Windows make up an important part of an HDB unit in Singapore and its design, style, and material of construction all play a significant role in providing the necessary functionality and aesthetics to the interior. Whichever HDB window frames you choose, it will determine the kind of function the window offers, its visual impact, as well as the kind of insulation the window offers. Since windows are structures that you do not change often, it is important to choose them wisely so that they are not only durable and functional, but also provide the right aesthetics to go along with your HDB home interior design.
This article discusses the different kinds of window frame materials available in Singapore for HDB units, shedding light on each material’s pros and cons. By having detailed information about how each material compares with the other, you will be able to make a better decision in choosing the right window frame for your HDB.
When it comes to discussing windows and window frames, we often think about them as a structure that can be opened and closed according to your requirement of whether you want any ventilation or not. However, an HDB’s windows and frame offer many more functions that must be kept in mind while selecting a window frame for your home.
A window frame is largely responsible for providing insulation to the HDB unit. This insulation could be against extreme temperatures, winds, and sound. In case of the hot and humid weather of Singapore, when you turn on the AC in your home, you would want the cold to stay inside the room in an insulated environment. A good window frame allows for good insulation, allowing the room to stay cold when the window is shut.
A window frame also offers a secure and protected barrier along with the window grilles for your home. A strong and resilient window frame will ensure that there could be no break-ins, giving you the peace of mind that you are safe and protected inside your home.
Apart from the functional properties of security and insulation, a window frame plays a crucial role in enhancing the appearance of your home. The right kind of window frame will complement other elements of your home interior design to create an overall aesthetically appealing and attractive interior. Find current trending window designs in our blog.
In Singapore, you will find that there are several different types of window frames available. The most commonly used materials for window frames in Singapore include:
- Aluminum — one of the most common materials chosen for window frames, aluminum offers extreme strength and durability even though it is a lightweight material.
- uPVC (Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride) — Double glazed uPVC window frames are also another popular choice because of their low maintenance, affordable costs, and durable nature.
- Wood — Wood window frames offer a timeless appearance to any space where they are installed and is a good choice for HDB homes where the interior design theme is classy and elegant.
- Steel — One of the strongest forms of materials, steel window frames offer unmatched strength, making it a favorable choice for some homeowners.
Let’s go through the pros and cons of each of these materials in detail so you can have a good understanding of what each material offers and which one is best for your HDB window frames.
As stated earlier, each material of construction for window frames has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Aluminum is considered one of the most popular choices of material for window frames. Let’s consider the advantages aluminum material offers for HDB window frames.
- Aluminum is a highly durable material that can last for years. Window frames made from this material are resistant to rust and corrosion.
- It is a highly strong material that is weather-resistant and can resist strong winds. Hence, its window frames are the ideal choice for high-wind areas.
- Aluminum window frames require minimum maintenance, therefore, you do not need to worry too much about their maintenance frequently. They are prone to rusting and corrosion, so do not require much maintenance. All you need to do is to clean them with soapy water or a damp cloth after a few weeks and your windows will last for years.
- Aluminum is a highly budget-friendly option for window frames especially when you consider its low maintenance costs over the years. The kind of durability and strength these window frames offer is the best value for money in the long run.
- This material is available in a variety of colors and leaves many options for customization when selecting your window frames.
- Aluminum is a fire-resistant material, therefore, its window frames are a safe choice for an HDB unit.
- While choosing a material for your window frame, it is crucial to see how strong the frame is so it can uphold the entire window system. Aluminum is a highly strong and durable material that is ideal for window frames as it has the power to withhold the entire window elements in the right places.
- This material offers great aesthetic value that is perfect for window frames. It can be powder-coated in any color and finish of your choice to match the overall design and aesthetics of your HDB flat. You can customize the window frame in many different ways because of its great versatility.
- Aluminum is an energy-efficient material that offers great insulation through its thermal break technology when used in window frames. This prevents any heat transfer through the window resulting in better energy efficiency.
