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Wooden windows vs Aluminium windows

 wooden windows

In South Africa the most common window types are either wood or aluminium, each has their own benefits that one needs to consider but we are firm believers that wooden windows are the superior product. Here are some of the reasons we believe meranti windows should be your first choice for renovated or newly built homes.

The beauty of nature

Wooden windows offer a natural aesthetically pleasing wood grain that cannot be matched by the cold touch of aluminium.   With our skilled craftsman shaping your windows into stunning designs that are unrivalled in quality and design.

Various Window Styles

Wooden windows offer a large variety of windows styles to match your architectural design and price point. We offer large full pane windows to the more traditional cottage pane windows and sliding sash windows as well as many more other window types.

Better Insulation

Wooden windows have far superior insulation properties that will keep your home much warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This is because they allow less heat to pass through the window sash & frame then aluminium windows but also because the inside surface will be better insulated so will be much warmer if you’re sitting near the window. These greater insulation properties create high energy savings since you do not need to rely on your heaters or aircon as much. Nowhere better is this illustrated then in the Northern European countries such as Switzerland where all windows are made of wood to help insulate from the icy cold.

Easy Low Maintenance

One of the biggest complaints about wooden windows is maintenance, but since the introduction of water based sealers this is no longer an issue as they are far superior to varnish. If you treat the windows correctly with a good quality water based sealer such as Rystix you should only have to varnish or oil the windows every 4 years or so depending on the environment. As long as they are properly treated the windows should last a lifetime.

High Quality Wood

Not all timber types are equal when it comes to wooden windows. Doors Direct only uses high quality kiln dried meranti timber which will last far longer than pine windows as it is a solid hardwood.

Eco Friendly & Sustainable

Timber is a natural product that is one of the only renewable natural resources which is increasing its reserve sizes each year while aluminium on the other hand needs to be mined which strips the land of its natural resources and will not be renewed. Meranti windows have much smaller carbon foot print then steel or aluminium windows so it is much more environmentally friendly. 

Security that looks good to

With our patented Strongwood window technology you have an attractive security solution to traditional unsightly burglar bars that detract from the beauty of your home. Solid steel bars are encased in the solid meranti which extend the full length of the window. Click here to find out more.

So when it comes to deciding on your new windows choose wisely and choose wooden windows 

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Wooden Door Frame Installation Tips

The most important thing to bear in mind when installing door frames is to ensure that once your final floor levels are obtained, the inside height of the door frame remains as close as possible to your door height.  (A standard door is 2032 mm high.)

We often see doors which have had to be excessively trimmed to fit into a door frame.  The reason for this is normally that the contractor has not taken the final floor levels into consideration when building in the door frame, and he has buried the door frame into the screed and then tiled or laid carpets on top of this.  Whatever the original height of the door frame was, it is now effectively a lot smaller, because the door frame is now sunken into the floor, by sometimes as much as 75mm.  The only way to now fit the door is to trim the door by this amount.  This excessive trimming of the door reduces the structural integrity of the door. 

We recommend that when building in door frames, a 75mm nail is punched into the bottom of each of the door frame stiles.  This achieves three things. 

  1. You can set the door frame to the correct height.
  2. You can “plum” the door frame level by merely tapping on either side of the frame.
  3. The door frame does not absorb moisture from the concrete through the exposed end grain.

 Another option is to order the door frames slightly longer than the doors. 

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Home Window Security

Bay Windows - Doors Direct

Imagine how scary it would be to wake up in the middle of the night and realize an intruder has gained access to your home. Protecting against a break-in might mean investing in a professionally installed and monitored home security system, but that shouldn’t be the first step.

Begin by conducting your own home security check; after you’ve checked all of your home’s exterior doors for weak spots, move on to examine its windows.

Check ground-floor and basement windows

Ground-floor and basement windows are more likely to be targeted than those on the second floor, and deserve the most attention. The exception is those second-floor windows that can be easily accessed by a deck or other elevated structure outside the home.

Start your home security check by looking at your ground-floor windows from afar. Are they blocked by high shrubbery? Bushes give ideal cover for someone planning to break or force open a window; cut greenery back so that front windows are fully visible from the street.

Keep locks locked

Make sure all windows can be opened, closed, and locked with relative ease—and then remember to keep them locked whenever you’re not around. The biggest problem that occurs with windows is when home owners exit their home and leave windows wide open—and vulnerable.

In spring and fall, when daytime temperatures swing and windows are frequently opened and closed, get in the habit of locking windows as you shut them.

Install simple security devices

Add blocking devices to the most easily accessed windows so they can’t be opened from outside.

Wooden dowels placed in the track block windows that slide horizontally, and require no installation.

Steel locking pins (about R80 each), inserted in small holes that must be drilled through the frames, prevent vertically-sliding windows from being opened.

If you install a home security system later, the pros will install glass-break sensors on your most vulnerable windows.

Check garage windows

Garage windows are often forgotten—give them a home security check to make sure they’re securely locked. Install curtains or apply translucent security film on garage windows so that valuables aren’t readily visible. Thieves are more likely to attempt a break-in if they see items worth stealing.

