Selecting Windows

The comment I am hearing the most when people see my new home is that there is so much natural light! You can’t put a price on natural light, it completely transforms a space and how you feel within that space. When it comes time for you to design your new home, make sure you give thought to your window selections and how they will add value to your home! I spoke with Tim Hanlon of Hanlon windows and asked him a few things that will help you on your way!

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When people are choosing windows for their home, what would be the main considerations? Frame style, glass type etc?

When people are considering windows for their home, a lot of the time their considerations are based around their budget. Windows and Doors are not something that should be limited to a small percentage of your builds budget because they are quite a large percentage of your building envelope. In todays day and age, people are becoming more aware of the efficiencies within their home and the thermal properties of your windows and doors are no different. The big question we get more often than not is “how much extra would it cost for Low-E Glass or Double Glazing?” The answer to this is not much in comparison to the thermal benefits you will receive. Low-E glass will cost approximately 5% more on your windows and doors however will give you 39% better thermal efficiency then ordinary glass. Double Glazing will cost approximately 15% more however it will give you around 80% better thermal properties than ordinary glass. I always like to point out to people that you insulate your walls and ceiling so why shouldn’t you insulate your windows and doors? It is important to think about the style of windows and doors you want in your house and also the ventilation you want to achieve. The most popular window at present are louvre windows, as they offer you 99% ventilation when open and can be adjusted to the amount of ventilation you would like at any time. Other popular options giving you around 50% ventilation are sliding and double hung windows whilst awning windows are commonly popular in wet areas as they can be left open offering full time ventilation with the security you are not going to be flooded if rain comes along whilst you are not home. Once you have chosen the style of windows you’d like, you have to think about if you would like a residential or commercial section. This decision can commonly be based off budget with the commercial section having a lot more aluminium, thus being more expensive. A popular option that is budget friendly and also appealing to current design trends is to go with residential windows (having thin, sleek profiles) and then going with a semi-commercial or commercial door section.

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Are there standard sizes or is everything customised?

All windows and doors we manufacture are made to suit the needs of the owner or builder so we will not charge any more for non-standard sizes or any less for standard sizes.

When should people look at ordering their windows if they are doing a new build?

Depending on the type of build and also your builder will depend on when you need to order your windows and doors, however it is important to ask you’re the window company what their current lead times are. We can run anywhere between 5 to 8 weeks at certain times in the year depending on work load. Because we pride ourselves on selling an Australian made product and keeping jobs local helping the Australian economy (Our aluminium is extruded here in Australia, the glass is manufactured here in Australia & the Hardware is assembled here in Australia) we have longer lead times then some of our competitors who are importing the vast majority of their materials. If you are building an investment property, generally this will be a fast build that is fairly basic, so windows can be ordered when ground works start. If you are building an architecturally designed high end home then generally windows will be ordered after you have a concrete slab down because there will be a lot more time spent on other facets of the build. There are also different scenarios where windows and doors aren’t ordered until openings are prepared. An example of this is something that is becoming more and more popular being board form concrete walls where they are all poured on site and require the openings to be site measured after the concrete walls are poured.

What are the advantages of lourvres and are they more common these days?

As discussed earlier, the main advantage of louvre windows is being about to have 99% ventilation through the windows and also being able to control that ventilation by adjusting how far the louvres are open. Louvres are definitely more common in recent times and with the continued development of the window systems allowing for them to be controlled electronically from a wall mounted controller or even your phone they are only going to continue to become more and more popular.

What would you recommend using to achieve the most seamless transition from indoor to outdoor spaces?

The most important thing to ensure when ordering a door system where you are going to recess the sill, is to ensure the door is still going to drain correctly. If you have a solid internal floor and a solid external floor (concrete or tiles) then you cannot have a seamless transition without a secondary drain solution as the water will have nowhere to go and end up flooding your house. We are very lucky that we have a stainless steel grate drain that is available to us that has been fully tested with our window and doors systems and complies to the Australian Standards. The FlowThru drain sits on the outside of your door and allows for any water that hits the door to flow through the sill of the door, into the drain, which is then plumbed away into your stormwater. The easiest solution to this is when you have a deck on the outside of the door, this way the decking can but straight up against the door sill and the water can still drain out of the sill and under the deck. Something to bear in mind is when you recess your sill into the floor, you are losing approximately 50mm of the height of your door depending on the height of the sill. I highly recommend increasing the height of your door by the height of the sill to keep a nice large opening and to also keep the heads of your windows and doors aligned the whole way around your house.

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Catherine Heraghty