What happened is, we noticed all large windows displayed in our builder's display are done in "SFS" style (Note: S means sliding panel, F means fixed panel, refer to picture below). In simple terms, that means the (much wider) middle part is always fixed, and only 2 smaller part at both end are sliding panels. We understood it is designed this way to cut the cost down. And regardless of how wide it goes, the 2 smaller sliding panel are always in the same width (about 600mm). I also spoke to quite a few people and not many people actually notice that.
We think it doesn't look good, plus with curtains installed on top, about 30% - 40% of the opening part could be blocked by the curtain. We did some research, found the supplier's brochure (see PDF link below), in the brochure there was a statement saying "FSSF windows are available in sizes 1810mm in width and larger". Based on all these, we asked for "FSSF" style window to be installed on all 3 large windows.
Picture of windows supplier's brochure shown here for your reference (Note: you can download/view the full PDF from this link, the section shown is in page 4 of the brochure):
When we received the quote we were shocked to find that they want to charge us $675 for changing the 3 "SFS" windows to "FSSF" style. I called the supplier's 1800 help desk number and asked for a quote to compare the price differences between the 2, and this is what I was told (only asked for cost to supply material, since delivery and installation cost should be quite similar for 2 different styles):
- 1.2M x 2.1M: 4 panels (FSSF) - $305.85, normal 3 panels (SFS): $290.40 ==> we have 2 of this windows.
- 0.9M x 2.4M: 4 panels (FSSF) - $293.70, normal 3 panels (SFS): $281.60 ==> we have 1 of this windows.
We then have a big argument with the builder about this. They even have the supplier's sales rep on the phone for about 45 min to talk about this. Here're some of their points:
- "FSSF" windows leaks, it is not recommended to be installed unless it's for internal windows (e.g. inside house facing alfresco) -> how many house would have internal windows? And how come this wasn't mentioned in the brochure?
- Around 80 - 90% of the windows cost is in labour, the material only cost very little
- Reason for the high cost is, they are actually installing 2 smaller windows (1 in "FS" and the other in "SF") to achieve the same result
As we are the poor customer who doesn't know much about the industry, in the end we have to give up the idea of changing any large windows to "FSSF" style due to the high cost involved.
So, if you have some large windows, this is to let you know that it doesn't have to be in "SFS" style. And if you don't like it in "SFS", be prepared to pay a few hundred dollars to change to "FSSF" (or actually 1 "FS" + 1 "SF" if it's external facing), and that is for every window you want to change...
Hope you find this tip helpful...