When it comes to choosing the perfect wooden window frames for your home, the first question you need to ask yourself is what style of windows do you actually want? Naturally, the age and style of your home will play a huge role in the decision-making process, but to get you started, the most common styles of wooden windows in the UK include:
Tilt and turn
Bow and bay windows
Storm windows (interior and exterior)
Period-correct (includes Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian and Regency)
These terms describe the types of frames that you can easily come-by, but there is also a wide variety of glazing styles that will affect the finished aesthetic dramatically, not to mention the energy efficiency of a home as well.
You might like the look of wooden windows, but before you make your final decision as to whether or not you install them in your home, you need to be aware of all the advantages and disadvantages that they bring, as windows are far more than just pretty additions to a property.
Wooden window frames contribute significantly more to the insulation of your home than metal versions. In fact, you can expect up to 400 times more insulation than with steel frames.
Wooden window frames are simple to install, for experts. You will find that carpenters are ideal window installers, as they are adept at making micro adjustments to wooden frames.
Given how easy it can be to source sustainable wood, it makes for the epitome of the ultimate in eco-friendly glazing options. Perfect for low-carbon homes.
Cared for properly, wooden window frames will last a lifetime and continuously contribute to a beautiful façade.
Wooden window frames require an extensive schedule of maintenance, including frequent painting and treating.
Wooden frames are not suitable for homes that are located close to coastal areas or those that are exposed to huge amounts of inclement weather, as the material will rot out quickly and degrade.
Associated costs of wooden window frames can be far higher than other options as a lot of the time, bespoke carpentry is necessary and that comes at a premium. The wood you choose will also have a huge impact on the final costs of wooden windows.
You can choose between softwoods and hardwoods for your window frames, but be aware that soft varieties will need far more looking after. They will be cheaper initially, however. The most suitable varieties of woods include:
Western red cedar
Once you have decided on how much work you are willing to put into maintaining your windows and what your budget is, you can then decide on a variety that suits your aesthetic preferences.
Given that wood can easily fall victim to bad weather conditions, you need to know what steps you can take to protect your organic window frames. A good schedule of care will include:
Always removing dirt and grime, to prevent mildew forming or rot starting. You can hand wash r pressure wash your frames, but try to dry them afterwards.
Check for areas of water penetration, as once a weak spot has been created, it will only get worse.
Cut out and replace any rotting timber. Rot spreads quickly and you don’t want your glass becoming loose.
Regularly grease your opening mechanisms, so as to prevent swelling and shrinking affecting use.
Open your windows regularly, to ensure that insects have not taken up residence in your window jambs. Even spiders can prove pesky!
Commit to a regular schedule (annually or bi-annually) of sanding and re-painting or varnishing. Prevention is always better than cure and frequently far less expensive as well.
Finally, you should always give a lot of thought to whether or not your climate really is suited to wooden windows or not. Traditionally, cooler temperatures are best, as there will be less risk of the material swelling or shrinking and wood is fantastically insulating. This is why UK homes frequently have wooden frames, as well as the fact that a great proportion of our residential properties are period homes, which naturally suit wooden windows more than uPVC ones.