Before we begin, we need to get this clear…
…Windows do so much more than keep the rain out.
They provide our homes with light, warmth, and ventilation. They make our houses look prettier, they enable privacy, they even prevent break-ins.
Phew! Ok now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s the 5 steps to choosing the best windows for your home.
Step 1: Choose a window operating style
Step 2: Choose a frame material
Step 3: Choose a glass type
Step 4: Choose a custom window dimension
Step 5: Choose a company to work with
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR WINDOW OPERATING STYLES
Choosing the right window frame can affect the overall feel of your home, inside and out.
Let’s start with Window Styles 101. Understanding the basic operating styles is much simpler and more interesting than you think.
French / Casement Windows
Operates with a side hinge, meaning it opens out like a door
Operates horizontally, opens one way (left to right, or right to left).
Slide & fold / Bifold
The name speaks for itself. Slide the door and it folds to reveal a 100% opening.
Lift & Slide
Operates similar to a sliding window, but usually for much larger sizes, mainly doors. Twisting the handle lifts the door up from its track for easy sliding.
Operates by twisting the handle and pushing the window outwards. A window that provides ventilation when open, yet shields the interior from the rain.
Cannot be opened, but frames a beautiful view of the surroundings.
They are like window blinds or shutters with horizontal slats that are angled.
STEP 2: CHOOSE YOUR WINDOW FRAME MATERIAL
Traditionally, timber-framed windows were a popular choice because of their strength and style. Later on, people started looking at wood from more of an aesthetic aspect. Wood, as a natural material, has a unique beauty and that’s why most types of furniture and accessories attempt to mimic the look of wood.
Windows with wooden frames are environmentally friendly as well. They actually come with a negative GWP (global warming potential). This is because wood is typically an insulant of heat, hence you save on your energy output when you use them.
Choose Your Look
Moreover, you can choose to tailor your timber frames for windows by selecting from a large variety of woods like maple, mahogany or oak all of which come with a different look and feel.
Then came along timber’s competition – aluminium. Just look around, and you’ll easily spot an aluminium frame being used. It’s been so widely used due to its lightweight properties – it’s so light, anyone from your 5-year-old child to your 95-year-old grandparent can open the window.
Due to the strength of this metallic element, less frame is needed to hold in the glass and hardware. Aluminium is inherently strong, meaning you can fit in really big windows and doors without the need for bulky frame support. This maximises the glass area, giving you the best views and makes the best use of natural light.
Unlike timber, aluminium frames don’t need painting or staining to keep them weather-proof, and they won’t rust or corrode. They will also never rot, peel or flake. No wonder it’s a choice for many.
Ah, this is the new kid on the block. Its full name is Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride and the amazing physical properties have started drawing eyeballs to it.
If you’re looking for a material that won’t have high ongoing costs, you’ll want to pay attention to uPVC.
uPVC windows practically take care of themselves. The colour retention is amazing, and is corrosion-free, meaning that no deterioration even after 10 years. The only maintenance they really need is to wipe down with a damp cloth whenever they get dirty. And they’ll look brand new again!
Contrary to popular belief, they’re also extremely sturdy and lasts a lifetime. This unique material is manufactured using vinyl polymer which is bound to chlorine atoms (we’ll spare you the technical stuff). Denting, scratching and cracking will never be a problem with uPVC. Install your windows once, and you probably won’t need to change it again!
On top of that, all uPVC windows and doors have insulated chambers and thermal seals, making them the most energy efficient of the three. Smart homeowners will be getting excited by now because this means cooler home interiors and lower utility bills!
STEP 3: GLASS TYPES
There are many types of glass configurations out there in the market, each one serving a different function. If you were looking for an answer to your question, “Which glass type is the best?” Sorry, but we can’t answer that for you.
Because no one type is better than another.
It really comes down to what your needs are. Why not answer a couple of these questions first? It will help you decide on which glass is more suitable for your unique home.
What are your requirements?
- Do you need more light than you currently have?
- Clear Float
- Or would you want to block out the bright sun?
- Tinted, Low-E, Magic Glass, Frosted
- And do you want privacy as well?
- Tinted, Magic Glass, Frosted
- Do you stay in an area where there are lots of vehicles driving by, planes flying overhead, construction works, etc?
