Our home has wood windows with double-glazing. Surprised? I was too, when we were in the process of buying the house.
To be honest, I was unsure about having wood windows in our home. The simple reason being all our previous rental homes had UPVC windows. Like most people, I associated wood windows with high maintenance, period properties and single glazing. Having now lived in a comfortable, warm home for the last four years, I know I was wrong.
Here is the truth about modern wood windows, compiled by The Wood Window Alliance.
MYTH: If you want double-glazing, you have to have PVC-U windows
TRUTH: We often assume that double-glazed windows have to have PVC-U frames, and that wood window frames are only for single glazed windows. I know I did. This couldn’t be further from the truth. All Wood Window Alliance (WWA) members’ windows are double or triple glazed. So you can still have beautiful wood windows that are energy efficient and will keep your home warm and draught-free.
MYTH: Wood will rot quickly, whereas PVC-U windows will last the test of time and won’t discolour
TRUTH: Plastic degrades, whereas Wood Window Alliance-standard windows have an estimated service life of around 60 years – twice that of PVC-U windows. Plastic windows can become discoloured and brittle as a result of exposure to the sun and unlike wood windows, they can’t be repaired. Once you maintain and repaint wood windows, their lifespan starts all over again. Well-maintained, good quality timber windows can last a century or longer!
MYTH: PVC-U adds value to your property
TRUTH: If you have a period home or a home in a conservation area, ugly PVC-U windows could actually devalue it by as much as £20,000! A national survey of estate agents by English Heritage found unsympathetic replacement of windows and doors – particularly plastic and PVC-U – to be the single biggest threat to property values in conservation areas. Separate research also suggests PVC-U windows can decrease a house’s value and often dissuades prospective buyers from making an offer.
MYTH: Wood windows are simply too expensive, I can’t afford them
TRUTH: Because wood windows can last up to 60 years and can be maintained and re-painted, unlike plastic windows, they actually work out less expensive over their lifespan. Due to timber’s inherent strength, triple-glazing is more cost-effective with wood windows than with other materials. And don’t forget the value that beautiful wood windows can add to your house, particularly if you’re considering selling. Wood windows are a worthwhile investment.
TRUTH: Wood Window Alliance members’ windows come ready-painted from the factory to save you time. They won’t need redecorating for 8-10 years. And even then, it’s an easy job – just a light sand down, wipe clean and one or two top coats. You won’t need to re-paint the tricky bits as it’s only the faces of the windows that get weathered.
MYTH: You need to strip your windows completely to change the colour
TRUTH: With wood windows, if you want to change the colour to complement a new design scheme, you can do so, unlike PVC-U. All you have to do is sand them down with a fine sandpaper and repaint.
MYTH: Wood windows aren’t energy efficient, so it’s hard to save on bills
TRUTH: Wood has a very low thermal conductivity, which means it is a good insulator. But the energy efficiency of a window actually has little to do with the frame material and is mostly affected by the specification of the glazing unit. So well-designed windows have similar thermal efficiencies across the board, whatever material the frames are made from.
MYTH: Wood windows are less secure than PVC-U double glazing
TRUTH: That’s just not the case. Members of the Wood Window Alliance offer windows that comply with the new security standards of building regulations. Members can also offer enhanced security windows that comply with the UK Police flagship initiative supporting the principles of 'designing out crime'.
For further information on the Wood Window Alliance, please go to www.woodwindowalliance.com
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.