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Source - House Logic

The Future of door frames - 4Everframe

composite door frame

Our composite door frame combines all the strength and convenience of wood door frames with enhanced properties that make it moisture and insect resistant.

No longer have to worry about a steel door frame that will rust and is bulky to transport nor have to worry about a door frame that will absorb moisture and rot like wood.

4Everframe is a wood plastic composite door frame manufactured from recycled wood & pvc plastic.

These eco-friendly frames are also easier to store and transport as they can be clipped together on-site.

If you live in High-humidity, high-moisture environments or have extreme weather exposure areas 4Everframe can help you.

If you have specific environmental considerations – such as salt spray, high insect populations, or moss – then 4Everframe is right for you, because it has anti-insect, anti-fungal, and rot-resistant properties.

The 4Everframe can be painted or left in its natural brown wood colour. You treat 4Everframe just like a traditional door frame, it can be cut drilled or screwed and you hang your door on it identically to a timber frame.

4Everframe is the only wood plastic composite door frame available in South Africa and is sold exclusively through Doors Direct.

The future of door frames has arrived with 4Everframe.

Click here to buy online.

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Tips for Installing Wooden Windows

Here are some tips for installing Wooden Windows that we have learn over the last 25 years.

When installing timber windows, it is of the utmost importance, that the external plaster does not encapsulate the base of the window frame, as water will get in between the wood and the plaster, due to the different expansion coefficients of timber and plaster. This trapped water will be unable to escape, because of the DPC, and will cause the timber to ultimately rot. 

Make sure the wooden windows are the right way round.

When installing your windows, please ensure that they are not upside down or inside out. Check that the window frame is installed perfectly level and square, and make sure that the lintels have been propped up for at least two weeks, prior to the frame being installed. Remember that there should be a gap of between 5 & 10 mm between the top of the lintel and the top of the window frame. The lintel must not be resting on the frame.

Glazing Windows

When glazing meranti windows, you must ensure that before you fix the glazing beads back into wooden windows that you have sealed the glazing beads all round, taking particular care to thoroughly seal the end grain where the glazing bead has been mitered. Don’t forget to also seal the rebate on the window or door before fixing the glass. To prevent water leaking into the house, you must always glaze up against either silicone or putty. 

Forcing Windows Closed during construction

When visiting construction sites, we often come across windows which have been forced closed, not withstanding the fact that there is concrete or plaster in the rebate of the frame or sash. This has the effect of causing the sashes to warp and also causes the handles or stays to loosen. Please ensure that before attempting to close your windows, the inside of the frame and sash are free of any debris which could hinder the smooth operation of the window.

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Painting Wooden Sliding Sash Windows

Wooden Sliding Sash Window - Doors Direct

 

Sliding Sash Windows have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. We find that an increasing number of customers are painting their wooden windows, and unless this is done correctly, all sorts of problems can occur. Doors Direct Sliding Sash windows are designed in such a way, that the sashes can be easily removed for painting.

This is done by removing the beading on the inside as well as on the outside of the window frame. You must ensure that all surfaces of the wooden window frame, the sash as well as the beading are painted with a good quality pink primer, prior to applying undercoat. The paint primer must first be applied to all surfaces including surfaces that will not visible after installation. Primers are a specialised surface sealer that prepares the surface of the timber for further painting they also contain special additives to prevent problems such as described above

Doors Direct sells three different styles of sliding sash windows, the full pane sliding sash windows, Victorian sliding sash windows and Cape Dutch Sliding sash window. To find out the price of our sliding sash windows please click here.

Do you know the right style of door for your home?

Choosing a new door is quite simple if you know the options available to you. Match the style to your type of home.

 

Flush Doors

Flush Doors are smooth on both sides, and generally made of plywood or MDF and are available in hollow or solid core. They are the least expensive and are well suited for modern architecture. Most often these are used internally.

 

Two Panel Doors

As you will see in the pictures there are variations on two-panel designs. By adding an arched top panel the door becomes great for Cape Dutch or French country style homes.
Having a larger panel on the top gives the door a traditional look, especially when combined with appropriate hardware set low at the rail level

 

Four-Panel Doors

Four-panel doors are another variation in traditional architecture. You can find these with hollow cores and in solid wood.
These doors will give you an elegant finish. These are a good choice for traditional style décor and formal home entrances

 

Six-Panel Doors

One of the most common door styles is the six-panel configuration. You should be able to find this door with a less-expensive hollow core as well as in solid wood.

 


8-21 Panel

More panels are suited to more modern house designs. There are options available in hollow core and solid wood. A classic pattern of square panels.

 

Specialty Doors

Once you move away from standard size and shape doors you will end up spending more. This door arched door will require an arched jamb. The arched look is ideal for Mediterranean style homes, especially with Spanish influences. Doors Direct is able to custom craft doors to your specifications.

