One thing I did like about my windows was that if they started to look a bit grubby and a good clean wasn't working, then a fresh lick of paint would have them looking like new even though they'd been there for over thirty years.
Mostly we don't give a lot of consideration to the windows in our homes, so long as they are sturdy and they keep the cold out, let the fresh air in, then they are doing their job. Are you happy with the windows in your home? Are you thinking of changing them, what would you base your choice on?
The Wood Window Alliance believes that we don't spend enough time thinking about which type of windows add the most value to our homes and how best to maintain them. With this in mind they have created a Myth Buster Fact Sheet about modern windows.
MYTH: If you want double-glazing, you have to have PVC-U windows
TRUTH: People often assume that double-glazed windows have to have PVC-U frames, believing wrongly that wood window frames are only for single glazed windows. 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* – that’s twice the life of PVC-U windows. Plastic windows can become discoloured and brittle as a result of exposure to the sun and unlike wood framed windows, they can’t be repaired. In fact, once you maintain and repaint wood windows, their lifespan starts all over again. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that well-maintained, good quality timber windows can last a century or more.
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.
MYTH: Redecorating wood windows is hard work
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 (unlike PVC-u). All you have to do is sand them down with a fine sandpaper and repaint – simple!
MYTH: Wood windows aren’t energy efficient, so it’s hard to save on billsTRUTH: 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 Part Q Building security standards of the building regulations. Members can also offer enhanced security windows that comply with Secured ByDesign - the official UK Police flagship initiative supporting the principles of 'designing out crime'. It promotes the use of security standards for a wide range of applications and products, including wood windows.
*by Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh
For further information about The Wood Window Alliance,
please go to www.woodwindowalliance.com