- Aluminum is a recyclable material, thus making it an eco-friendly and sustainable material.
Apart from these advantages, there are a few disadvantages of aluminum that should also be considered before choosing the material for window frames.
- The aluminum window systems that do not have the thermal break technology have a high U-value that allows heat to transfer through the material. This means that it is a good conductor of heat and does not create an energy efficient environment.
- Aluminum is generally a good conductor of heat and the varying indoor and outdoor temperatures can cause the aluminum window frames to become condensed. This can become a problem especially in cold weather when the aluminum window frame can be too cold to touch.
- Aluminum window frames that are not powder coated or painted have the tendency to corrode. Hence, the moisture in the air and other types of water sources can cause rusting in aluminum window frames.
For more pros and cons of aluminum window frames, check out this article.
Pros and Cons of uPVC Window Frames
uPVC window frames are another popular choice of homeowners in Singapore for their HDB units because of their many advantages.
- uPVC is a strong and sturdy material that is bound to last for many years.
- This material can withstand tough weather conditions because of the strong galvanized steel sections that make up the multi-chambered uPVC panels. This gives its window frames their extreme strength and durability.
- uPVC window frames are very easy to clean and maintain. You just need water and soap to deep clean them, otherwise just normal dusting can keep the window frames clean.
- This material is a poor conductor of heat which makes it quite energy efficient. It can help maintain the temperature of the room and keep the cold or heat inside according to your desired temperature setting. Thus, these window frames act as good thermal insulators for your HDB units.
- uPVC window frames come at a relatively lower price as compared to wooden window frames.
- uPVC is a highly resistant material that does not rot or warp over time. Hence, when you install these window frames, you can be rest assured that they will last a lifetime.
Although there are several advantages of uPVC window frames, there are a few disadvantages associated with them.
- As compared to aluminum window frames, uPVC window frames are more expensive.
- uPVC frames can give the appearance of wood frames but that appearance looks cheap and plastic-like. Therefore, such window frames may not be appropriate for a classy interior design theme.
Pros and Cons of Wooden Window Frames
Another material for window frames that is popular in Singapore for HDB homes is wood. Wooden window frames offer such class and elegance that is unmatched. The appearance that a real wood window creates has such a look and feel that it is bound to attract anyone and everyone. There are several advantages of choosing wooden window frames for your HDB units:
- The aesthetic properties of real wood cannot be matched by any other material. If you have a classic or traditional interior design in your home, a real wood window can help enhance the ambience to great new levels. Wood is available in a number of different colors, textures, and grains. Moreover, it can be painted in a variety of colors to match the aesthetics and style of your interior.
- Wood is a very poor conductor of heat and, therefore, offers great insulation. Wooden window frames provide a lot more insulation as compared to steel and aluminum window frames. Thus, they can help keep the house warm in winters and cool in summers. This helps conserve electricity bills and makes them energy efficient.
- Wooden window frames also offer great insulation against sound and noise. So you can be assured that the outside noises will not disturb you inside your home if you have wooden window frames.
- Wood window frames are easy to install and require basic carpentry skills for installation.
- Wood is a renewable material, therefore, if you choose wood for your window frames, you can be assured that you are choosing an environment-friendly option and playing your part towards a sustainable future.
- Wood, if maintained properly and regularly, can last a lifetime, making it a good choice for HDB window frames.
Although wooden window frames are hands down one of the most beautiful and attractive types of window frames that offer a number of advantages, there are a few drawbacks of wood as well.
- Wood has the tendency to warp and look old if it is not treated, sealed, or painted regularly.
- Wood is affected greatly by moisture and can twist or expand in a humid environment if it is not cared for. This poses a great challenge for homeowners in Singapore as the humid climate can affect the wooden window frames much more as compared to a dry climate area.
- Wood can be infested by insects, most commonly by termites. Again, proper painting and sealing is essential to prevent any insect infestation on the wooden window frame.
