You finally got around to building the garage of your dreams a few years ago, but you have come to realize that it lacks some natural light. Now, you are wondering if you should invest in replacing your garage door. But did you know that you can customize it by installing decorative windows yourself? Whether it is for aesthetic purposes or to brighten up this multifunctional space, thermal windows embellish the facade of your home while illuminating the interior of your garage.
The Role of Thermal Windows and Customization Options
Thermal windows, also known as double-pane windows, can be installed on almost any garage door with the right tools and technique recommended by our professionals. This double glazing technology improves the energy efficiency of the windows through insulation while preventing the infiltration of air and humidity between the panes.
Before purchasing new thermal windows, it is important to know some technical information about your garage door, such as the year of manufacture, its dimensions, its color, its thickness, its patterns and its channels. Also, you will have to decide on the type of glass you need, like clear, satin, as well as the window tint grade and type of grid. To learn more about the customization elements of your garage door, you can consult our article on this subject: 7 customization features to make your insulated garage door unique like you.
Once you have chosen your window, you will then need to install it. This article provides a step by step guide on how to install thermal windows on your garage door.
Installing Windows in 6 Steps
1. Secure the door and prepare the workspace
First, install locking pliers on each side of the garage door to secure the door panel on which the windows will be installed. Next, remove the screws from the hinges of that same panel. In the pictures, the thermal windows will be installed on the third panel of the door, so it needs to be removed. The panel above it, in this case, the fourth panel, can be pushed up in the rails and secured with locking pliers. Then, rest the removed panel on the trestle stands with the interior side facing up and clean it thoroughly.
2. Measure the space needed to install the windows
Double-check that the window frame you chose is suitable by measuring its dimensions and comparing it to the window opening you intend to cut out of the panel. To guide you in your measurements and to avoid mistakes, we recommend placing masking tape around the planned opening. Then, punch out the four corners of the space to be drilled.
3. Drill the holes and make the inserts
Using a 3/8’ drill bit, line up with the holes you just made to drill a wider hole in each of them. When your holes are drilled, clear the debris from the surface of the panel. Next, place the saw blade in one of the holes and cut a line following the line of the masking tape. Make sure that your cross-section is cut at 90 degrees, and remove any debris that could obstruct the insertion of the frames.
4. Slide the frames of each window
Insert the outer side of the frame into the opening to check that it fits properly. Repeat this step for each opening before removing the masking tape. Place a plank or a rigid wood panel on the trestle stands underneath the garage door panel so the thermal windows can be installed without the risk of breaking them. Make sure the interior side of the panel is facing up. Slide the outer frames under the panel and insert each of them into the appropriate opening. Note that the outer frames DO NOT have holes for the screws. Finally, clean the excess sealant off the thermal windows.
5. Insert and seal each window in its frame
Special consideration must be given to both window panes. If they have two types of glass, it is advisable to place the glass that is the most frosted on the inside, especially if it has grids. Carefully put the double pane window in the opening, on the outer frame. Place the inner frame over it, making sure that it is perfectly aligned with and properly positioned over the inner and outer panes. Then, use the screws provided to fix the inner and outer frames together. DO NOT screw them too tightly! This could result in a broken frame or window pane.
6. Reinstall the door hinges
Once everything is secured and sealed, be sure to clean the panel as well as the window frames. Put the panel back in place on the door and secure it with locking pliers. If necessary, trim the central hinges to avoid overlapping the frames and screw the hinges back in place. Slide the fourth panel back in place and, if the central hinges overlap the frames, trim those as well. Screw the hinges back in place.
Keep in mind that the spring system of your garage door, which acts as a counterweight, will need to be adjusted according to the added weight of the windows you have installed. Any spring system is calibrated with a maximum variation of approximately 5% of the total door mass. For instance, if a row of windows is added on the top panel of your door weighing 125 lbs, the weight will likely be out of balance, and the spring system will need to be changed. The door opener is essential to the proper operation and safety of your garage door, and it is fine-tuned to lift and lower the weight of the door. A well-balanced garage door should generally only weigh 7-10 lbs, so it should be possible to lift it with one hand.
If in Doubt, Trust A Garex Expert
Depending on the season, your garage can have different functions. By choosing to install thermal windows, your garage will have beautiful natural light. You will want to spend more time in your garage to work in the shop, exercise or create a game space for your children during the winter.
Installing decorative windows on your GAREX garage door is not an easy feat. That is why we recommend that you never attempt to do such maneuvers yourself unless you are fully equipped and specialized. We advise you to call on one of our professionals for any type of work on your garage door, whether for embellishment purposes or to add new amenities to your door. This way, you will be sure to have an adequate and safe installation that guarantees the optimal functioning of your door for many years to come. Request a quote online.