copy supplied by THE WINDOW ALLIANCE
Summer is here, and what better way to embrace the warmer weather and longer days than renovating your windows and doors. Whether it’s renewing your existing features or replacing your current windows and doors for something new, wood is a really versatile material to work with and maintain.
How important is price vs quality?
You get what you pay for. The cheapest solution? PVC-u. The most expensive? Triple-glazed aluminium, hardwood, modified wood or aluminium-clad timber. Engineered softwood offers a good compromise between quality and affordability.
How long do you want them to last?
25 or 30 years? PVC-u could be OK. For a lifetime’s service, choose factory-finished softwood, which has a planned service life of around 60 years. Aluminium or modified or aluminium-clad wood will last even longer.
How much maintenance can you put up with?
All windows need some maintenance. WWA factory-finished wood windows need a recoat every 8-10 years – just a light sanding, then one or two top-coats; no stripping back. They can also be re-painted when you change colour schemes.
How energy-efficient do they need to be?
Don’t over-specify. If your property is built to passivhaus standards, then triple-glazing makes sense; otherwise a double-glazed unit, Argon filled, with warm-edge spacers and low-emissivity glass is the best compromise.
Do you care about the environment?
If the answer is yes, avoid PVC-u. It’s made from Vinyl Chloride Monomer, a Class 1 human carcinogen. Certified sustainable softwood is the best solution for the environment, as it is low in toxicity and has the lowest Global Warming Potential. For every tree harvested, at least two are planted, and according to a study by Heriot Watt University, installing ten wood windows instead of PVC-u will save over 1.5 tonnes of CO2e over their lifetime.
Windows are one of the most important design features of a building and they make a significant contribution to the efficiency and beauty of a home. Many people don’t realise that modern wood windows, whether traditional or contemporary in style, offer great security features and are double or triple glazed for exceptional energy-efficiency.
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 – making them some of the highest quality and best value windows and doors available.
All WWA members are FSC or PEFC Chain of Custody certified and meet strict quality, performance and sustainability criteria so you can be sure you are getting the best possible product.