 

French Doors

French doors have a frame around one or more transparent panels, usually filled with glass. The goal is to maximize light in a room. Used on external walls they connect the house with the outdoors and allow light into the room
French doors can also be used internally in areas meant to put a room of your home on display, like music rooms, home offices, living rooms, Dining rooms, etc.
If you are going all-out on character and have an older style Victorian house, stained glass might be the way to go.

 

Pivot Doors

Oversized and dramatic, pivot doors are available in engineered wood and in solid wood. Perfect for a main entrance in a modern home.

 

Folding Stacking Doors

Sliding / folding doors are stackable folding doors of multiple panels that slide and stack neatly to one or two sides.
This allows for a seamless transition between indoors and outside entertainment areas free of any barrier or obstruction.
With multiple combination openings of up to 10 or 12 meters can be easily managed

 

Carved Doors

When you want a unique entrance why not combine your love of handcraft and natural materials and opt for a carved door. It’s African and unique and locally made.

Create a welcoming exterior for your home

Your home’s front door entry is the focal point when someone visits your home.  You don’t have to spend big to make a large impression.  With a small bit of elbow grease and some basic tools you can make a big difference

 

Hardware

Think house numbers, the entry door lock, and light fittings overhead light.  These elements can all add style and interest.  Most people inherit them from the previous owner and forget about them or add elements as needed.

By thinking of these as a set that function collectively you can upgrade your home.  Brass elements on a traditional home, brushed nickel on a more contemporary home.  Replace that rusty light fitting with something new.

 

Your front Door

We often forget to clean off grimy marks around the door handle or to polish the metal fixtures.  If you are feeling more adventurous paint the door a new colour or if the doors lacks personality replace the door with something that fits your style better. Doors Direct allows you to order your new entrance door online and it will be delivered directly to your home.

 

Perfect Symmetry

Symmetry is simple to arrange and is pleasing to the eye.  Use pairs of sidelights or pairs of planters to create a symmetrical composition

 

Lighting

Low voltage or solar landscape lighting provides security and makes an impact to your home’s curb appeal.  Accent trees or illuminate the path. 

 

Create a garden

A container garden is a quick and affordable way to create a welcoming entrance.  Add colour with containers from the nursery filled with bright annuals such as impatiens, petunias or begonias

 

 Next week we are going to talk about how to match the style of door to your style of home. 

 

What your door colour says about you

The colours we choose to surround ourselves with reveal a lot about us. Are you outgoing with a love for bright colours? Are you more low-key and prefer subdued colours

The colour you choose for your front door sends a strong message and provides insight on how you see your home.

 

Blue. If you want to go blue you are well grounded and are not swayed by others. Blue is strongly associated with tranquillity and calmness. Blue is an abundant colour, it's the colour of sky and water. Blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

 

 

Yellow. Are you dying to paint your front door yellow? You like to look at life with a positive attitude. Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness and stimulates mental activity.

 

Green. Green is an obvious choice for people with a passion for gardens and the outdoors. Green represents balance, peace, compassion, growth, renewal, and harmony. Duck Egg and Sage are popular for a 'country chic' look.

 

White: A crisp white door is for those who are (or strive to be) organised, neat and clean. White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the colour of perfection.

 

Purple. Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. You’re comfortable taking risks and dreaming big.  Purple is associated with nobility and power as well as creativity, mystery, and magic.

 

 

Red.  Red is a powerful colour with very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. A red door calls for attention, so you’re not afraid of being  noticed. You are telling the world that your home is full of  energy and excitement. In Feng Shui, a red front door means “welcome.”

 

Orange: Orange corresponds to desire, sexual passion, pleasure, domination, and thirst for action.   Since you're a social butterfly and love to entertain you'll enjoy the attention that this highly visible colour brings

 

Brown. Whether painted or stained, a brown front door looks natural and organic, but it can send mixed messages in terms of colour psychology. On the one hand, brown conveys warmth, stability, and reliability, positive attributes all, but certain darker shades of brown signal a desire for privacy, even isolation.

 

Black. Those who paint the front door black are communicating something entirely different about their homes. A black front door projects strength, sophistication, power, and authority. Black is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious colour.

 

Do not be afraid of colour

Many people are afraid of painting wooden doors.  

The two main arguments generally go as follows

Once you paint you can never go back. This is not exactly true, going back to wood is a hassle and is time consuming.  The other point we make is why would you want to go back?  Once you have painted you have a choice of all the colours under the sun why would you want to go back to brown?

It's a waste to paint real wood is other argument that often comes up.  Paint will preserve the wood. Painted wooden doors are actually well protected from the elements and will generally be in better condition under the paint 20 years on than a door that is not painted.  

A new coat of paint on your front door can breath all new life into your home, and it’s a lot easier than you may think!  Yes, you will have to put in some elbow grease, but it shouldn’t take you more than a day to complete.

Because your front door is open to the elements outside, you’ll want to use an acrylic latex paint with an oil-based primer; this will cover any old paint left on the door.  However, if you have a brand new door that has never been painted, you are able to use an oil-based paint instead.