Sunday, June 19, 2011

Residential Aluminum Windows - Locally Made in California

Metal windows are unique in that they are equally at home in residential and commercial architecture, modern structures and old-world historic buildings.  They have a timeless minimalist profile, derived from the strength of the frames, which affords narrow sight lines even in very large windows. 

In the Rustic Modern house, we installed the Bonelli windows you see below.  These are black anodized aluminum frames with satin nickel hardware.  The durable anodized frames require no maintenance, look great, and are locally made to boot!
Keep in mind that aluminum and steel windows work best in temperate climates, like here in the San Francisco Bay Area, because the metal frames do not have a thermal break.  Metals are great conductors, making these windows transfer heat and cool from outside into the house, rendering all that insulation less effective.  In areas where it gets very cold, condensation can also be an issue, particularly if you don't have heat vents near the windows.
For steel windows and doors, look to Hope's Steel Windows and Doors out of Jamestown, NY, Torrence Steel Window Company out of Torrance, CA, or Crittall Windows Ltd.  You'll need to go through a local distributor.

For aluminum windows and doors, you can order directly from the manufacturer.  Blomberg Window Systems out of Sacramento, CA has great shop drawings and customer service.  Bonelli Windows and Doors made the lovely units you see on this post.  They're out of South San Francisco.  They don't do shop drawings, but offer very competitive pricing, have a library of standard details, and will build to alignments you submit.  Although I haven't used them, I've heard nothing but good things about  Fleetwood Windows and Doors in Corona, CA.  They have been serving contractors and homeowners since 1962.  What other manufacturers do you guys like?  If you have a local vendor you love, send them a shout out!