Invisible Grilles | Review of Invisible Grille Concept
“I think it’s time for window grilles,” I told hubby. Just the other day, I saw my toddler carrying her stool to reach the kitchen countertop, and a few steps away is the service yard with no windows and grilles. He nodded and replied, “Yes! I was thinking about it last night too.”
Thus began our search for recommendations among our neighbours and friends. Our friend’s house had white powder coated traditional window grilles and we thought it looked good, a touch of hipster to the decor. Yet, we continued to be in a dilemma as we sat on our decision. We contemplated the pros and cons, and the prices across different vendors for both traditional and invisible grilles. Hubby let me decide, because he was fine with either and was more easy going on the final outcome.
I was stressed with the big decision. Sipping a cup of tea, I looked out of our home and saw how the sunset had masterfully coloured the sky in orange streaks. Set against the green trees and waters in a distance, the scenery was worth a pause in life to ohh and ahh over. This is one of the reasons we paid a premium for our house. Thus, we should preserve the view as much as possible.
That’s it, invisible grilles it shall be.
Invisible Grille Concept: Pre-Installation
About Invisible Grille Concept
While researching for vendors, hubby’s colleague, Ms G, told him she was installing invisible grilles for their flat. Ms G had asked around for quotations and Invisible Grille Concept (“IGC”) was the lowest even though they have 11 years of experience in the market. IGC was established in October 2009 to introduce a new solution for window and balcony safety grilles, called “Invisible Grille”. IGC pride themselves as one of the pioneering invisible grille provider in Singapore.
Ms G’s reivew of IGC was not bad too. Hence, we just took her word for it and went with IGC. A quick due diligence with Google reviews gave us a peace of mind too. The reviews were generally good, unlike most other vendors I found.
From IGC’s website, it’s said that the materials used are of anti rust and anti dust technology, with high tension of up to 200lbs. Best of all, no maintenance is required. A simple wipe to clean the dust away if necessary. IGC also assured their customers that the grilles are extremely secured, with each grille locked by an indivdual locking system.
And unlike some vendors I have contacted, Jonas from IGC was quick to reply and arranged for site visit fairly quickly too. However it took two visits for him to quote me. The second visit was because we wanted to keep the roller outdoor blinds in our service yard, and he needed the head installer to come and assess if it’s possible.
Usually one site visit is sufficient.
Roller Blinds at Service Yard
I was reluctant to remove the roller blinds because we don’t want windows to further block our accessibility to the drying rack outside. Moreover, we like the breeze coming from the yard and didn’t want windows to block the wind flow. Also, if we were to take away the roller blinds, we have to find another vendor for the windows because IGC doesn’t do windows installation. We weren’t prepared to take away the blinds too, because torrential rain would likely cause quite a splash in the yard.
After the second visit, Jonas told us that they had to remove the roller blinds to fit the window grilles track. Another option is that IGC could dismantle, shift and re-install the blinds with their own cables. Did that happen? Read on.
Quotation from Invisible Grille Concept
Our quotation was higher than Ms G’s, even though we both have a 4-room BTO flat. It could be because we have bigger windows based on the measurements. Moreover, we have a tricky service yard, and L-shape window in our master bedroom. For our flat, it’s slightly more than S$1,600 for the installation of window grilles.
After the site visit and paying our deposit to confirm the installation, IGC needed about 1-2 weeks to fabricate the window grilles.
- 9 October 2020: Second Site Visit
- 23 October 2020: Installation of Window Grilles
Workmanship of Invisible Grille Concept
For the living room and bedrooms, it will be two bars at the two sides to hold up the taut grilles/wires (see the last photo of this post for reference). Hence, you cannot move the grilles to clean windows. Only the grilles at service yard have rectangular frames for us to slide open. You can do framed grilles for other areas of the house too, but they come at a much higher quotation.
Just so you know, IGC needed to drill holes into the wall to secure verticle grilles. Anything more than a two panel window will require a verticle grille (or wire) to reinforce the horizontal grilles. The criss crosses seen in the photo below are what give the grilles reinforcement.
The workmanship is generally good. Two workers work on the installation while the supervisor would come back at times to check on the progress and installation.
The workers started work on the master bedroom. It’s a bit more complicated because of the L-shape window. IGC had to install a pole for the side bars of the invisible grilles to attach on. So if you see in the photos below, there are three “poles” at the L-shape corner.
