Windows are the most prominent part of a house either it is small or big, windows play an important role for providing sound, natural light and ventilation for house. A house without natural light and ventilation can not be liveable hence windows or openings for light and ventilation purposes have been in practice since decades. Windows can be of different types such as fixed, openable, sliding, skylight fix etc. Windows currently in trend in Pakistan are:
- Wooden windows
- Steel windows
- Aluminium windows
- UPVC windows
Wooden windows were in practice throughout Pakistan till the time when wood was cheaply available and steel or aluminium windows were not available. Currently due to wood being too expensive, wooden windows are either not used or used very rarely in regions where wood is still available at cheap rates. Another reason for extinction of wooden windows is its regular maintenance due to severe weathers such as excessive rains. Since wood is a natural material and needs to be finished with polish, hence it can not withstand water during regular rains resulting in distorted finish.
Steel windows have been in practice very commonly for last 15 to 20 years which are being used as an alternate to wooden windows. Steel windows provide more durability and strength as compared to wooden windows but lack in aesthetic looks and are prone to rusting. These type of windows can be made in any customised design however strength is defined by the number of gauge for the sheet that is used to make sections and size of steel rods to make the design in between sections. In current market, these type of windows are cheaper as compare to wooden, UPVC or good quality aluminium windows however are very rarely used now since the advancements and progression of aluminium windows.
In Pakistan’s house construction industry, just like last 10 to 15 years that belong to the evolution of tiles, same applies for aluminium windows. Aluminium windows have replaced all other type of windows such as wooden or steel without any exceptions or conditions. These windows are much more durable as compared to other conventional windows and do not require periodic maintenance, are easy to install, economical and have aesthetic look. Aluminium windows can be replaced anytime without any hassle as they only require dismantling by undoing the screws whereas conventional steel windows are much more difficult to remove because of its grouting with concrete. Aluminium windows consists of following components:
- Sections fix
- Sections sliding
- Nylon brush rubber
- drain caps
- fiber Mesh
Some of the most renowned companies manufacturing aluminium sections in Pakistan are:
Different categories of Aluminium windows
Apart from aluminium’s brand and company name, sections are categorised with respect to their gauges. Sections are made in different gauges such as 1.2, 1.6, 1.8 and 2 where 2 indicates best quality section. Now let us categorise aluminium windows:
Aluminium Section with sliding and fix panel in any brand/company in 1.2 gauge, all hardware made under the brand name “khaas”(local), natural section color (silver) and 5 mm plain clear glass (Ghani or Tariq float).
Cost with fixing labor complete around Rs 550 to 575/sqft
Aluminium Section with sliding, dividers and fix panel in any brand/company in 1.6 gauge, all hardware made under the brand name “khaas”(local), natural section color (silver) and 5 mm plain clear glass (Ghani or Tariq float).
Cost with fixing labor complete around Rs 580 to 620/sqft
Aluminium Section with sliding, dividers and fix panel in any brand/company in 2 gauge, all hardware made under the brand name “khaas”(local), natural section color (silver) and 8 mm plain clear tampered glass (Ghani or Tariq float).
Cost with fixing labor complete around Rs 900 to 950/sqft
Other colors available in aluminium are champagne, white (coated), black(coated) and different wooden textures. Any of above color will add 15 to 40 Rs/sqft to above mentioned natural silver color rates.
Things to keep in mind before placing order for aluminium windows:
- Rate you are paying for should be justified for the gauge that you will receive.
- Hardware such as wheels and rubbers play critical role, must of best quality.
- Base section of window should have water drains covered with drain caps. Without drain holes, rain water will not have way out hence causing trouble.
- Windows of extra large sizes should be divided into smaller panels, bigger the panel means tougher to slide and can malfunction anytime.
- Window should be sealed with silicon from all four sides inside out, silicon is not a permanent sealer hence filling with gypsum(plaster of paris) powder can be an alternate option.
- Fiber mesh are available in various qualities, ask for the sample from vendor before making mesh panels. It should be strong enough to resist minor pressure without tearing apart.
Another type of windows that are very widely and commonly used worldwide but still very rarely used in Pakistan are high standard UPVC windows. UPVC sections are being imported in Pakistan from China and Europe in different qualities. Quality of UPVC section is measure by the width of its section in millimetres(mm). Sections available are ranging in between 50 to 75 mm. Reason for it not being used very commonly in Pakistan is its expensive cost. However it has many advantages such as much more durable than aluminium, high quality imported hardware, smooth operation both in slide and openable panels etc.
Even the most economical UPVC window costs more than the best quality aluminium windows. UPVC is mostly used for double glazed windows, a window that becomes sound, heat and dust proof. It consists of special section and two glass sheets parallel to each other with vacuum gap or argon gas filled in between. This type of window costs a minimum of 1500 to 2000 Rs/sqft(German). Whereas a typical UPVC window with single glazed glass costs between 1000 to 1300 Rs/sqft. UPVC comes in natural white color with all imported hardware. Some companies are selling black upvc is it has higher demand in market but it should be made sure that if you require black UPVC section, it should be in natural black color which is directly imported from Germany. Few local vendors are using powder coat paint on white profile and selling it as black which is not long lasting. Recent addition in UPVC is the turkish profile. It costs in range of 1050 to 1100 Rs/sqft. Local UPVC is also now available in market in both white and black colors but quality is far from up to the mark.