Door and window frames

Information about windows and doors.

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Door and window frames

Postby thomas.fontaine » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:06 pm

I will use wooden doors and windows for my house. I need a bit of teaching on frames: different kind of frames, dimensions in relation to the door/window dimensions, where to provide frames (same shop than doors and windows supplier, home made frames...)...?

Anybody to give me general knowledge?
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby Rick B » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:41 pm

I can relate to you my own experience from building my house. I used wooden windows and doors and bought the wooden door and window frames from the same place I bought the windows and most of the doors. The frames were just under 5cm thick and 9cm deep. Their inner dimension is obviously essentially the same as the outer dimension of the window/door. In other words, if you have a 60cm wide window, the window frame will be 70cm (60+5+5cm) wide. There are various grades of wood that can be used for the frames, just as there are for the windows/doors, all depending on your budget. I used Mai Takien, which I understand is hard and durable, but not as much as teak (Mai Sak). I don't expect to live another 100 years, so I figured I didn't need windows that would last that long. My builder guesses my windows are good for at least 50 years. My frames were all custom made and were ready in about a week. The frames must be installed as the wall block is being laid. So you'll need the frames a lot earlier than you need the windows and doors. One caution, though, since they are installed so early, you need to keep the builder on his toes to avoid nicking or cutting or damaging the frames in any way. If you are going to varnish the frames, rather than paint, they'll look better if they are cared for during the construction process. If you are going to paint them, it probably doesn't make much difference then how well they're protected. One mistake I made was to follow my architects suggestion to use wooden sliding doors and windows in order to blend better with the other wooden windows and doors that don't slide. I later decided that aluminum sliding windows and doors worked a lot better than the wooden ones would have and were a lot cheaper in the long run. So now I have wooden windows that push open outwards along with some aluminum framed windows and doors that slide open. I don't think it looks bad at all and I'm much happier with the opening mechanisms. One other thing I learned, which may be common knowledge to others but wasn't to me, was that typical Thai windows open outwards, either vertically or horizontally (the latter generally for smaller bathroom windows). The typical Thai window doesn't slide up and down, like double sash windows typically do in the US. This also leads to having insect screens on the inside of the window, rather than on the outside as I'm used to back home. Consequently, if you want to open or close a window, you have to first open the screen, which generally comes like a window itself, opening inward. One other "Thai thing" that I wasn't aware of, all of the glass used in any windows and doors comes separate from the doors and windows. In my case, I even had to use a different contractor to install the glass. It wasn't very expensive, it was just a surprise to me. You also have to coordinate between the painter and the glass contractor so that the glass is installed just prior to the last coat of varnish on the window or door.

Hope this helps some.
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby thomas.fontaine » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:03 pm

That's very usefull. Thanks. One question though: I am a bit surprised with your frame width of 60+5+5 for a 60cm wide window. I would have expected say 1cm more for the frame than the window, max, for easy installation. Do you have any detail of that?
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby Rick B » Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:51 pm

I think it expected that each window and door must be shaved or planed to fit inside the frame. In fact I remember the windows being much bigger than the frame and the builder having to saw cut them to an initial size. Then he planed the remaining little bit until the window and/or door fit comfortably inside the frame. So don't worry so much about the difference in sizes of the windows/doors and their respective frames. The builder will cut them to fit anyway. Also, make sure the builder cuts enough to allow for the thickness of the stain and shellack, plus the slight swelling of the wood as the liquid stain/shellack is applied. Several of my windows and doors had to be re-planed after they were painted due to their sticking. Initially, the builder didn't allow enough space for the paint and swelling.
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby thaifly » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:14 pm

Rick B wrote: Several of my windows and doors had to be re-planed after they were painted due to their sticking. Initially, the builder didn't allow enough space for the paint and swelling.
GIDDA Y to all its the thaifly from mae rim... as for the above..THATS PAR FOR THE COURSE...its a question of how many???...no big deal anyway...one has to take into carefull consideration is the actual door frames.....when ours were put into position....they were wedged with bamboo very tightly against the walls...for several weeks...for some reason the laundry was not done in this way and i put it to the laundry room was to big to apply this method....and you guessed it they had to be planed...but as i said earlier no big deal as it is easily rectified...ITS A BIT HERE AND BIT THERE GIDDA to all its the thaifly from mae rim
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby thomas.fontaine » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:56 am

When talking to my wife yesterday about the frames, she told me that she had already planned to buy trees and make wood from it to prepare the frames. I was a bit surprised as I didn't know we could do that. The positive thing to do it that way, she explained to me, is not about the cost saving but the quality of the wood.

