My current home is a new build and I have PVC-U windows which seem to be fitted as standard these days. When we moved in I loved how white and clean they looked. The double glazing kept the house warm and the heating bills went down. In my old house I had wooden windows and although they were sturdy they were not double glazed and the house was definitely colder. It’s the price you pay with wooden windows, or is it?
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.
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
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.
value to your property
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
can’t afford them
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.
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.
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!
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
are less secure than PVC-U double glazing
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.
Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh
Disclosure; This post was brought to you in collaboration with The Wood Window Alliance