Saturday, 10 December 2016

Timber-Glazed Windows: A Perfect Substitute for Aluminum - Engr. Osaz' ENOBAKHARE

The use of aluminum-glazed sliding, casement and hinged windows are common in the built environment in Nigeria, this is due to its aesthetic value, ease of installation and durability. More recently, the production of wood-glass windows which is cost-effective and functionally efficient, and come in the same or slightly-altered shapes, forms and sizes as their aluminum counterpart is becoming increasing popular. 

Nigerian carpenters and upholstery experts can now take advantage of this new wave of interest across the globe to master the art and science of making engineered timber-glazed windows to provide a very affordable and suitable alternative to the delight of landlords, builders and developers.

This can be achieved by carefully carving the right timber material and fitting pre-fabricated single, double or triple-glazed glass panels of adequate thickness into it.

There are specific types of hardwood that best suit a particular framing and each depends on the specifications or desired end product. Soft woods are not deemed okay for making this kind of frames for reasons ranging from fragility, instability to known inconsistencies.  

Like the aluminum-glazed types, wood-glass windows provide efficient protection against the passage of moisture/water (since the woods are laminated on both faces and finished with water-resistant paints), however they are more thermally efficient than their counterpart as they provide resistance against extreme weather conditions like excessive heat and cold which would have caused warping and twisting of the material with an attendant adverse effect on the interiors and occupants of the building.

Moreso, timber-glazed windows are always treated with anti-termite treatment (e.g. solignum impregnation) to prevent attack by wood pests throughout their life span (which can be as long as that of the building itself) thereby improving their longetivity. Although they are not as effective against fire, timber-glazed windows are more eco-friendly (100% renewable), easy-to-maintain, cheaper, durable, requiring less time and energy to fabricate and install, and possessing a higher sound-absorbing quality than the aluminum-glazed type. 

In terms of cost for instance, according to a recent market survey in Lagos, the cost associated with the purchase, supply and installation of engineered timber-glazed windows was found to be about 27% lower than that of aluminum-glazed types of equal sizes and configurations (making it the second cheapest glazed window after the PVC type), yet the efficiency of the former is not in doubt and although this cost may rise with increasing acceptance, healthy competition is expected to keep it in check as hardwood which is the main framing material is readily available in commercial quantities both in raw and processed forms across the country. 

The popularity of timber-glazed windows is expected to rise rapidly because upon installation on a building it is often difficult to differentiate a timber-glazed sliding, hinged or casement window from its aluminum counterpart as the same oil-based paint is used to finish both. Also, it is not uncommon to see the hooks, locks and joineries on aluminum-glazed windows worn-out or fall out of place almost as soon as they are put to use due to excessive expansion and contraction occasioned by the poor thermal insulating properties typical of metals which causes friction at joints, connections and intersections, hence increasing the cost of maintenance (in terms of repair and replacement).  

In addition, the sound-absorbing quality of wood combines with that of glass to provide a very efficient noise reduction potential across the opening or divide from exterior to the interior and vice versa making it a very suitable alternative to aluminum for residential apartments, sound studios, hotels, dance halls, factories and other buildings with great demand for effective sound control over a long period of time. 

When you have an eye for good quality, uniqueness, warmth, and long-lasting windows at moderate cost, timber-glazed windows is the way to go. 


  1. Personally I was looking for some general information about sliding windows and your post was just perfect.Hope that you will continue to do posting.

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