We all love the look of crittall style steel windows.
But we have all experienced this sequence:
'Oh my! Those windows look great! Maybe I will have those kind of double doors in my home? Let's get a quote...'
(sometime later... )
***Quote is recieved and is sitting in your INBOX***
'WHAT THE ..... ?!' and we proceed to faint because the quote has completely knocked us for six.
The reality is, steel windows and doors are not a low cost product. Just like the alternatives out there, whether you decide to go ahead with hardwood timber windows or slimline aluminium frames, you pay for a product that does more than just create a hole in the wall to allow light in to your home.
I think it's important to discuss the manufacturing process:
- Steel windows are cut to size from long lengths of the W20 and W40 profiles
- Each corner is then mitre cut and hand welded to produce the frame for your window. Any welded joins are sanded to ensure a seamless joint.
- Once the window or door is constructed, it gets galvanised. This means dipping the bare steel frame in to hot zinc. The galvanising process creates a protective layer that prevents the steel from rusting due to moisture.
- The window is then sanded down again by hand to remove any imperfections caused by the galvanising process.
- For the final stage of production, the window is powder coated to almost any desired colour and handles, hardware and locks are fitted per the clients design.
As you can see, the process of producing crittall style steel windows is heavily labour intensive and requires a lot of manual labour. AND we haven't even spoken about the preparation of hardware and handles, weather stripping and glazing.
Steel windows and doors are a hand made product, each window is bespoke made to your project by artisan metal crafters.
More than just windows
The great thing about choosing steel for your windows is that you get 'more than just windows'. There is a reason why Interior Designers, Architects and Home Owners are choosing steel over the alternatives. Even when it comes to replica steel windows made from aluminium, people opt to use steel as it's characteristics will completely TRANSFORM A PROPERTY. You're getting a product that immediately gives the interior of your property a luxurious feel.
The replica aluminium profiles just won't cut it. They will always look like a replica...
But enough of this, let's get to the nitty, gritty details. How much do they cost?
Well, we have done a comparison between a typical enquiry we receive for steel windows. We have chosen to compare the below drawing in both REAL STEEL WINDOWS and a popular aluminium profile that mimics the crittall window style. A set of external double doors with side lights and double glazed units.
So what is the result?
The cost for Aluminium windows: £4,400.00*
The cost of Steel windows: £6,400.00*
*supply only prices
Ok, so the price does differ. However, if we delve further into the details we see that all is not as it seems as both products are quite different.
What are you getting for the price?
- The first big difference is the size of the doors. As steel is naturally a strong material, the sizes of doors can be a lot larger. The price for the steel option above includes doors that are from floor to ceiling. The full 2,9 metres high. In comparison, the aluminium doors are only 2,1 metres high as the material is weaker and therefore has limited heights. The rest of the height above is made up of fixed light.
- Handles and hardware for steel windows and doors come in a huge variety of options. From lever handles and doors knobs to flush pulls and bars. The finishes available for hardware is also vast and come in finishes such as: antique brass, copper, antique black and bronzes.
- The narrower sight lines of glazing bars, mullions and transoms results in larger panes of glass that can be used in steel windows. This is because of the inherent strength of steel. Aluminium requires thicker profiles that will reduce the glazing used and give a more cluttered effect.
- Flexibility. Aluminium profiles have a depth of 47mm as opposed to the 31mm depth of steel frames. This allows steel doors and windows to have many applications. Designers have used them for internal glazing screens and partitions, shower screens, internal doors with single glazing and much more. The slenderness of the frame allows for this flexibility where as the thicker aluminium profile does not.
- AND Most importantly (in our opinion), the biggest difference is evident in the quality and finish of the product. As mentioned above, each steel door is cut, welded and sanded by craftsmen. This results in a finish that is unique to each set of windows and doors. The profiles have an unbelievably smooth finish that is unrivalled by aluminium.
What you get with steel is a window and door that is as much a feature in your property as an opening to the outside world.
We think that if you are looking to make a statement with your property and the cost is within your budget that the price difference is justified.
For more information about steel windows and doors get in touch on 0207 602 1087 or contact us directly at designpluslondon