Eco living and sustaiability

The Evolution of Timber windows and Doors

timber windows

Today’s timber windows and doors can offer the best overall package of all materials available; precision made, fully finished with correct joinery details, double glazed, no cold air or draughts getting through.

The high performance timber window of current times

It’s not such a surprise really when you consider how far the modern timber window has come since the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s where, poorly made, untreated softwood frames were fitted with single panes of glass on site after the frame was fitted into the brick work. The bad name that timber gained, stuck for some time due to the moisture leaks and rot that followed their use, so along came aluminium and then cheap, plastic windows.

If timber was going to have a place in the market amongst these, then improvements to performance and lifespan were needed. This led to the development of engineered timber components in both the UK and Europe, produced at the forest source, any resulting waste can immediately be reused; this led to the high performance timber windows and doors we can offer today, with fully, factory finished windows boasting an expected life of 60 years, and modern decorative finishes give maintenance cycles that are equal to other materials.

A longer life – timber will outperform all others

Whilst timber windows can sometimes cost 25% more to buy than their plastic counterparts, independent research by the Wood Window Alliance (WWA) has demonstrated that the 60 year life of timber compares very favourably to the life of plastic at just 35 years – this in turns levels out the price difference in favour of timber when you calculate a whole life cost. Timber windows also have the environmental credentials in their favour, being carbon negative and from a sustainable, natural resource, the opposite to uPVC windows that have a detrimental impact on the environment as a result of their manufacture and use.

As a result, timber windows are gaining market share rapidly in the UK, now representing 25% of demand by value and with this, manufacturers of windows from man-made materials are seeing the balance tip, with them attempting to reproduce the look of timber.

Along with appearance, modern day windows keep the weather out, offer double and triple glazing and technological advances in glass, which all add up to a product that is highly energy efficient, thermally insulated and offering outstanding U-Values, exceeding the latest requirements for Part L building regulations. Owners of timber windows can feel the benefits on their wallets for the years ahead too with significant savings on energy bills when compared with old fashioned aluminium, single glazed windows of the past.

Property value improved by timber windows & doors vs. plastic

It has long been said by English Heritage and leading estate agents nationwide that property value is adversely affected when plastic windows are present, but is restored to a greater value when adding timber, such is the difference in look, feel and desirability.

Timber – good for the planet too

Timber is used in products such as windows under very stringent, global rules with the protection and conservation of the world’s forests in mind. As the only replaceable natural resource and an ecological carbon sink, wood is truly remarkable in its ability to continue providing benefits to our atmosphere when reused in products, very much more so than other building materials including concrete and steel.

Imitated but never rivalled

With imitation being the highest form of flattery, it can only be taken as a compliment by timber window producers that the plastic window industry wants us to believe that their foiled and grain effect plastic can look like timber; however just by standing next to them you can see that there’s nothing like the genuine article.

It truly has been one heck of an evolution for timber windows.

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