More time spent indoors means more time spent pondering the many jobs on your to do list. While the smaller and easier jobs can be done fairly quickly and painlessly those larger ones are starting to seem all the more pressing now. Perhaps this extra time at home has made you look around and realise that your home needs a bit of a face lift anyway, be it swapping out the old suite in the bathroom or replacing those tired windows, but while a bathroom suite can wait, windows should not.
If you’re pondering your window choice, then worry no more as the decision has been made for you. Offering a classic and refined look with energy efficiency and flexibility for a bespoke design, using top-quality and sustainably sourced materials, hardwood windows will give you the luxurious look you desire for your home.
PVC windows currently dominate the market, while aluminium, steel and classic wood windows remain in the running. Many people think that older, classic choices like hardwood and aluminium have been outright replaced, however, the classic choice is still the best one, especially if you’re looking to give your home that truly sophisticated look.
If you need a little more convincing, then read on for a bit more detail on why hardwood is best.
Wood is one of the most dimensionally stable materials used in construction. You may hear the stairs and attic creak as things cool down at night, but the truth is that metal and plastic would do so to an even greater degree. This is one reason why hardwood sash windows are the only real choice for unusually shaped windows. Whether you’re having long narrow windows installed in a doorway or a half-moon window above a picture window, only wood windows will hold the glass securely in place for years to come. You can have the wood window frame reinforced at the joints to minimise wear and tear through thermal cycles, extending its life even further.
Assuming you protect the wood from impact, pets, moisture and fire, it can last for decades and even centuries. This is why well-maintained wood floors, walls and windows have the best overall value of any building material. Hardwoods are a better choice for windows than soft woods, because they are more durable and often stronger. For example, hardwoods have a tighter grain that prevents moisture from seeping in. That also means it resists rot and decay better than soft woods before you’ve treated it in any way.
Wood window frames may be mandatory in a conservation area or historic home, however, they are often installed in other homes because of the aesthetic. The material if only stained is attractive and if painted, it can be as vibrant or staid as you’d like. Oak is probably the most traditional choice for timber windows because is a classic local building material; the detailed grain is beautiful, and it has a unique rich grey patina if allowed to age. Or you can go with sapele, which has a dark reddish-brown colour that only needs a transparent coating to show off its natural beauty. Should you choose to paint the hardwood, it is colourfast – choose the right paint, and it will last ten years or more without peeling, cracking or fading.
The environmental benefits
When you buy wood windows, you’re making an investment in sustainable forestry. Most British hardwoods are raised in local, managed forests that double as wildlife refuges. The wood has a low carbon footprint, since it is replaced by seedlings that will soak up carbon dioxide and the harvested wood isn’t transported halfway around the world to reach the factory. Choose the right hardwood, and the wood itself won’t have to be replaced for decades or centuries. You don’t have to worry about the green disposal option, either.
Yes, hardwood windows are energy efficient. They are the best thermal insulator you can put around your home and a side benefit is their noise-dampening ability. An additional benefit to the thermal stability of wood windows is that they won’t form the gaps and cracks around the glass or the window frame that cause air to leak through, therefore helping to keep your energy bills as low as possible. However, you can get double pane windows in a wood frame, if you work with the right window manufacturer.