25 March 2024

The Complete Guide to Choosing Aluminium Joinery in New Zealand

Aluminium joinery has a number of advantages including durability, longevity and easy maintenance. These qualities have made it the preferred choice for homeowners in New Zealand.

In addition to influencing the appearance of your space, joinery also has a practical role to play. It contributes to insulating your living space and impacts the energy efficiency of your home. In choosing the material for your joinery, one of the most important factors to take into account is the site environment. New Zealand’s climate is known to be wet, cold and often, unpredictable. Aluminium has proven to be more successful in standing up to these conditions than wooden joinery.

Choosing aluminium joinery for your home or premises

Two key factors to consider while making this decision are the architecture of your space and the purpose of the installation. Doors and windows play a definitive role in the visual impact of your space so start here. If you’re veering toward a modern design style, sliding doors would be great in that area. However, casement doors are more suited to classic architectural styles. Match the design to also suit the purpose of the installation – if it’s more natural light you want, then a bi-fold or sliding design will work beautifully. For better ventilation sliding windows are ideal.

Entry doors: Single and double entry doors have very different applications. Single doors are simpler and are preferred for areas where space needs to be utilised economically. Double doors at the entryway make a grand statement (think French doors) and draw attention to the area. Double doors have practical uses as well – they make it easier to move bulky furniture in and out.

Bordering window frames: Aluminium window frames placed over the door will definitely highlight the entryway. These let natural light in without compromising on privacy. If space is at a premium, sidelights are placed vertically, to frame the door and give the impression of a larger space. Double glazing the glass panes enhances insulation.

Hardware, hinges, and pivots: Generally, hardware is chosen to match the doors and the design language of your home. Digital locks (keyless) are gaining in popularity. Aluminium doors are usually hinged and they open inwards or outwards. But a lot of commercial spaces and newly designed homes are opting for joinery that works on a pivot. Pivot doors work better for spacious entryways.

Finish on aluminium joinery: The finish on your aluminium joinery impacts aesthetics as well as the longevity of the joinery itself. The colours you choose can be picked out based on your home’s colour palette and the visual effect you want to achieve. The coating, however, will need to be decided based on the environmental and site conditions.

A powder coating withstands New Zealand’s weather conditions very well. It offers much tougher protection than just conventional paint, ensuring endurance in the long haul. Anodising is another excellent finishing process for metal surfaces. It makes metals corrosion resistant and leaves the surface looking lustrous. Anodising protects aluminium surfaces from blistering, chipping away, flaking or peeling off. Both these finishes are popular in New Zealand.

Windows and doors are not the most discussed features of a building renovation. However, they do have a big impact on your space. This is why it is important for you to work closely with master joiners to select a quality product and achieve a favourable outcome. Aluminium is extremely tough, yet it’s lightweight and can blend in with a wide range of building styles.

What are the different types of Aluminium Joinery in residential houses?

Aluminium joinery includes aluminium doors, aluminium windows, skylights and an aluminium conservatory is not out of the question either. Aluminium joinery is very versatile and gives you plenty of styles to choose from whether it is between hinged and pivoted opening options or a range of finishes and colours.

What are the advantages of aluminium framing over wood?

Aluminium is a lightweight but extremely tough metal. It is more difficult to damage than wooden frames, adding an extra barrier to thieves. To further strengthen your security, you can also add double glazing or security glazing glass inserts. The advantages of aluminium over wood doesn’t end there. Unlike timber joinery, aluminium isn’t affected by condensation so it doesn’t shrink, swell or warp like wood does with age or damp conditions.

What are the advantages of aluminium over uPVC frames?

One of the clear advantages of aluminium over uPVC is that it is a tried and tested option for conditions in New Zealand. There are different grades of uPVC available and, to withstand the intense UV radiation that Kiwis experience, homeowners need to install a high-quality uPVC product. It is recommended that this have been specifically tested to see if it can withstand conditions in NZ (those with warranties are better). Another drawback is that the recycling options are limited for uPVC at the moment, but aluminium is easy to recycle.

What are the choices when selecting joinery?

You should consider a colour and finish for your frames (both doors and windows) that matches the design and style of your home. The colours and coatings not only help to enhance the appearance of your space but also contribute to your joinery’s longevity depending on the environmental conditions. Buildings in coastal areas may need stronger coating or treatment for durability. Anodising offers a corrosion resistant finish that would be ideal for coastal climates. Hardware for your joinery is also important. Typically, the choice leans toward aluminium hardware to match the joinery. Double glazed glass inserts offer better insulation and security. Passive ventilation is a way of enhancing natural air circulation to keep your space fresh without having to leave your windows open all the time.