For me it looks to be a lot of work for just few frames which represent a small item in the budget, but has anybody ever heard about this method before?
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby jazzman » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:39 pm

I don't know much about wood, but I though it had to be seasoned after cutting before using, otherwise it shrinks. Wooden window frames are extremely inexpensive but careful shopping around is required to obtain the right quality. GlobalHouse in KK stocks them in a variety of standard sizes.
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby Rick B » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:50 pm

Thomas, I believe it is also not that easy to buy trees now in Thailand. There is a lot of government control on logging and tree cutting. I also agree with Jazzman that the frames are not that expensive and, in the big scheme of building the house, not that big of a deal. It may not be worth all of the possible hassle to buy trees, if you can, and use them to make the frames. Food for thought.
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby dozer » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:12 am

but I though it had to be seasoned after cutting before using, otherwise it shrinks.
Yes that is also my experience. We had several trees cut off our land and cut into boards. Depending on the age of the tree and the way the boards were laid out after being cut, some of them deformed (bent) after between 2 to 3 weeks.
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby chiangmaiexpat » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:19 am

We have just ordered approx. 30 custom-designed wooden frames from a local carpenter's shop in Chiang Mai. More than half of them are already delivered to the site. Unlike aluminium frames, wooden (as well as PVC) frames need to be immured, so you need them at the time the walls go up. You can buy ready-made window frames at construction markets in Thailand, but usually the choice of sizes and designs is limited. Also, one needs to be careful to select good quality wood. Teak is soft and it is usually not used for the frames, but often for the sashes. The frames are often mai takien or mai taeng or a similar hard wood. In Thailand, the standard is ca. 2 inches and the standard depth is 4 inches, which fits well with a single layer brick wall. If you want to you use multiple layer sliding mechanisms, the frame might have to be deeper (5-7 inches perhaps). Folding doors also might need special frame construction. Hinged windows (casement windows) are the most common type of window in Thailand. Bathrooms often have awning or hopper windows. Hung windows, like in the US are less common, and so are bay or bow windows (for obvious reasons). Also, unlike in Europe and in the US, window frames in Thailand hardly ever come with casements, sills or lintels. It's just the bare frame. For the sashes, it is important to use wood with minimum shrinkage/expansion, otherwise the windows become easily jammed. The two choices are kiln-dried wood or old recycled wood. If you want to use air-conditioning, then wooden windows might not be the best choice, because thermal isolation is a problem (no double pane, gaps from shrinkage). However, wooden windows can be very beautiful and -given the modest price of wood in Thailand- are very affordable.

Cheers, CMX
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby prufrock » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:00 pm

Thanks all for this data. chiangmaiexpat, where exactly had you ordered your wooden windows in CMai please; And as well, the actual glass price and details?
BTW, there is a recently built Hilltribe sales outlet at the edge of the road just east of Computer Plaza and Jet service station in CMai at a christian center. The building is 16 meters wide, I believe, with 4 x 4m wide sections. I was there when the contractor from Lamphun emplaced one 4mx3m high, thick, green-tinted glass window. He told me each was 10,000B. I used a piece of the glass to write his name and phone, but misplaced it in moving. Thanks
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby grant » Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:25 am

You also may want to consider recycled wood if there is a place that sells it in your area. It does not shrink or warp and you can often find good hardwoods such as merbau that was used for making wooden structures years ago but is no longer available locally.
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby chiangmaiexpat » Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:44 am

Yes, recycled wood is a good idea for window sashes. We will probably use recycled teak. Currently only the frames are installed in our house. I will provide a full breakdown of measurements and costs in my building story thread once the windows are finished. We are using the services of an out-of-town carpentry shop in Sansai: Jaroenchat Co., Ltd. (053-255-162).

Cheers, CMX
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby grant » Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:59 am

As an example, yesterday I found 15 columns of old deng wood (Xylia xylocarpa) with each column measuring 2 m x 20cm x 15 cm. Some of the columns had cracks in them but when cut up, about 80% of the wood could be reused. At 650 baht per column, they are a bargain. This wood will not shrink or warp, is termite resistant and can be used for doors, windows floors, decks, etc. I plan to use them for my deck and will take them to a woodcutting shop to have them cut into planks.
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Re: Door and window frames

Postby thomas.fontaine » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:03 pm

I have decided to go for sliding doors between bedroom and bathroom. I am not to too sure whether we need to plan for door frame for the sliding doors. My first thought was NO, but now I am wondering how to incorporate the door lock system if I don't have frame. Anybody with sliding doors in the house?
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