The aim of this guide is to assist you in selecting the most ideal glass windows and doors for all situations in your house. The guide touches on the factors you should consider when choosing to replace glass windows or doors in Sydney.
Glass doors and windows made of glass are also known as fenestration or glazing. By reading through this guide, you’ll learn everything about glazing.
Types of Glazing Frames
Glass doors and windows can be installed in aluminium, timber, or steel framing. You can as well go for a hybrid aluminium and timber frame. In a hybrid frame, timber is set within aluminium.
Aluminium frames are commonly used in both commercial and residential buildings. Depending on how large your door and window openings are, your budget, and aesthetic preferences, you can go for commercial or residential framing or a size between the two.
You can also choose between anodized and powder-coated finish. Different manufacturers offer several ranges of frame standards. You can also request for a custom range framing at a higher price.
Standard glazing for residential properties are more affordable than commercial ones. The maximum height for standard glazing frames is 2,400 mm. Semi-commercial and commercial aluminium frame windows may be larger.
Another framing type for glazing is timber. Timber windows demand more maintenance. You have to refinish them quite often in their lifetime. Nevertheless, they add natural warmth and beauty.
Also, they’re ideal for any homeowner who wants to give their home a traditional style. There’re timber framing manufacturers who produce contemporary and expansive yet stunning timber frames.
Thus, they’re not only meant for traditional homes. Although some sliding windows and doors are large, they come with seamless and simple thresholds combined with sliding tracks.
Some are top-hung for a unique look. They connect the outdoor and indoor space for a more natural feel.
Glazing that comes with steel frames is ideal for an industrial aesthetic. Steel framing comes with a thinner profile than aluminium and timber.
On a similar note, steel is more expensive than timber and aluminium. Regardless, steel is extremely stunning and creates a dramatic effect in any home.
Always avoid choosing a material that appears to be made to resemble another. For instance, you might find aluminium frames that have timber grains or powder-coated to look like timber.
The best material should be original and not a replica. The best choice is a design that looks honest.
Window Opening Styles/Types
There are many styles of doors and windows. These styles are related to how the door or window opens. You’ll learn more about these styles through this article and what you need to consider.
Generally, consider the impact the style will have on your space, security, screening, and the cost. Let’s discuss the main style/types of doors and windows.
Sliding windows or doors with aluminium frames are the most affordable option when it comes to operable window and door styles.
You can easily screen them since they move in a frame. Sliding aluminium windows or doors usually have a track along which the screen slides.
Just like the name suggests, fixed glass windows don’t open. If you just want to enjoy the outdoor view on some parts of your home rather than ventilation, then you can go for fixed glass.
Not all glass windows need to be opened in your house. This brought about the need for fixed glass. These windows typically come with a thinner frame than operable windows.
These types of windows usually push outward from a base. They either use friction stays or a winder mechanism.
Friction stays are a type of levers that are unlatched to push a window outward. On the other hand, winders come with an attached chain to restrict the extent to which a window can be opened.
When using awning windows, you should add screens on the interior side. If the window operates using a winder mechanism, then you’ll have a small section of the screening to open, followed by opening the window.
Next, close the screening. Awning windows are a great choice since they have some weatherproof ability when open. They’re able to block light wind or rain. The pushed out window works as a hood on the opening.
Casement windows are typically hinged on one side. They open outward. They’re ideal for capturing a breeze since they can be angled to direct breeze into your home.
You can also use casement windows as obscured or solid panels to add privacy and control views. Screens are placed in the interior of casement windows.
Bifold doors and windows are folded inward or outward in sections like a concertina. They’re ideal for large openings without taking much space when opening them.
They’re preferred in the living area and areas that open the indoors to the backyard or outdoor entertainment area.
Although bi-folding doors and windows are a great choice, they also come with some challenges. Their mode of operation requires some clearance space when opening and closing them. Nevertheless, their folding nature still saves on space.
Also, you can just open one of the panels in a bifold door independently while keeping the other panel closed. You can also add drop bolts in the sill of each panel to lock it in place when opening the door partially.
Frameless or sashless window
A frameless or sashless window style refers to a window that is double-hung in design and doesn’t have a frame on the operable glass.
The window panels slide on counterbalances housed in a window jamb or side frame. These windows also come with a handle.
Since these windows don’t have a frame, they’re extremely transparent and offer uninterrupted views. You can install them to open either vertically or horizontally.
Although they’re expensive, they look extremely stunning. Thus, before investing in these windows, you have to weigh the impact they’ll have on your home vs your budget and whether they’re worth the investment.
Louvre windows are a type of windows that have horizontal panels angled in such a way that they allow maximum airflow into the room when opened.
Once closed, they create a tight seal that keeps wind and water out. They’re ideal for enhanced ventilation. However, louvre style of windows are extremely expensive.
