Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Concrete Door and Window Frames - Serves Purpose, Saves Money!!

People who are in the process of constructing their dream homes will be in a constant thought process on different ways of constrution. Some will be oriented to find ways to save on construction cost and some others will be thinking on where they can get the unique things which no one else has used so that he can show off to others no matter what the cost.

This post is for those who want to save some money, and who looks for lowering their construction cost by reducing the usage of wood. But when you are going to gain in the money front, you should also ensure that you are not losing too much on the quality front.

Wood as a major raw material
Traditionally Keralites use a lot of wood for construction and in the early years it was the major raw material for buildings, but then the supply of wood was abundant. As the supply went down and demand increased prices shooted up and people opted for different construction mechanisms which ensured that usage of wood is minimum and some times the alternate method was more strong than wood based mechanism. A good example is the building's roofs.

Even now most of the people spend a lot of money on wood which forms the primary raw material for doors and windows. One alternative which has come up is the aluminium and steel windows, but it has not been hugely popular since 

1. Most of us have grown up seeing the traditionals thick frames of windows made of wood and we are resistant to changes.
2. People suspect that the strength of aluminium and steel windows are less compared to wooden counterparts.

An alternative which compensates for the above two shortfalls of aluminium and steel door and window frames is the usage of concrete doors and window frames.

A window frame of size 5ft x 5ft, including grills and three partitions will cost only 10% of the cost of the same window pane made of wood (Teak).

For door frames also the cost saving will be on these lines.

Some precautions need to be taken while selecting concrete doors and window frames which are listed below. Whatever mentioned here is my suggestion only and it is solely based on my usage of the same in my house and I am no technical expert in construction.

1. Integrated wood block for hinges and locks.
It is difficult to drill holes for screwing in nails in concrete frames. So for fixing the hinges and locks which is to be screwed tight, wooden blocks will be inserted the areas where these need to be fixed. These blocks will be inserted in the mould itself so that when the concrete hardens this forms an integral part of the system.

Normally good blocks are kept for hinges, but for the locks only small piece of wood is kept. One has to demand to keep a bigger block of wood so that he has the flexibility to fix the position of lock in a larger area and the small block of wood has the tendency to come out of the concrete.


2. Don't use concrete frames in areas which can come into regular contact with water directly or indirectly.
Paint tends to peel off. I did not use it for doors of bathrooms, but for bathroom venitilators I used concrete frames, thinking that since it is high up it will not come in direct contact with water. But my assumption proved wrong and the ventilator window's paint peeled off after 6 months or so. On a lighter note, now it looks like a different design
Same thing happened for door frame near the kitchen sink.

3. Where to use concrete frames and where to use wooden frames.
Wooden frames for
a. All the doors which had access to outside, I used wooden frames
b. All the window panes in drawing room, dining room,
c. Bathroom ventilators
d. Kitchen and Workarea doors

Concrete frames for
a. All the bedroom doors
b. All the bedroom windows.

For bathroom doors, plastic is the best. (I will write about it soon)

4. Painting of concrete frames
While painting, ensure that enough putty is applied so that the irregularities or imperfections of the surface are completely hidden. This will give is a more wood like appearance for those who loves wood.


5. Decide on what kind of Grill you want before ordering the concrete frame.
Specify the grill design that you want before moulding the concrete. Once the concrete frame is created you cannot simply put a new grill. Even if is a simple grill design ensure that cross bars are present for added protection. A typical concrete window view from inside my bedroom.


6. Carpenters opinion.
Will people ever agree to an option which will reduce their income. Just because of this reason carpenters will always give verdict agains the concrete frames since they stands a chance to lose the labour of making the wooden frame.


Reduce wood usage, Go Green, Protect the environment, Save hard earned money too !!!!

20 comments:

Amin said...

Hello! Interesting blog!

shobhit said...

hi,
read your article,i found it nice.
actually instead of wooden blocks,plastic blocks can be used.
i manufacture rubber dies and plastic blocks required for manufacturing those concrete door frames.
thanks for supporting concrete door frames

Pankaj Batra said...