If you have “Remsafe Cable Lock window restrictor” like us (photo below), you can still install window grilles without removing it.
Also, because we have a bay window in our living room, IGC wasn’t able to drill holes in the wall to secure the grilles. So they drilled into the aluminium frame. Hubby was impressed that IGC had cleverly drill into the bottom of the frame (photo below: bottom left) instead of the front to “hide” the screws.
At last, it was time for the complicated service yard.
IGC did dismantle the roller blinds to make way for the three way track of the framed window grilles. But during installation, they realised they cannot re-install the blinds with their own wires. The wires they had for the grilles had a layer to protect users from the sharp edges. However, if used on roller blinds, the layer would flay because of the friction from the blind’s movements.
IGC managed to work around it. Since they cannot use their wires to extend and secure the roller blinds to the wall, they hooked the original roller blinds’ wires onto the grilles frame. To be honest, it didn’t look that secure on first glance. It’s only later that we tested its usability during a rainstorm. No issue.
For the service yard, we had wanted a horizontal pattern like the rest of the house, but was quoted vertical by default. When enquired, IGC told us that the tracks for horizontal would be thicker and overall more expensive.
Day of Installation with Invisible Grille Concept
Hubby was the one supervising the whole installation as I whisked the two children off to a neighbour’s house for refuge. It was too noisy and messy for the two children to hang around.
Mess and Cleanup
When we were renovating our flat three years back, a few people advised us to install the window grilles before we shift in, otherwise cleaning up can be a headache. However we didn’t because of various reasons. We wanted to enjoy the view as long as we can. We didn’t want the wear and tear to begin before we needed to use them. In addition, we didn’t want to increase our total renovation cost significantly.
With much furniture and stuff accumulated over the three years, we now had to shift them and made space for the workers. We also geared ourselves up for much cleaning on the installation day.
Thankfully, the mess was not as bad as expected. The workers put a protective sheet before placing their tools on the floor. They also vaccumed the area after the installation was completed in each room. The workers also held a vaccum cleaner while drilling. Of course, even in their best attempt to reduce debris, we still needed to do another round of vaccum and wipe because of the shards flying around from the cutting of grilles and drilling.
Another thing to note, IGC would be bringing lots of tools and the area outside your house would be quite a mess. You might want to give your neighbours a heads up.
We were generally please with their work, and will recommend them to friends and family. However, we would warn them about the time it took and made sure they monitor the progress.
Two workers and the boss came about 9:30AM to set up. Quite punctual. The installation usually takes the whole day, and we were told that it would be done by 5:00PM. The installation at Ms G’s house ended about 6:00PM.
So even when Jonas told me that the installers will be going for an early lunch at 11:45AM and another hour from 12:30PM to 1:30PM to take a scheduled swab test, I was still hopeful that they could end by 6:00PM. I was still planning to have our dinner at our usual timing and Jubilee could still go on to have her early bedtime at 6:30PM to 7:00PM.
At around 5:00PM, another two workers came to hasten the installation. I suspect they came from another project which had finished. We still had hopes they will end by 6:00PM plus. At 6:30PM, they re-installed the blinds and we thought they were completing.
A quick chat with Jonas at 7:00PM made us guessed that it’s not going to end soon. Hence, with four workers working in the service yard, I had to shower Jubilee in the toilet adjacent to it. The toilet window opens up to the service yard. So we could clearly hear the voices, while I was hoping the debris wouldn’t fly in into her bathtub. What a bedtime routine.
The whole installation and clean up finally ended at 8:30PM, 3.5 hours after the said timing. Good thing hubby vaccumed and cleaned the rooms as they went along, if not our night would even be later.
Other than the time taken to complete, we were overall quite happy with their workmanship and service quality.
Once the IGC team packed and left, we looked at the window grilles and agreed that they are nicer than expected. Previously, the remsafe restrictor allow us only a small opening for wind and safety. Now we can finally open wide our window all the time.
For more information on Invisible Grille Concept,
- Website: www.igc.sg
- Phone: Call or easily WhatsApp them at +65 6611 1333.
- Book online for a quotation: www.igc.sg/book-online
Disclosure: This is an editorial review. I was sponsored a small portion of the quoted price mentioned above. I was not paid for publishing my experience with this service. All opinions are of my own and are genuine.