When it comes to window frames and doors many people think that uPVC is the answer because it’s cheap.
But while it’s cheaper at the outset, a World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) study discovered ‘whole life’ costs of timber windows were up to 25% lower!
We have fitted many timber sash windows across Newcastle and other conservation areas across the North East because they are in keeping with the area. But it’s not just sash windows that are better when made from wood.
New homes can also benefit from the advantages of wooden doors and window frames. So why would you choose to pay more for timber at the outset than uPVC?
The in-depth report by the WWF reports that timber is sustainable while uPVC is not. As a non-renewable resource, it is better for the environment to choose timber for doors and windows.
It takes eight times more energy to manufacture a uPVC window than it does to make the equivalent timber version. uPVC is short for unplasticised polyvinyl chloride. And as the name suggests, it’s not natural!
It is based on plastic powder that is heated up and injected into a mould to form a shape. Once cooled, it can be cut to shape.
The toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of uPVC include dioxin and chloride and heavy metals are added to the vinyl during construction for rigidity.
But this makes recycling uPVC highly dangerous and studies by Greenpeace report that it is the most environmentally damaging type of plastic.Manufacturing also emits large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It’s massively higher than producing timber from sustainably managed forests.
uPVC is well-marketed as being the answer to locking in heat. But the reality is it’s the double-glazing that does the job.
When it comes to the frame, wood is better at insulating heat naturally, regardless of the glass inside it. It means it is perfect for helping save money during the winter.
Timber is also stronger than uPVC so it can take more weight and more suitable for larger windows.
Wooden window and door frames are also more aesthetically pleasing. Unlike uPVC frames, they are not manufactured in factories.
They are bespoke and can be designed and crafted to suit your property. It’s one of the reasons why homeowners with period properties choose timber. Even those who live outside conservation areas look choose timber for its looks.
Wooden window and door frames can also be ordered with a range of quality finishes in a broad spectrum of colours, styles and finishes. You can also order timber as dual coloured, meaning the outside colour is different to that outside so it matches your interior. This is not possible with uPVC
It’s not just about the looks! Timber lasts longer which means the initial higher investment pays for itself. As mentioned, the WWF says over a lifetime, timber costs end up 25% lower than uPVC.
Warranties for wooden frames are 30 years, compared to 10 with uPVC. You will need to replace or repair uVPC windows much more quickly than those with timber frames.
Wooden frames are also easier to care for. All you need to do is wash them down and re-touch the pain when necessary. Full repainting is only necessary very 8 to 10 years to keep the colour vivid. uPVC may seem easy to look after but frames look dirty even after a heavy downpour. Specialist cleaning products are necessary for them to look best and it’s an annual job at least. Even so, it won’t stop uPVC from becoming discoloured.
Because you cannot paint the frames, it means they will look tired at a quicker rate than when they wear out. And, if you decide you want a new colour scheme to match a revamped interior, you cannot paint uPVC.
In the long run, wood is a better bet than uPVC.
So why not speak to us today about adding timber frames if you’re renovating or building your new home.