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Garage Doors Aren’t Just for Garages Anymore

Glass garage doors on a lower-level cabana.
Image courtesy of Dan Nelson, Designs Northwest Architects

Both garages and garage doors have come a long way. Homeowners are deciding to turn their boring garages into showstoppers. And as garages become more stylish, it’s natural that garage doors would also evolve. But who knew that they would become so stylish that they’re now being used as design elements in other applications? Should homeowners follow these trends or stick with more conservative uses for garage doors? Below are some of the cool ways that garage doors are being used, along with advice on implementing them from architects, realtors and the very people making some of these garage doors.

Glass Garage Doors

Shop These Products Now: Wooden Coffee TableCouchAs you can see from the photos above and below, Dan Nelson, AIA, Principal at Designs Northwest Architects, does quite a few projects with glass garage doors. “We have done projects where clients use glass overhead doors to open up rooms to the outdoors, and we’ve also installed a glass overhead door in our office that acts as a security door between the stairwell and our office,” Nelson tells Freshome.

Shop These Products Now: Desk ChairWall Art“Glass overhead doors are a very cost-effective way to open up large areas of a home to the outdoors, and they’re usually less expensive than a multi-slide door,” he explains.

Kitchen private space

Shop These Products Now: Planters PotsFaucetHow else can these glass garage doors be used? Rob Reyes at Glass Garage Doors & Entry Systems says his company has installed them in almost every room of the house. “We’ve installed them in bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, family rooms, dens, pool houses, man caves and woman caves, and more.” Reyes says the company has also installed glass garage doors in restaurants, bars and other commercial spaces.

Dos and Don’ts

Garage gorgeous view

Shop These Products Now: Wooden Dining TableWooden Dining ChairsIf you’re considering a glass garage door to liven up your home, these are some things you need to know. “If you use glass overhead doors between the interior and exterior, use insulated glass and make sure you have a good weather seal at the jamb and head of the door,” advises Reyes. He also warns against going cheap. Understandably, most consumers are looking for the best price. “However, this comes at a huge cost to the end user in energy loss resulting from inflated cooling and heating bills,” Reyes explains. Also, the cheap doors won’t pass building inspection if permits are pulled. “We’re finding that most people are not pulling permits to have these doors installed, and therefore are using an illegal door that leaks – but, of course, it is less expensive,” he says.

Trendy/Resale Value?

Ocean living

Shop These Products Now: TVCoffee TableThese roll-up glass garage doors are definitely cool, but how will they affect your home’s resale value? “Roll-up garage doors are still popular. However, I only see this feature in more expensive homes,” says Rick Gehrke, real estate agent with RE/MAX Executives in Boise, ID. “They can be huge selling points, especially if you have a view or live in a warm area,” he explains. Gehrke says these types of glass garage doors definitely increase the value of a home, and he believes they will continue to increase in popularity. Matt Van Winkle, founder and CEO of RE/MAX Northwest, agrees. “If the space supports it, this is a very cool design and a way to create indoor/outdoor space.” Van Winkle says these doors are a great alternative to folding or sliding doors and appeal to buyers.

Less expensive doors

Shop These Products Now: Ceiling LED LightsOutdoor PlantsHowever, John Manning, managing broker at RE/MAX On Market in Seattle, WA, says it depends. “This style works best if integrated into the house design – more contemporary/industrial chic seems to look the best – and works with the garage or room usage.” If the garage door is just going to be used for cars, he recommends sticking with a standard door. “However, if the roll-up door is insulated and used as a clever wall replacement, it could be a nice feature giving an indoor living space some expansion outdoors.”


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