Seeing The Light

Since I was a kid, I’ve always held the view that houses should be entirely made of wood, and ideally resemble something in the realm of a rustic log cabin or a gingerbread house. Metal fittings have never appealed to me, nor has blocky, minimalist architecture. It’s only now beginning to dawn on me that all-wood buildings are not necessarily the best fit in all situations.

This occurred to me recently when I visited my uncle’s newly acquired beach house, and marvelled at the amount of light that filled it. Evidently, this is in part due to the design’s liberal use of aluminium window frames. Melbourne might not have as many examples of this type of window as down on the coast, or maybe I just haven’t noticed. Point is, the slimline nature of aluminium frames means that a comparatively larger area of glass can be fitted than in wooden windows. 

I guess it’s also down to the fact that the house has an abundance of windows, not to mention the glass sliding doors that make up huge swathes of the wall. My uncle said he’d replaced a few of those because the previous owners’ Labrador had cracked them. Sounds expensive to me, but then I guess if you’ve got the money to buy a beach house, you might have a few extra pennies lying around.

I wonder how much an aluminium door replacement service sets you back, anyway. More to the point, can you replace a wooden door with an aluminium one? I don’t see why not. I mean, wall-to-wall sliding doors won’t work in my digs, but maybe I could replace my front door with something that lets a bit more light in.

Contemplating this is a big step for me. It almost feels like I’m betraying my childhood self, who couldn’t begin to conceive of living in a house with such a noticeable metal feature.