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Choosing Right Hardware for Doors & Windows
Windows and doors are an important investment in any building. They can reduce energy costs, add to curb appeal, improve ventilation and make the interiors more comfortable. That’s why it pays to learn about the major components of doors and windows. Finding the right entry door for your home is important, but so is choosing the correct door hardware. To help make your choice easier, here’s what you need to know about door and window hardware, and how to know what kind of hardware to get to complete the look and feel of your doors and windows.
We spoke to many industry experts on the criteria for choosing hardware for fenestration, and this edition’s cover story summarises the details, which can make it easier to choose the right hardware products for doors and windows.
Hardware may not be top of mind when choosing the right window or door for a project, but it’s an important part of achieving the right look and ensuring you have windows and doors that operate smoothly and stand up to years of use. From traditional to contemporary, hardware comes in a variety of architectural styles and finishes to meet your aesthetic needs and design goals. It’s designed for effortless operation, safety and security.
Quality hardware for fenestrations makes it easy to operate and can help provide added security. Beyond making certain that the selection meets minimum functionality and code requirements, more attention is usually paid to the look and finish of the door and its hardware than to how well they will function over time. If you don’t choose the best hardware then you will be putting your items & safety at the risk because thieves can easily access your premises. You need to know different hardware and their uses.
Types Of Hardware For Doors And Windows
When choosing the right window or door, the hardware is an important part of achieving the right look, that lasts up to years and is easy to operate, says Uma Subbaraman – Director Communications and Strategy, Tattva Mittal Group.
Products that are used either in the door and window decoration, their maintenance, or in any other function are such as handles, window extrusions, fasteners, hinges, locks, hooks, number plates, knockers and glass. All these basic yet necessary hardware that goes on any window or door keeping in the safety measures and lasting impression.
Architectural hardware includes categories, such as entrance door hardware, commercial pull handles, railings & standoffs, door locks, supports & accessories, hinges, aldrops, and others. These are the set elements or fittings, which help buildings to function efficiently. Architectural hardware enhances the appearance of the structure and its right choice leads to the success of the project. These products mainly find application in the construction industry.
According to Eshwar N, Chief Marketing Officer, CASAGRAND, the essential hardware for doors are handles, locks, hinges, closers, stoppers, tower bolts and door chains. For windows, it would be concealed handles and locks.
Abhishek Kale, Area Manager – India, Sobinco NV explains, hardware requirements vary on condition to condition. But most common hardware for windows include handles, locking points (can vary), hinges, restrictor arm, frame run on rest, shutter run on rest, etc. For doors – hinges, handle, lock (multipoint), receiver & door closure are the most common hardware. There are specialised hardware, which are being used on case to case basis. Raman Sapru, Executive President, Engineering, Chalet Hotel too observes that door and window fittings and accessories are important components of a building.
Here are some of the most commonly used door and windows fittings and accessories:
Door Hardware Fittings & Accessories
• Door Knobs
• Handle sets
• Door Seals
• Door Levers
• Door Hinges
• Electrical Door Locks
• Door Handles
• Door Bells
• Door Bolts
• Door Chimes
• Door Latches
• Door Closers
• Door Stoppers
• Door Push/Pull Plates
Apart from uPVC profiles, glass and gaskets, the hardware also plays the important roles to make a complete product, says Avanish Singh Visen, Chief Executive Officer, Encraft India. Below mentioned are few important hardware’s used, says Visen:
According to Uday Shetty, Director, Caldwell SEA Private Limited, sliding doors & windows will require compatible sliding lock (single & or multipoint), needle bearing rollers (fixed or adjustable), along with plastic parts (anti rattler, guides, etc.) to ensure smooth performance.
Choosing The Right Kind Of Hardware For Windows And Doors
A lot of considerations namely durability, operational ease, and post-operational issues, warranty and requirements as listed by the regional fire norms go into the selection of hardware, observes Eshwar. It is very much important to choose the right kind of hardware, says Kale. Window and doors are moving elements in façade. Also in case of failure, they create life threatening situation and in case of an emergency like fire escape window, they have to operate perfectly. Most of the hardware need pre-assembly if hardware comes in preassembled format installation of hardware will be user friendly, adds Kale.
