Glass Garage Doors,
A Great Choice For Modern Homes
Glass garage doors, while not as common as wooden or steel garage doors, are quite popular for certain architectural styles of buildings. Their modern look is a great choice for a contemporary or progressively styled home. They come in a number of different designs, with lots of options for the type and style of glass used. They have a few unique advantages over other types of doors, but as with anything else, there are disadvantages too.
The glass that is normally found in today's garage doors can be of three different types. The first type is tempered, which is much harder than standard glass. It is sometimes called safety glass, because it breaks into small fragments instead of into sharp shards.
The next type is laminated, which is also a type of safety glass. It has an inner layer of a plastic-like material with two outer layers of glass bonded to it. When laminated glass breaks, it usually stays in one piece, attached to the inner layer.
The third type is insulated. This type is made of two or three separate panels with a space between each of them. This space can be filled with air, an inert gas, or a vacuum, which reduces the heat transfer. An insulated glass garage door can be as energy efficient as many insulated metal or wood doors.
Glass doors can have a number of different styles of glass, also. Plain, clear glass will let in the most light and allows you see out, but of course allows other people to see in, too. Not the best choice for privacy! There is a wide variety of other types that will still let light in, but provide a measure of privacy. You can get styled glass that is frosted, obscure, sandblasted, hammered, reeded, reflective, etc. You can also get it tinted in different colors, and some has a coating that reflects UV rays.
Most glass doors are made with an aluminum frame (sometimes called glass/aluminum doors), but there are also models available with steel or wooden frames. You can also get metal frames with a realistic woodgrain finish. Aluminum frames can be powdercoated, anodized, or painted in just about any color you desire. Just make sure that the "aluminum" frame you are looking at is a high quality aluminum alloy, and not just cheap pot metal like some on the market.
The primary advantage of a glass door is the look that it gives to a modern home. Some homes just wouldn't look right with any other type of garage door. They require very little maintenance. In most cases, you just clean them the same way you clean the windows in your home - no painting required!
Another advantage is of course the extra light inside during the day. The sunlight can also help to warm the space in the wintertime. Doors with styled (not clear) glass also give a really cool appearance on the outside at night if the interior lights are on.
Glass garage doors have a few disadvantages, too. They are expensive compared to steel or aluminum garage doors of equal size and insulation value. They are also very heavy, so they require a heavy-duty door opener and other hardware. Many residential models are made to commercial standards, which makes them even heavier.
Also, if a pane does break from an impact with a stray baseball, the pane will have to be replaced. With a steel garage door, you could live with a dent and the door would still function and be safe and secure. Also, the best-insulated glass doors can't compete with the best-insulated steel, aluminum, or fiberglass garage doors.
Glass doors are not for everybody. They would look out of place on many homes, and the disadvantages outweigh the advantages in many cases. For most folks, a steel garage door is a better value. But if you have a modern, contemporary style home, a glass garage door may be your best choice. For more information on other types of garage doors, go to our Related Pages menu on the right near the top of this page.
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