Replacement windows are an important long-term investment. They can add value to your home, save on fuel bills, reduce condensation, improve peace and quiet and reduce the time you have to spend on maintenance.
Before taking the plunge it’s worth looking at whether you would be better off choosing wooden or plastic windows. Here’s a comparison to help you make that decision.
Initially PVC-u windows are almost always the cheaper option. However, they rarely offer the best value. Wooden windows will last at least twice as long and they will also add value to your property – particularly if it’s a period home.
Wood windows typically come with a 25-year warranty, whereas PVC-u windows typically have a 10-year warranty.
PVC-u replacement windows have spoiled the look of many period properties right across the country. Although some PVC-u companies are now making better looking period windows, nothing looks or feels quite the same as wood. With today’s wood windows, you can have authentic traditional details, such as joints, narrow glazing bars and integral horns without sacrificing performance.
Modern wood windows have a solidity and quality that are as important inside the room as outside.
Both wood and PVC-u replacement windows can give high levels of energy-efficiency. The strength of wooden frames makes it easier to fit heavy triple-glazed units without ultra-thick sections.
Today’s windows, whether PVC-u or factory-finished wood are low maintenance. The only annual maintenance they need is for the frames to be washed down and the hardware lubricated. Depending on exposure conditions, factory finished wood windows will need an initial fresh coat of paint after about ten years; then at seven year intervals. This brings them back to their original condition – and allows you to change the colour if you want to! PVC-u windows, on the other hand, do not need to be re-coated but will gradually lose their finish. Wood windows are also much easier to repair than PVC-u.
Time and again we see tired uPVC windows where beads have discoloured or parts have become brittle. Repairs and maintenance at this stage become troublesome and often the only course of action is to completely replace the windows.
Wood is the greenest choice of window material. Studies show its superiority across a range of environmental impacts. Most significantly, for every wooden window you fit instead of a PVC-U window, you could save up 160kgs of carbon dioxide from entering the environment.