Performance of a window is directly related to the choice of correct hardware and systems, says Uday Shetty. “We recommend the process of compatibility check to sampling to quality installation methods”, he adds. According to Visen, any hardware selection should be primarily based on specification and suitability. It is highly important and advisable to consider the below-mentioned points to avoid application failures:
Does the hardware require any adjustment to frame cutting sizes?
Does the hardware fixing penetrate reinforcement or special anchorage points?
Does the hardware fit into profiles without additional machining?
Does the hardware come with life cycle data?
Does the hardware meet the expected corrosion resistance for India?
Does the hardware meet the basic security requirement?
“Traditional or contemporary, we choose hardware that comes in a variety of architectural styles and finishes for aesthetic needs and design goals”, says Uma Subbaraman. Hardware are smartly designed for effortless operation even at large window and door sizes and is built to years, with optional PVD finishes for door hardware to resist fading and discoloration in even the harshest environments.
In general, the entire industry today is more conscious about design, says Sapru. As a direct effect of this, several products provide solutions that are practical, technically sound and aesthetically appealing. These products have also evolved to incorporate technological aspects thereby enhancing their appeal in the eyes of the end consumer. Despite economic conditions, it is always the product that manages to strike the right balance between aesthetics, utility and pricing that becomes a bestseller.
Factors To Consider While Specifying Architectural Hardware For Doors & Windows
A lot of factors need to be considered while specifying architectural hardware, states Kale, like the ease of assembly, maintenance, number of life cycles, and most importantly, corrosion resistance. Most of the hardware are delivered in half assembled kits. Like complete handle comes as handle cover and inner mechanism separately. The fabricator has to assemble them which again consumes time of fabricator and the fabricator has to bear the responsibility of correct assembly.
Talking about the uPVC window and door system design, Visen from Encraft, observes that all systems are slightly different, therefore there is a need for systems specific hardware and profile related components like strikers and keeps. Consideration must be given to the system-specific hardware requirements like roller width and roller height, friction stays stack height, espagnolette backset, mushroom height, etc.
Deviation from the systems supplier’s hardware specification will affect the function and the performance of the frame, states Visen. Also, the hardware supplier’s guidelines and recommendations must be adhered to in terms of maximum weight carrying capacity, maximum frame sizes, suggested locking points, routine maintenance and lubrication instructions, etc.
Door Knob, Antique | Door Knob, Heritage building
Visen adds that the ‘correct set’ overlap will ensure the functioning of the frame; it is, therefore, advisable to position the sash always from the lock side (critical dimension) thereby allowing the hinge side to take‐up any tolerances (floating dimension). Builders factor in specifications like brands, usability, quality, makes and models and products are required by specific project designs, says Eshwar. All products selected go through stringent quality checks to meet customer satisfaction standards.
According to Raman Sapru, even before embarking on the selection process of hardware, it is important to understand factors that will affect the long-term performance. These are: life-safety, emergency egress, loss prevention and security for building occupants. Each of these factors should be examined for every application to determine the door’s performance level. It must be noted that some factors will be deemed to be more important than others for a particular set of products.
Another aspect to consider is the kind of facility where the door is being installed, adds Sapru. For example, doors in educational institutions, such as middle schools or high schools, will be subjected to different levels of use than those in an office or retail building. In addition to this, one must also keep in mind standardisation of hardware which helps reduce the cost of procurement and maintenance.
Uday Shetty stresses on the need to consider quality (test standards), local technical support, after sales support & local availability / replacement in case of abuse of hardware.
First of all, consider the weight of the hardware, says Subbaraman. Just by looking at a photo of hardware, one cannot decide on the weight and quality, hence it may not be a great idea. It is important to determine if it will look “cheap” once installed. One needs to definitely check out multiple options as per the requirements before finalising a final one, adds Subbraman. Regardless of the price, heavier weight is typically a good indication of a better quality product that will look good. Always order a sample to check before placing the full order, adds Subbaraman. Finishing the product has to be up to the mark which makes it more reliable to use.
Check the material. With hardware, it’s easy to differentiate good materials from the bad. Metals, glass, wood and leather, for instance, are great materials. On the opposite end of the spectrum, avoid plastic, hollow and painted products. “Ensure that the measurements are correct before you go ahead, even a minor error in the size can create a big impact,” adds Subbaraman.
