Understanding the Benefits of Custom Windows and Doors
If you or your architect are shopping for new windows or doors, you should always – regardless of budget or schedule – take a good look at custom windows and doors. They can be surprisingly competitive in cost and lead time. Plus, you’ll be amazed by the options available, many of which are completely impossible for a stock window or door manufacturer to produce. In fact, it’s very likely that, once you use them in a project, you’ll never go back. Here’s a few reasons why:
One of the biggest problems with windows and doors from production manufacturers is the inability of designers to control their proportions, appearance and style, all crucial to the design of any building. Using custom windows and doors allow creative, unique, and striking arrangements that harmonize with and enhance the design, with sizes and compositions that are impossible with stock products. This flexibility in design includes not just windows and doors but the all-important frames and details surrounding them, inside and out.
Varieties of Wood
Most production companies have only one or two wood options to choose from, but custom windows and doors are limited only by the wood species you can find. Here are a few examples of woods you could use in custom windows and doors: redwood, cedar, fir, hemlock, red oak, white oak, douglas fir, pine, mahogany, brazilian cherry, maple, alder, and cypress (in the southern U.S.). Another wood that is not a particular species but is in high demand today, is sustainable lumber, either as reclaimed wood, or FSC-Certified (Forest Stewardship Council) wood, harvested from responsibly managed forests. Not only is this an environmentally significant choice, but it’s an important criteria for buildings looking towards Platinum or Gold LEED certification.
If you’re remodeling or adding on to a commercial, institutional, or residential building with a distinct or unusual style of windows, doors or trim, production styles and colors will clash both inside and out, practically yelling “remodel”. Custom windows and doors can perfectly match any unusual frame, sash, casing, trim, or sill – inside or outside – and in the identical wood species as the original. This is essential in historic buildings, particularly those listed on the National Historic Register, where maintaining the building’s character in renovations and additions is a requirement.
On the interior, custom windows and doors can match other woodwork, either new or already in place. This includes benches, bookcases, fireplace surrounds, floors and base trim, ceiling trim, cabinets, or any built-ins.
Hardware is another area where custom manufacturing can be indispensable. Production windows usually offer only one style of hardware, but a custom order can work with any specialty hardware you have in mind, adapting the window design accordingly.
Custom windows and doors have more practical options for specific projects, such as special glass, sash, frames, or hardware that can achieve higher security protection or acoustic isolation. And there are climates with extreme temperature or relative humidity that cause problems in standard window species like Douglas Fir. In such cases special wood choices not susceptible to these intense conditions will endure far better.
The same goes for finding and using woods resistant to localized wood-destroying insects. There’s also the issue of wear and tear in projects like restaurants or hotel lobbies, where particular hardwoods will fare much better than the typical softwoods in standard windows or doors.
When using custom windows and doors, there are ways to maintain control of your construction budget not available in standard brands. To start with, there are savings in the purchasing chain, since you deal directly with the manufacturer. There are no reps, dealer markups, or third party costs. There’s also savings in the direct communications between owner/architect and the factory. This eliminates layers of translation that occur from designer to dealer/rep and then on to the factory. Instead, your team works directly with a project manager who answers every question and provides suggestions to meet your individual needs.
In almost any circumstance, custom windows and doors are a better, longer-lasting investment than their manufactured counterparts from a production facility. Custom products offer greater choice in design, style, and material, are constructed individually with greater care and craft, and in the end, raise the quality and appearance of any building up to the highest standard.
If you’d like to experience the world of custom windows and doors for yourself, please visit us in our Manhattan showroom at 135 East 57th St 15-121, or browse our website.