- Double-Glazed, Laminated
- Is your home area facing the sun or gets really hot in the day?
- Low-E, Double-Glazed
- Do you have a multi-story home requires barrier glass?
- Laminated, Heat Strengthened, Tempered
- Do you have children of pets living with you?
- Laminated, Tempered, Heat Strengthened
To help you even more, here’s a chart you can refer to when you go window shopping. Literally window shopping!
|Float||Tinted||Low-E||Laminated||Double Glazed||Tempered||Heat Strength- ened||Magic Glass||Frosted|
|Heat Reduction/ Insulation||✓||✓|
STEP 4: CUSTOMISE YOUR WINDOW DIMENSIONS
When you hear the word “window”, you probably thought about the glass first.
Customise Your Fit
Important Fact To Note: The strength of a window comes from its frame. The tightness of a window comes from the seals on its frame. The security function of a window comes from the bolts and latches that run through the frame. The soundproofing of a window comes from the glass and the frame. You get the idea…
And guess where the frame is attached to?
You guessed it; your wall.
That’s why it’s so important to get the measurements spot on.
Replacing and installing windows is one of the most troublesome activities a homeowner can go through.
The last thing you want is to get off-the-shelf, pre-made windows, and have to spend money again a few years (or months) later to get them fixed because they weren’t fitted right.
You’ll also have to take a day or two off work to prepare for the installation, then another day or so to clean up your house because of the mess. It really is a chore…
This is YOUR home, YOUR humble abode, YOUR safe haven…Why compromise on it?
Oh since speaking of safety, did you know you can customise your windows to have additional security or safety too?
Customise Your Security
At Sapphire Windows, many of our own customers endorse our dependable keyless biometric fingerprint door lock system. It’s reliable, looks stylish, and provides solid all-round security. Never fumble with losing your keys again!
1. Fingerprint Scanner
2. PIN-code Pad
3. Bluetooth and mobile phone
4. Handheld remote control
5. Suction-Claw locks
It has thwarted multiple break-ins. Pretty cool huh? You can now sleep soundly, knowing that your safety is in the good hands of your windows.
Customise Your Safety
Normal windows only have one point of locking. If you think about it, the entire structural integrity of the window relies on a single point…that’s way too much pressure!
You deserve the best and you shouldn’t risk your safety and the safety of your loved ones. With a multi-point locking system, no matter the height, width or weight of your window, you can be assured that they will be tightly fastened and locked into position.
Falling windows and windows that fail to lock can be a thing of the past after you install multipoint locking systems. It’s worth checking out.
STEP 5: WINDOW INSTALLATION
Ask around for referrals
Your friends and family are going to want the best for you. By hiring a contractor who has done work for your friends and family before, you can get some insights as to how their work was done, the processes and problems (if any) they encountered.
You’ll trust those in your circle more than a sales guy pitching, I hope? Ask around, there’s no harm and they’ll be more than willing to give you a third party opinion too.
Interview the company
In a competitive market, every business is going to say they can do the job well, even if they have never done it before. Okay, maybe we give them the benefit of the doubt. The boss has 40 years of experience and can install your windows with his eyes closed and his hands tied. But what about the new guy on the team?
The tip here is to find out who’s in their team, their background, their certifications and past projects. Hire the crew, not just what the company says on their website.
Check online reviews
Companies that provide quality products and quality service usually have satisfied customers who would willingly give recommendations and thumbs-up reviews. You can check websites like Homeadvisor, Facebook, Glassdoor, Yelp, and Googlereviews.
If their overall ratings is below a 4 out of 5, perhaps you should move on to the next option. They might be cheap, but you wouldn’t want to risk your own home, would you?
FINAL WORD: START EARLY or TRY THIS
Give yourself a month or two to sift through window installers to find ones who can meet you at the quality you deserve. Do your due diligence, come up with your contingency plan and enjoy your new windows! At the end of the day, you should still go back to the Trust But Verify principle.
Or use the “ask for a quote” function. This would help give you a good gauge too.
By the way, Ask us for a quote!
Feeling a bit wiser about choosing new window styles for your home? No longer wondering, “What is a french window doing in Singapore?”