What to Consider When Installing Glass Garage Doors

A glass garage door isn't just for garages — it also lets you open your living space to the outdoor air. Here's what to consider before installing a glass garage door.

At the Getaway, we wanted a full-view experience of the scenery — to see the lake shimmering in the sunlight, smell the ponderosa pines and hear the song of a red-winged blackbird. We love that and want to be closer to it, so a simple screen door is not enough.

We decided a roll-up glass wall to our deck would enhance all of the senses and nearly double the square footage of our main living area. Many cafes, brewpubs and even homes are opening up to the industrial-chic style of glass panel roll-up walls instead of the smaller sliding patio door.

The Door

To achieve a full-view experience of the natural surroundings, we installed a 9-ft x 12-ft Wayne Dalton Contemporary Aluminum Model 8850 garage door with 12 insulated clear glass panels. Staying on point with the contemporary style of the Getaway cabin, the door frame and tracks are treated with a black powder coat finish.

The R-Values

The stiles and rails of the door frame are extruded aluminum alloy and filled with polyurethane insulation, giving it an R-value of 4.06. The 1/2-in. insulated argon-filled glass has an R-value of 3.125.

The Rollers

We wanted to minimize noise, so we chose ultra-quiet nylon rollers to cut down on track noise when operating the door.

The Opener

To complement the open floor plan of our Getaway, we installed a Genie model 6170 wall-mount garage door opener. No need for a traditional rail and powerhead hanging from the ceiling — this design is ideal for this application. It attaches directly to the garage door’s spring tube.

This opener also has the Aladdin Connect smart garage feature, enabling you to monitor your garage door from a smart device, along with a wireless wall console and Bluetooth LED light and door lock.

The Screen

Keeping the bugs out is a definite concern in the northern woods of Wisconsin. Install a full fiberglass net screen for around $60. Here’s what you need to know about fiberglass garage doors.

The Apron

Our apron is slanted, allowing water to flow out and away from the house.

The Bottom Seal

The bottom rubber seal is designed to keep out pests and debris and to save on energy costs.

Go with a Pro

No doubt about it, installing a garage door yourself can save you hundreds of dollars. But even for an experienced DIYer, this project would take a good eight to 12 hours to complete. Let’s not forget the danger involved in installing roll-up door’s torsion springs. Some jobs are best left to the pros who do it every day.

Joe Cruz
Joe Cruz is a contributing editor for Family Handyman Magazine, creating DIY how-to & home improvement projects for both digital and print. Joe started woodworking at an early age, finding himself in carpentry jobs such as building and remodeling houses, woodworking jobs such as custom cabinetry and kitchen installation, and artisan positions involving props work for theaters and artful exhibit building for national museums. Although Joe is also a fine furniture maker, his real passions are music and woodturning, with original compositions on streaming platforms and woodturnings featured in various art shows and galleries.