Adding character with wood windows
You can’t beat the natural beauty of timber windows, and they are also one of the most durable, high quality options. The Wood Window Alliance explains the key considerations
Period architecture not only boosts the value of a house, but makes it easier to sell, too. The desire for heritage means that people are willing to pay an average of 11 per cent more for a house with well-maintained period features. According to British homeowners, wood trumps plastic when it comes to character. Yet, perhaps due to outdated beliefs around functionality and energy efficiency, almost half of those living in period properties have fitted PVCU window frames.
Whether you are renewing existing features or replacing your current windows and doors, wood is a versatile material to work with and maintain. To help you make the decision, the Wood Window Alliance (WWA) has identified five key questions to ask yourself before investing:
How long do I want my windows to last? Windows have varying lifespans, averaging 25 to 30 years, but for a lifetime’s service of around 60 years, choose factory-finished softwood.
How much maintenance can I put up with?
All windows need some maintenance. WWA factory-finished wood windows need a re-coat every 8-10 years – just a light sanding, then one or two top-coats; no stripping back. They can also be repainted when you change colour schemes. How energy efficient do they need to be?
WWA members offer the most advanced energyefficiency wood windows in the UK. Higher levels can be achieved by adding triple-glazing, for which timber is ideal due to its strength. Otherwise a double-glazed unit, Argon filled, with warm-edge spacers and low-emissivity glass is an ideal option.
what If I care about the environment? Certified sustainable softwood is the best solution for the environment, as it is low in toxicity and has the lowest Global Warming Potential.
How Important Is price vs quality?
Triple-glazed aluminium, hardwood, modified wood or aluminium-clad timber is high quality and can be more expensive than PVCU options, but you get what you pay for. Engineered softwood offers a good compromise between quality and affordability. The quality and engineering of wood windows in the UK has undergone a revolution in recent years, with huge developments in technology leading to an improvement in their performance and durability.
All WWA members are FSC or PEFC Chain of Custody certified and meet strict performance, quality and sustainability criteria. Find a member near you at woodwindowalliance.com.
From left: Stormsure oak window by Jeld-wen; timber sash window by The Sash Window Workshop; Traditional range sliding sash windows by George Barnsdale; painted casement window by Mumford & Wood