A basic steel garage door is 8x7 and consists of 4 panels with window inserts. However, homeowners have begun to stray away from the traditional steel raised panel design and choose carriage house style doors instead. As a result, garage door manufacturers have been able to produce 3 panel garage doors which allow for a larger window design in the top panel. Because of larger panel sizes, your garage door system must have tracks with a minimum 15-inch radius.
Carriage house style doors allow manufacturers to adjust panel sizes to create a more significant top panel with larger windows. The design isn’t affected in a carriage house door the way it would be for a traditional raised or recessed panel door with different panel sizes. This increased space creates a more impressive window design than we’re used to seeing. In fact, many homeowners are opting for arched windows because the design is more pronounced on the larger window panel.
The majority of garage doors with larger windows have simulated or true divided lites. This means the window section is constructed using the same material as the rest of the door. However, there are some exceptions. Simulated or true divided lites eliminate the use of window inserts, which are pieces of plastic that are snapped in over the window area to create the desired design and come in sizes that are specific to the manufacturer.
Some manufacturers of steel garage doors offer over sized windows, which still require an insert. It’s important to understand that though the windows are bigger, the insert still takes up some window space. If large windows to allow in natural light are important to you, your best option will be simulated divided lites.
If you’re interested in larger windows for your new garage door, be sure to consult with your Door Designer so they can help you make the best choice.