One more thing that most of the buyers don’t realise is more the use of local products the better it is for maintenance purposes. All the buyers get excited and happy when builders offer them homes furnished with foreign products (tiles, fittings, windows, etc.) and make their decision to buy from these builders. Which later, down the years causes issues, when the products wear and tear is all loose and it is very difficult to find neither a replacement of the products nor anyone who can help repair it. That is why, we always, prefer, local market products.
The Evolution Of Door & Window Hardware
The evolution of door and window hardware has close relations to window types and opening styles of windows. In the late 19th century, door and window hardware became very ornate. Simple knobs and roses gave way to elaborate brass and bronze sets that left no surface undecorated. The best and most expensive sets were made of cast brass, bronze, or iron with crisp details accented by various finishes.
However, after World War 2, these products gave way to meet the needs of the post-war building boom. They were clean looking and easy to install by way of a 2” hole drilled in the door/ window. In modern times, most of the windows are of ‘flat opening’ or ‘rolling-over’ ones. The door and window hardware has to balance style with function.
Earlier buyers didn’t have much knowledge to differentiate between good or bad products. It used to be a basic design and structure for almost all the apartments.
Now it is a different scenario, buyers get involved with the type of windows and doors that the builders provide, the kind of material being used, etc, says Uma Subbaraman. Different buyers have different kinds of demands, to fulfill their new home’s theme or design according to which they want to select or customise their window and door.
Since the previous decade, the industry has witnessed some tremendous choices when it comes to windows and doors. Right from your wooden door, to uPVC door and composite doors. Depending on the location of the door, now we have a full glass door to half glass half wooden door. Also, this decade has witnessed safety doors made from metal or iron. There are also revolving doors, sliding doors, swing doors and many more may be.
Windows also have seen a lot of changes and upgrades. Your basic glass window to sliding, double hung windows mostly used in bathrooms, fixed windows that don’t open, there are also pivoted windows, casement windows which are there for decades now, louvered windows and few more that you can find. Depending on the location, the style and material or texture of the window and door will keep changing.
Doors and winds have seen a marked change in hardware over the last two decades, observes Eshwar. The most significant of these are in terms of safety and functionality. Two decades ago, locks were simple four-cylinder padlocks and were easier to break. Windows were simple wood or iron constructs. But that has completely changed. Nowadays, we have a variety of locks to secure doors and gates. Padlocks have become sturdier with hardened steel that can’t be sawed off or easily picked.
We have computerised locks and a variety of latches for windows and doors, says Eshwar. The market has also changed and we see a number of regional and global brands with a variety of products right from hinges to deadbolts and handles. There are products to suit every customer’s requirements and at every budget.
Sapru too points out that the Indian architecture space for façades has tremendously evolved over the last few years. Some of the key drivers of this have been the entry of international systems, equipment and hardware firms, and technology. The latter has led to more precise products that are of high quality and sustainable at the same time. Designers have been encouraged to think out-ofthe- box to keep up with trends like higher façades, lighter support structures and lesser hardware/ connection points. One of the trends that has defined the last decade or so is the emergence of highly transparent façades, making reflective glass and punched openings for buildings a thing of the past.
According to Uday Shetty, hardware in doors & windows has evolved from low-quality raw materials to high-performance hardware using the best noncorrosive materials and low maintenance.
Kale said that the evolution in style and material of the hardware is also related to demand from the market. “A decade early class 3 corrosion class was acceptable but customers are now demanding for corrosion class 4 min and class 5 as desired. More focus is now given on aesthetics and ease of operation,” says Kale.
Latest Technologies And Materials For Architectural Hardware
We have all the architectural, Furniture and Façade fittings available here as is available anywhere in the world. It’s important to keep in mind that design must be sensitive to context, climate, client, environment and business processes.
Architects typically prefer hardware that is engineered for long life cycles with low maintenance. It’s these materials that work in the market, says Sapru.
Modern hardware manufacturing is very innovative with new equipment and processes, enabling better materials, coatings and finishes such as PVD / shining chrome, says Visen. The market is seeing many new developments, for instance, production of zinc has grown three times over the last few years. Zinc die cast, aluminum and brass production are also seeing high growth since the last few years.