- Because pure wood offers a great number of aesthetic and functional properties, it costs much more than other types of materials. The regular and frequent maintenance of wood also adds to the overall cost of the frame over the years. This makes wooden window frames a costly option for HDBs.
Lastly, we discuss another common window frame material which is steel or mild steel. Steel window frames offer a number of great advantages including:
- Steel is a highly strong and durable material. If they are installed and maintained properly, they can last a lifetime. Its strength makes it a good choice for window frames in HDBs as it can offer an appropriate level of security and protection against break-ins.
- This material has a much more insulation capacity as compared to aluminum. Thus, it can help in creating a thermally efficient environment in your HDB, conserving energy, and keeping your energy bills at a low level.
- It cannot warp or crack due to weather changes or with time.
- Steel window frames can offer different levels of fire resistance.
- Steel is a relatively low maintenance material and requires very little taking care of over the years to last a lifetime.
Although there are many advantages, steel window frames have a number of limitations that you should know about so you can make your selection accordingly.
- Steel window frames have a metal coating making them quite heavy and difficult to install.
- Steel window frames can be quite expensive as compared to other types of window frame materials.
Steel is vulnerable to rusting and corrosion especially if you live in areas near salt water. Steel window frames in such areas would require much more maintenance and care to prevent them from corroding.
How to Choose the Right Window Frame Material
When you choose a new window frame for your HDB, it is just not an upgrade. Rather, it is an investment in the practicality, functionality, comfort, and energy efficiency of your home over the next many years. Therefore, it is very important that you make your decision wisely and take several factors into consideration before finalizing your decision of which material you want to choose.
Every home is different and every homeowner is different. The first thing to consider while choosing a window frame material for your HDB in Singapore is to understand your home’s unique needs. The architectural style, climate, different rooms, and surrounding structures all should guide your choice. The distinct needs of your home need to be matched by your selection of the window frame so that you can achieve the desired look while still getting all the functionality.
While choosing a window frame material for your home, make sure that it creates a balance between functionality and aesthetics. A window frame will not only help create a secure and protected environment for your home, it will also create a visual impact that can enhance or diminish the interior’s ambience. Therefore, keep both these requirements in consideration while choosing the material so that you can achieve a harmonious balance between looks and performance for your HDB unit.
While choosing a window frame, among other requirements, you should also consider prioritizing energy efficiency. Window frames play a major role in regulating temperatures inside an HDB and therefore, directly affect the amount of energy consumption and subsequently the energy bills. By choosing energy-efficient materials, you can be assured that you will eventually save on the costs of energy over the next many years.
The budget that you have planned for the window frames upgradation and the corresponding costs of each material can drive your selection of frames. Each material has its upfront cost that must fall within your budget. However, always think of window frame upgradation as an investment that can affect you over several years. Therefore, choose a material that will eventually be cost-effective in the long run.
Another important factor to consider while choosing a particular window frame material is to check how frequently it needs to be maintained and taken care of and what that will cost you. Some materials may have a relatively low upfront cost but will require you to maintain them much more frequently. This will cost you in terms of time, effort, and money. The wise choice is to select a material that requires low maintenance like aluminum.
Choosing a window frame material for your HDB home in Singapore should not be considered a decision that you should make without having all the required knowledge about the pros and cons of each material. We have tried to go through all the major window frame materials available in Singapore, highlighting their features while still discussing their limitations. Having complete knowledge about these materials can ensure that you make the right, well-informed decision so you can benefit from them over the course of years to come.
Gate Door Window (GDW) is Singapore’s leading door supplier and one-stop solution for all your home needs. GDW specializes in providing custom-made, strong, and versatile aluminum window frames for HDBs in Singapore. They have supplied and installed a wide range of aluminum window frames in Singapore. You can view their portfolio on their website. For more information about window frames or other products like HDB gates, HDB interior doors, digital locks, and many others, contact GDW today.
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