Selecting the right window

Every time I pass by someones’ home, I realised that there are many homeowners who installed the wrong type of window.  For this post, I will talk about installing the right window for your home.

In Singapore, most of the houses will install aluminium window due to cost and the “all weather resistant” of the material.  Aluminium window can be seem in almost all new or renovated  buildings and houses except for really old (e.g. 30 years old) one.  You might ask, since all houses installed aluminium window, what should you be concern about when choosing your window?


For condo homeowners, some information might not be suitable for you.  This is because private condo management have their own guidelines on type of window in order to preserve the original external look of the condo.  Do check with your condo management for more information regarding window installation.

1. The colour of your window

Aluminium window can come in different colour by choosing whether its powder coated or not.  Powder coating provide homeowners variety of colours.  Selecting the correct colour will help homeowner improve the design and appearance of their home.  Without powder coating, the original metallic colour of aluminium is also very appealing.  Therefore, which colour to chose will very much depend on the design of your home.

Aluminium Powder Coat Colour Examples

2. The types of window

There are a number of window types to choose from:

  • Casement
  • Sliding
  • Bi-fold
  • Adjustable Louver

If you need to know how each type of window look like, do look at TBT Team Works, Ong & Koh and LeGate product page.

Which one should you chose?  That will depend on the the ways you will be using your window and the location of your window.

Corridor window: If your window is located along the corridor (meaning that your neighbours will be passing by), your window have to be sliding.  You are not allowed to use casement or bi-fold not only because of the regulation from BCA but for the safety of your neighbour.

Kitchen window: It is better to install a casement or bi-fold window.  Casement or bi-fold allows you to have full view from your window, thereby allowing full access to the bamboo pole holders, as well as more wind and light to enter your house.  However, there are other situations to consider.  For example if your washing machine and dryer is located near the window which will impede your access to the window, sliding window is a better choice.  For some new HDB houses, the balcony and kitchen window might get into each other way.  Depending on situation, you will have to select the type of window that can allow you to open all window fully without contradiction.

Sliding window is preferred instead of casement because of the location of the washing machine and dryer. Imagine that casement window is used, you will have problem when you need to access your window.

Bedroom and living window:  Casement or bi-fold is obviously the best choice.  However, if your window is along the corridor, then sliding is the only choice.  The way your house is designed and your usage also affects the selection of the window.

Adjustable louver window:  Its a very old school design that most interior designers will not recommend unless necessary or for very specific reason.  Most homeowners no longer use them except for HDB and some condo toilets.

3. Window glass 

Window glass type:

  • Clear
  • Opaque (Seldom will any homeowner uses this except for commercial purposes)
  • Frosted

Corridor window: Its better to select frosted glass for your window along the corridor.  Frosted window will create a blur view of the internal of your house as well as allows light to travel in.  For security, privacy and practical reasons, frosted glass is preferred over the clear or opaque window.

Aluminium window with frosted glass

External view of aluminium window with frosted glass (light off)

External view of aluminium window with frosted glass (light on). Privacy of the homeowner is ensured

External view of aluminium window with clear glass. Privacy is compromised.

Kitchen, bedroom and living room window: Clear glass is always preferred (not along corridor) to ensure maximum light penetration so that your house will alway look bright during the day even without switching on your light.

4. Number of panel for your window

For HDB houses, there is a regulation by HDB regarding the number of panel you can have.  The number of panel will depend on the length of the window area which HDB has a regulation on.  Example: each sliding window panel cannot exceed 1.2 m.  See HDB Guidelines for window.  Therefore, it is not possible to have as many panel as you like!

5. Top hung

Some homeowners preferred top hung for their window so that air can flow into the house even when the main window is closed.  The disadvantage of  top hung is that it will make the main part of the window smaller.  However, when installing top hung,  it is important that the top hung is of correct or reasonable sizes.  When its too small, the top hung might not perform as its supposed function.  When its too big, your main window will be too small and the whole look of the window will be compromised.

Aluminium window with top hung

Aluminium window with top hung

6. Locks and handles

There are also many types of locks and handles to choose from.  See Ong & Koh product page for examples.  Most locks work fine whether its with key or not except when young children is involve.  If a robber attempt to break into your house, whether there is key or not, he can still enter your house by breaking the window.  So in term of practical, there is not much when installing locks with key.

Aluminium window lock without key

Before you make your selection, do take a look at your neighbours’ window.  They might have install something that you will like.  Compare your neighbours’ window and you will make a good selection.

Here is an example of the aluminium window catalog that the renovation industry uses.  The company Wan Sern Metal Industries is one of the biggest company in Singapore dealing with aluminium and steel works.  Most interior designers in Singapore use them because of their price.  You can visit their website for more of their products which you will most likely use.

Wan Sern aluminium window catalog

For my next post, I will talk about window grilles which is very much connected to window.

Happy reading!


Blog about Interior Design, renovation and home improvement.


3 Responses to “Selecting the right window”

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