According to Kale, clipable casement hardware, self sanitising handles, concealed window and door hinges will be the future trends. Shetty adds that the world is moving towards automation and our Indian market shall follow soon.
Architectural hardware is referred to the manufacturing of the items such as door handles, hinges, and fittings. This architectural hardware are made from various materials, such as aluminum, iron, steel, brass, and other metals. These are also used in all types of construction works, especially in residential and commercial buildings.
Plastic is also considered as a material in architectural hardware. At present, the larger market in the hardware industry is mainly concentrated in mechanical hardware, construction hardware, decorative hardware, daily hardware, and other large blocks, observes Uma Subbaraman.
Standards Followed By Architectural Hardware Manufacturers In India
Every manufacturer boasts of unique standards of manufacturing and design. “As builders, we look for improvements by aesthetics, ergonomics and performance and on post-sale services to the end consumer,” says Eshwar. Modern hardware manufacturing has become very innovative with new equipment and processes, enabling the use of better materials, coatings and finishes such as PVD / shining chrome. Some of the standards that have been followed by architectural hardware manufacturers in India are best in the world, notes Sapru. With the Residential sector being a large consumer of builder hardware, the rise in housing units augurs well for the builder hardware industry.
The Indian Standard (Fifth Revision) was adopted by the Bureau of Indian Standards, explains Uma Subbaraman, after the draft finalised by the Builders Hardware Sectional Committee had been approved by the Civil Engineering Division Council. The present revision has been undertaken to incorporate the necessary modifications as a result of the experience gained during the use of this standard. In this revision, apart from the general updation of the cross referred standards, some dimensions have been changed and the sampling clause has been modified.
To decide whether a particular requirement of this standard is complied with, the final value, observed or calculated, expressing the result of a test or analysis, shall be rounded off following IS 2: 1960 ‘Rules for rounding off numerical values (revised)’. The number of significant places retained in the rounded off value should be the same as that of the specified value in this standard.
Critical hardware components like hinges, rollers and locking devices are being life cycle tested in accordance with BS EN 1191 (for windows and doors, resistance to repeated opening and closing test method) and must achieve 20,000 operating cycles (i.e. opening and closing) without deterioration, failure or excessive wear, says Visen.
All hardware when tested under BS EN ISO 9227 (Corrosion test in the artificial atmosphere – salt spray tests) shall meet in accordance with BS EN 1670 (Building hardware: corrosion resistance – Requirement and test methods) minimum Grade 4 (240 hours) and for coastal locations Grade 5 (480 hours) without exhibiting red rust, adds Visen.
Availability Of Hardware Products In The Market
According to Eshwar N, and Kale, the Indian market today has a variety of products for architects at different budgets to match project or customer requirements. The availability of designs is only limited by our imagination as many manufactures can also custom make hardware to specific requirements. India is spoiled for choices.
Uday Shetty too agrees that there are good quality hardware manufacturers/Importers who are available in India to provide products in need by developers/ architects. The budgets need to be made available.
Architects often approach a project from appearance rather than function and as a result, they have a clear idea of the execution and find it easier to adapt their concepts into workable ideas, notes Sapru. This has proven to be significantly successful in the last few years and has led to a new vertical for architectural hardware being added in the market. Broadly speaking, today’s competitive market has a wide range of options available to architects/ developers all because we live in a global village and distance is not a barrier anymore, adds Sapru.
Contrary to the above views, Subbaraman points out that there are not too many products available in the market. Times are changing and so is the needs of the customers. In her opinion, the more variety of material and products the merrier it is for the customers to choose from. “As a buyer, if we think, the place where we get more options to choose from we will go there,” says Subbaraman.
According to Sapru, when you look at things realistically, large projects take a long time to be completed and during the course of this there are several trends that come and go. Manufacturing firms operate in a dynamic world where different cultures, value systems co-exist. One needs to be able to adapt and operate with flexibility to stay relevant in today’s times. The hardware manufacturing industry has become highly malleable in its working and implementation while always allocating a window for the addition of technologies or design thinking from a future ready perspective.
If the requirement is not defined correctly, it will lead to the creation of multiple options and in the end, there is a chance of getting rejected, says Kale.
This consumes time and final result is very unpredictable. Also, customers are not aware about the advantages of creating customised hardware. “There is no commitment for customisation, still you do it for customers,” adds Kale. Indian business is more opportunity-based than creating brand position.