The panels, also known as blades in louvre windows, can be made of obscure, tinted or clear glass. You can also get louvre windows with aluminium or timber blades.
Since the blades are angled when opening them, go for solid or obscure material to enhance privacy.
Typical louvre blades are available in two different sizes, which are 102mm and 152mm. Louvre windows with 102mm blades have a maximum width of 750mm whereas those with 152mm blades have a maximum width of 900mm.
Louvre windows are ideal for enhanced view and ventilation. You can have them as full-height windows for enhanced ventilation/views and to work like a balustrade. However, some construction codes limit the opening size and impact that windows may have.
Types of Glass
Australian building codes and standards specify various requirements for different types of glass depending on the height above the ground, where the glass is to be used, and the kind of function it will be performing.
Most of these guidelines are based on the ability of glass to resist impact and how the glass breaks.
For instance, think about what would happen when glass breaks in your bathroom and you’re barefooted at that time. As such, safety is a major basis of having regulations on types of glass.
There are also specific requirements that are related to etching or labelling glass to prevent people from walking straight into the pane.
For instance, you may have seen markings on sliding type of glass doors. Such markings will allow you to know where the door is located and the direction to slide it.
Some situations demand to have both light and privacy. The easiest way to achieve this is by using windows/doors with obscure glass.
Obscure glazing is especially useful in laundries and bathrooms. Such areas demand a lot of privacy while still allowing natural light to passes through them.
Laminated or Tinted Glazing
Glass is typically tinted during manufacture or by using a film after installation.
Another method of laminating glass is gluing together layers of glass, with an interlayer placed between the glued layers for tinting purposes. This type of glass is ideal for sun protection and adding privacy.
In case your home has skylights or large glass windows facing the west, then it’d help to add lamination or use low emissivity glass. This type of glass reduces the amount of infrared and UV light that passes through.
There are many benefits that come with glass today. You can use glass in such a way that it’ll retain heat in your home during the cold season while still allowing for natural light and views.
Security, Screening, Motorization, and Window Furnishings
Before you choose the windows to install in your home, it’s important to consider how you’ll be locking them, whether in their closed or open position.
In case you’d like your windows to remain open and still keep your home secure at night, then it’s very important to choose secure windows.
You can enhance the security of your windows by locking them with keys, applying screens, or installing fixed metal bars.
When ordering glass doors or windows, ensure you know the kind of locking mechanism they will come with. If you’re renovating your home or building a new home, you can order them with similar locks that are all opened with one key.
Doing so will ensure you don’t end up carrying a huge key ring and struggling to master which key locks which door or window.
Also, using different keys may force you to leave the keys on their respective locks, and this would make it easier for a burglar to gain entrance into your home.
Also, consider the kind of security that will keep burglars locked out and yourself locked in. While that may keep your kids indoors, consider your safety in terms of escaping a fire.
If your windows open outward, such as bifold, louvre, casement, or awning windows, then you should consider the impact that screening will have on the windows.
You should install them in such a way that the screens won’t interfere with the operability of the windows.
For instance, you can install a fly screen and security screen on the outer side of the window frame such that the blades open without any hindrance.
For other types of windows, you should screen them in such a way that the screens are movable when opening the windows.
For instance, if you want to screen a casement window, use a hinged screes in such a way that it opens inward whereas the window opens outward.
Almost all types of windows can be motorized. Motorizing windows makes it possible to open or close them effortlessly using electrical means.
Some motorizing techniques are more appealing than others. Also, you can retrofit the motors to an existing window. You can also find windows that are already motorized.
If you’d want to motorize your windows, make those plans early enough since you’ll have to consider where you’ll be operating them from and how electricity supply will be routed.
In case you’ll want to motorize your windows but your budget doesn’t allow you to do it right now, you can still run electrical cables before lining the walls. That way, you’ll find it easier to motorize the windows when your budget allows.
If you don’t like the idea of motorized windows, then ensure the windows are installed in a way that they’re easy to open or close.
If you need privacy in your home at night, controlling heat loss, enhancing interior aesthetics, and a certain window style, then you may have to add some window furnishings.
Window furnishings include internal shutters, blinds, and curtains or anything else that can furnish your windows.
Consider how the furnishings will fit your windows before buying them. If your home has full-height glass windows, add recessed pelmets on the ceiling to ensure the curtain or blind doesn’t block the top area of the window.
Also, consider whether you want the curtains or blinds opened and closed. Also, consider whether there’s enough wall space for pushing the curtains open to uncover the windows.
Glazing entails many considerations. They also come at a cost. You can compare rates from different suppliers to get a better deal. Besides, the price may vary based on the glazing system you’ll choose, where you’re located, and how you want to use the glass windows or doors.
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