On average, glass comprises around 25% of a home’s external surface. Along with providing light, ventilation and protection from the elements, this makes choosing the right windows and doors one of the most important decisions when building a home.
These five key points highlight some important aspects to consider when selecting the supplier of windows and doors in your new home.
Compliance & Certification
Is your window supplier an Australian Window Association (AWA) member?
The AWA Product Accreditation Program ensures that accredited members manufacture their windows and doors to exacting performance criteria.
AWA members are also required to produce windows and doors which meet the requirements of all relevant Australian Standards are subject to third party annual audits to ensure continuing compliance.
More information on the benefits of dealing with an AWA member can be found on the AWA website.
Choice of frame colour can be an effective tool in either complementing or contrasting your interior and/or exterior colour schemes.
Aluminium windows can be ordered in either powder coated (painted) or anodised finishes offering you a wide selection of colours. An example of typical colours available in anodized and powder coated aluminium can be found in the G.James Colour selector.
Your chosen finish must also be able to withstand exposure to the elements, so a reputable supplier will provide a guarantee against premature weathering of surface finishes.
The correct glass selection can offer a number of benefits.
- Reduced external noise.
- Savings on heating and/or cooling costs.
- Extending the life of soft furnishings.
- Reducing glare.
- Improving security.
The basic type of glass used depends on application – in areas where accidental impacts are a concern, toughened and laminated glass are much stronger and safer than regular annealed glass. Using annealed glass in areas where the extra strength is not of tangible benefit is however more economical.
Climate is another major factor in the selection of glass – in warmer climates toned or coated glass will offer performance benefits, whilst in cooler climates IGUs (double glazing) will improve heat retention.
The most suitable products for a home will vary on a number of factors, so you should speak to a professional to discuss your requirements.
Price should not be the only consideration in seletion of windows and doors – value should also be assessed in terms of the extra features and long term benefits offered by the product.
So before deciding on who will supply your windows, ask the following questions:
- Does the window have a rigid PVC sill insert for weather performance and easy cleaning of the sill? A threshold (cover) in the door sill should also be present.
- Are the flyscreens easily removed both internally and externally? This is an important feature, particularly for two storey homes.
- Are window handles located in the centre? Handles located at the jamb (side) can be difficult to access behind curtains or operate when fully opened.
- Do the window rollers contain stainless steel bearings, important for long term performance?
- Are the window rollers of sufficient size? Smaller tyres can develop flat spots which causes the roller to skid along the track rather than roll.
- Are the rollers height adjustable?
After Sales Service
In the event of faults with sliding windows, doors or associated hardware, you must be able to rely upon your supplier to rectify any issues.
A written warranty from a trustworthy and well established company gives you peace of mind of knowing that you won’t be left out of pocket if something does go wrong. It is necessary to read and understand your warranty agreement to know the conditions under which you are covered.
It is also important to choose a supplier who offers a stable product line with standardised features and parts across their products – you don’t want to be left with non-functional windows or doors because the supplier can no longer obtain the right parts. A supplier must also keep sufficient stock/parts on hand in order to rectify faults quickly.
Ask an Expert
Researching your window and door options will help you make an informed choice, but don’t hesitate to consult with an expert for help in selecting the ideal windows and doors.
An experienced local glazing professional will help you tailor a solution to suit both your preferences and local conditions.