Modern door handle and lock
Eshwar gives an example: Digital door locks on the main door can be provided with the hinges of the door closing mechanism which will be a perfect solution. Instead, we need to provide door closers attached to meet this requirement, since the hinges with the door closing mechanisms available are failure models in the market. Uday Shetty recommends using standard hardware solutions unless absolutely critical since after sales is a big challenge for customised hardware concerning delivery lead times and minimum order quantity.
Future Of Hardware Industry For Facades And Fenestrations
The Indian architecture hardware industry, though rife with challenges, is slowly gaining more acceptance as consumers become aware of using good quality products. Currently, it is in an evolutionary stage when it comes to technology, capability and size. This is directly linked to the construction industry’s performance, which is expected to grow by 20 percent annually, points out Sapru.
Going forward, hardware manufacturers are likely to see a variety of options for using cutting edge technologies and materials to optimize existing buildings and for pioneering plants for new building projects. The construction industry is poised for monumental change as issues like density and resource conservation will need to be addressed by design solutions.
Shetty too predicts that the hardware industry is bound to grow across all segments with demand for high-quality material to increase consistently. Local manufacturing will help boost demand because of lesser lead times and better cost structure to service the industry. Subbaraman too agrees that there is a great future for this hardware in our country. The buyer has become more and more smarter as we go, they like to see variety and options to make their new home perfect. That is where architectural hardware comes in place, to help us built the perfect home as expected by our buyers.
With various construction techniques and methods being followed across geographical locations, architectural hardware will play a major role in determining which construction method or technique an architect or builder will follow to design facade and fenestrations model in the future. Currently, we see a growing trend in digitalization which will also extend to doors and windows making them compatible with smart homes, says Eshwar.
Bronze window hardware
This can manifest in digitally controlled doors and windows, through proximity sensors, air quality, daylight or temperature sensors, remote access through mobile apps and much more. In the future, we will see technology functionality determining the design of doors and windows. According to Kale, the future for hardware is in automation and ease of maintenance.
Innovative Hardware Products For Windows/ Doors
A project in Surat with fixed sliding door & window
Eshwar from Casagrand says that they have explored the following innovative design at some of their projects:
– The usage of the patch fittings for main doors and main doors with automated types
– Longer windows with sliding details provided along with railings for bedrooms, and French doors/windows for the living and dining facing balconies.
Kale spoke about innovative products from Sobinco like chrono casement, multipoint door locks, and concealed hinges for casement and turn tilt windows. When it comes to glass façade buildings, observes Shetty, we see a growing concern in the minds of fire officers related to fire and one of its major consequences, i.e immense smoke generation.
Remember, smoke is the real killer, reminds Shetty. He adds that with innovative systems, we can use the openable windows in buildings now with automation capabilities connected to the fire alarm system and/or BMS to vent the smoke in the early stages of the fire using the AOV (automatic opening vents). We can achieve this by using projects pecific smoke control solutions coupled with window automation on façades with systems tested to EN 12101 respectively. For a successful implementation, this would require us to be on board from the design stages of the façade. This will prove beneficial for the occupants, fire officers and reduce the damages to the buildings itself.
Parnkuti Resort at Yeour Hills, Thane, Maharashtra – sliding door
A door with the right hardware serves the purpose; without it, the door is merely a plank of wood. The right hardware including hinges, door closers, handles, locks and accessories, when installed, provides the true functionality of assembly, operation, security and convenience to a door or a window. Hardware should be chosen carefully for their reliability, technical performance, aesthetic appeal and value for money.
The key factors to consider are compatibility with the profile, corrosion resistance, cycle performance backed by proper testing and certification. It is natural that aesthetics gets importance along with the functionality and durability of products. the wrong kind of hardware not only will render the door/window inoperative but will also result in losses in terms of cost and time.
A retail project in Pune with sliding door, casement window & fixed window
The right kind of hardware should be chosen to protect the building from the climatic effects as also for the safety and aesthetics of the building.
Choosing the right product supplier over the available range of suppliers is easy if the criteria is based on quality and safety. The future of the hardware industry is bright and the focus needs to be on innovation and adaptation to the requirements of the customers as also on sustainability and quality.