conventional garage door does. For that reason, it might not be suitable for homes in all areas.

In short, you must be prepared to choose this type of door for the look rather than any chance of saving energy.

How might that affect your home? Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you have an attached garage, and you keep the thermostat 8 and 10℃. In that instance, you should have a garage door that offers a minimum of an R-12 value, with R-16 construction being even more efficient. Now imagine just how much your utility bills would increase if your full-view garage door was attached to your living room and you kept the temperature at 20℃.

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

Quebec, Canada, is known for its harsh winters. However, that doesn’t mean that homeowners don’t love to install California full-view garage door. The white frame clear windows between add to the ambiance and allow plenty of natural light into this warm, cozy space.

If you live in a milder climate, you might not be too worried about the severe cold. You could heat with wood or maybe you use solar panels as an alternative solution. In these instances, the thermal transfer properties of aluminum might not be a game-changer.

2) Cold weather can fog full-view garage doors.

When it’s cold, the windows in your home probably fog up. The same thing can happen with your full-view garage door. It’s all about condensation.

Why does condensation form?

You’ll find condensation anywhere that warm air with lots of moisture content contacts cold temperatures.

A picture of heart drawing in a foggy window.

Moisture can be found in the air all around you. And we add more moisture to the air through everyday activities. Think about cooking, bathing, washing clothes, and even just breathing. You probably don’t notice it because you can open the windows or turn on the air to create circulation.

As air temperature decreases, density increases, and moisture condenses. You’ll first notice condensation on your home’s windows, but in severe cases, you may spot it on your interior walls and other surfaces.

The larger the window, the more cold air it lets in. Thus, a full-view garage door is going to encourage a lot of condensation. In fact, they’ll act just like sliding glass patio doors.

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.

Think that full-view garage doors are limited to modern designs? They’re not! You can choose the right colors and trim to match almost any aesthetic, like this wonderful, cozy cottage Houzz.

Worried that condensation will spoil your experience? It doesn’t have to. There are quite a few things you can do to help prevent condensation from being a problem.

  • Adjust your thermostat to 20℃. Worried that you’ll be too cold? Put on a pair of sweatpants and a long-sleeved shirt. You’ll also find that this makes the outdoor temperature feel less cold.
  • Circulate air. Moving air will help reduce condensation. However, you’ll want to make sure that you have good-quality fans. Make sure you also run your vent fan while showering.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier and / or air exchanger. If you really want to remove moisture from the air, a dehumidifier or air exchanger is your best bet. Dehumidifiers siphon moisture from the air, but air exchangers will exhaust humid inside air and exchange it for drier outdoor air.
  • Consider a wood burning stove. Wood-burning stoves can dramatically reduce the moisture content of the air in your home. Plus, you get the wonderful smell of woodsmoke, plus the sound of a real fire. What better way to spend the winter months than around the fireplace!
  • Always dry your clothes outdoors. While it’s fine to use your clothes dryer, don’t hang dry wet clothing indoors during the winter. You’ll just add more moisture to the air.

There are plenty of ways to fix the condensation problem. The trick is to be prepared and to be proactive. In addition to a full-view garage door, other large windows and glass doors will suffer from these problems, including sliding glass doors, bay windows, and more.

3) You have to deal with A LOT of windows.

You might be thinking, “Well, yeah, that’s sort of the idea of the door”. However, some people don’t really think this part through all that well. However, there’s actually a lot to consider when it comes to all those windows in your full-view garage door.

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.

This California all-glass garage door is in the More layout with a Black frame and Clear windows. It gives a full view of the kitchen and dining area. Because it’s attached to a business, though, the owners weren’t really worried about it, but it might not be as simple for a residential installation.

Indoors or Out – Privacy versus Spaciousness

One thing to consider is whether you want to feel like your indoor area is connected to the outdoors or if you want a bit more privacy. If you’re in a rural area with no neighbors, that might not be a concern. However, if you’re in a suburban or urban area, realize that clear windows allow people to see in just as well as they allow you to see out. This is particularly true at night when the interior lights are on.

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!

This photo from Houzz shows a large, open space with doors on each side. It’s incredibly open, but it also means that anyone outside can see all the way through the home, so it might not be well suited for urban areas without some sort of screen around the home.

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

Sandblasted windows are made from frosted glass. They allow natural light into the space, but they block the view. Of course, these don’t give you the sense of being outdoors. However, they are great choices for anyone looking for a unique aesthetic for their home.

You can choose from many types of glass to find the one that’s right for your home. With the right type, you can go from 0 privacy all the way up to 5. There is tinted, frosted, translucent glass, and other options to choose from to help suit your needs and lifestyle.

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

If you have a hedge, privacy fence, or trees, you can still block the view from your neighbors and benefit from clear glass windows, such as with this amazing kitchen from Jeannette Architects on Houzz.

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

Make the most of the view around your home with the California all-glass garage door. Bring nature indoors with the door open or closed.

Improving Energy Efficiency

If you want to improve energy efficiency without sacrificing the view, consider an energy-efficient thermopane with low-E argon.

Want to improve your home’s energy efficiency and still enjoy the view? This type of window ensures that the sun’s rays can penetrate the home during the winter, bringing in much-needed heat and light. They also help prevent heat from leaving through the windows, reducing the temperature fluctuations within the home and the number of times your HVAC system kicks on. In the summer, low-E windows reflect heat while still allowing light into the house.

Useful chart about Insulating Glass Unit Performance

Explore this chart to learn more about the performance of LOW-E Argon thermopane windows.

Safety and Resistance Considerations

Are there a lot of active kids nearby? Maybe you live in an area where vandalism is common? Whatever the case, tempered glass might be just the ticket. You can use it to ensure that your full-view garage door is proof against baseballs, hockey pucks, and even baseball bats wielded with the intention to smash the glass.

Understanding tempered glass

Tempered glass is manufactured through extreme heating and cooling. It is up to five times stronger than regular glass, and when it shatters (if you can get it to, of course), it breaks into small pieces like safety glass, rather than jagged shards. Plus, with the right thermopane window, you can have tempered glass on one side or both sides. With a full-view, all-glass garage door like the California, we would recommend having tempered glass installed on both sides for the maximum in safety and resistance.

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.

Don’t want to feel like your living room or kitchen is outdoors? A California all-glass garage door is also perfectly suited to your garage. It can help you expand your aesthetic and give the garage a brand-new look.

It’s Time to Replace Your Garage Door and Add Value to Your Home

Home renovation can be all-encompassing. Chances are good that you’ve thought about changing out your lights, your flooring, your paint, and even the siding on your home. However, don’t neglect the single largest moving part on your home – the garage door.

Changing the garage door can make a massive impact on your home and can add a significant amount to its curb appeal and overall value.

Are you ready to make a change that adds value and beauty to your home? Get in touch with us at 905-642-6606.

Are you ready to invest in a new garage door opener or a new overhead door?

At First Choice Overhead Doors, our team has decades of experience working with area homeowners to create amazing results. We would love the chance to do the same for you. It’s easy to get started, too! We just need some basic information, such as your goals for the property and your budget. We’ll make suggestions that align with both.

Already know what garage door you want?

If you’ve already found your dream garage door, just ask for a free emailed quote.

Want to shop around and get more inspiration before committing to a style?

Take a look at our photo gallery. You’ll find results we’ve achieved for other clients that are sure to inspire you. On the other hand, you can also use your smartphone to take a couple of pictures of your garage and then use our Design Centre. You can add images of garage doors right to your home and see how they’ll look on your phone.

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