Good detailed review.
My new house is getting built, so It helped me a lot

Prabhu said...

thanks a lot buddy ... i was searching for such kinda review ... since m planning to go for concrete window frames. .

Tracy said...

Buying a high quality door for your home really saves you a lot of money. Everything you buy for your home must have a really better quality for it is your investment. Everything in my home is of good quality that's why I rarely replace things inside my home. I always go home shopping at Bay area. Windows and doors
there are always in good quality so it really last a lifetime.

Sheron said...

We manufacture pre-cast concrete door frames, window frames, arches and ventilators of all sizes.

- Hinges in our products are fitted into the frame using steel bolts & screws. No need to worry about hinges coming out of the frame.

- Concrete is reinforced using steel bars. Can withstand heavy loads.

- Replacement for wooden door and window frames.

- The surface of the frames are of very good finish. So no need to use large amounts of putty to cover surface imperfections.

- Low cost compared to wooden door or window frames.

- Extremely durable. Will last for over 7 decades.

- Can be used for quick and low cost building construction.

- Extensively used in construction of houses, villas & apartments.

- In operation for over 10 years. Our customers can vouch for the quality of our products.

We are based out of Trivandrum, Kerala.

Please contact (+91)(0)4712372668 or (+91)9447023274 for more info.

Alternatively email me at sheronz at gmail dot com.

dasun said...

i was looking for this sorta review tnx buddy. but my idiotic contractor doesnt like them and insist on wood. i should ask him to screw.

subu.ps said...

hello dasun
Exactly the case of most contractors. It is a nexus between carpenters and wood retailers. Your contractor will lose the margins on commission.
But don't go for this option for doors opening to outside and for bathrooms and kitchens.
Thanks for your comment.
All the best for your construction.
Best regards
Subu.ps

അക്കേട്ടന്‍ said...

It is a nice post. I think now days the hinges are fixed with machine screws to metal plates embedded on the concrete frame which is also welded to re-bars of concrete. For the past some years I am away from kerala. Now I am building a home. Can you or anybody please advise me the best manufacture of these frames in Calicut.

അക്കേട്ടന്‍ said...

It is a nice post. I think now days the hinges are fixed with machine screws to metal plates embedded on the concrete frame which is also welded to re-bars of concrete. For the past some years I am away from kerala. Now I am building a home. Can you or anybody please advise me the best manufacture of these frames in Calicut.

Sumesh said...

Dear Subu,
thanks for ur valuable post.I wish to build a new home at thrissur.can u plase forward the contact details of habitat. I requrest u to sent me some more pics of ur house in & outside.Pls.......My email-id friendzsumesh@gmail.com

thiruppathy999 said...

congrats! keep up the good work/this is a great presentation.

Concrete

Sree Kumar said...

Dear Subu,
thanks for ur valuable post.I wish to build a new home at mavelikkara, Alapuzha District.can u plase forward the contact details of habitat. I requrest u to sent me some more pics of ur house in & outside.Pls.......My email-id
sreeku27@gmail.com

sanoj s.raj said...

Dear Subu,thanks for ur valuable post.I wish to build a new home at Kollam district.can u plase forward the contact details of habitat. Irequrest u to sent me some more pics of ur house in & outside.Pls.......My email-id sanojsraj@gmail.com.com

Hercules Roll Forming said...

Thanks for sharing the information

Metal Door Frame Manufacturer

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Anonymous said...

Which is the better option.using wooden door frames or the rcc door frames.

Anonymous said...

Which is the better option.using wooden door frames or the rcc door frames.

subu.ps said...

Wooden door frames has more fit and finish. But if you can bear with the finish and is on a tight budget, RCC doors and windows serves the purpose.
I went for wooden door and windows for main doors (towards outside) and windows in living room. For all others i used RCC.

NSP Bricks said...

The post is useful and it would really help for those who search for
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