So you want to find out what are the advantages of wood windows?
Windows are constructed in a variety of different materials and depending on your needs and desires as a homeowner, you may find yourself using a multitude of different materials in order to built windows that suit your home. Today we are addressing wood as an option in this article.
So what exactly are the advantages of having wood windows?
It’s a long a varied list, but here is the summary:
- Wood is very aesthetically pleasing, and the natural, warm finish that it gives houses is impossible to reproduce with other materials.
- Wood is an excellent natural insulator, meaning it’ll keep the cold out and the warm in, reducing your bills and helping you stay warm in the winter.
- Wood is a sturdy material that tends to last for ages; you won’t be replacing wood windows every year or even decade.
- Wood is a renewable resource, making it a good choice to help save the environment
How do wood windows look compared to other materials?
When it comes to deciding whether or not you should invest in wood windows, the aesthetic value that the wood brings often tops the list. It’s hard to find better-looking windows than solid, naturally grainy wood.
The great thing about using wood is that no two pieces are the same. Depending on the type of wood you use and the varnish you apply, the end result is going to come out in a multitude of different colors, grains, and patterns.
If your house is already made from wood, then you can simply fit wood windows that use the same variety of wood as your walls. If you’re a bit more creative, you can use woods of different colors in order to create contrast.
Wood is also great not only for its natural beauty but for how it takes paint and varnishes. Whereas other materials can be a bit of a pain to varnish and require any number of special paints in order to get the color to adhere to the material, wood accepts most paints extremely easily.
On top of that, painting and varnishing the wood window frames will ensure that they remain sturdy and last for years.
How good of an insulator is wood?
As it turns out, wood is an excellent insulator; in fact, it’s one of the best. Compared to other popular construction materials such as vinyl and aluminum, wood is way ahead of the curve. Quality wood frames outshine their competitors by a mile, providing 400 times more insulation than steel and over 1800 more insulation than aluminum windows.
This is good news for homeowners. Not only does this improve the longevity of the wood, but over time it will also save huge amounts of money in heating bills due to the increased U-factor value. While wood windows might cost a bit more upfront, this additional insulation they provide will keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, meaning you won’t have to pay as much for heating or air conditioning respectively.
In addition to being great at insulating and regulating indoor temperatures, wood windows are also ideal for stopping any errant sounds. This means that wood windows will block out more unwanted noise from outside and allow you to live peacefully and help you sleep more soundly.
How long does wood last for windows?
While it might not appear so on the surface, especially when compared to harder materials like steel or aluminum, wood has incredible longevity, and if treated properly will last for decades, if not centuries.
In conjunction with being a great insulator, it’s ability to stand up to most weather will also be a huge money saver in the long run.
Unlike metal materials, which will rust and begin to deteriorate when exposed to rain and other detrimental weather, wood is surprisingly strong and supple.
Since wood is not prone to rust, it’s the ideal material for windows for coastal regions as well as towns that experience inordinate amounts of rainfall, or anywhere that suffers from high humidity.
The wood has to be treated, however. Untreated wood that is installed raw will swell, warp and generally start to crumble fairly quickly. Ensure that your wood is treated with multiple high-quality coats of paint, finishes, and varnishes for maximum longevity.
Another thing to keep in mind is that wood can sometimes get targeted by insects which can chew straight through the frames and compromise the integrity of the structure. The prevention of this problem is the same solution as mentioned above: ensure that the wood is treated with high-quality finishes to ensure it remains repellent to water as well as insects.
How much better is wood for the environment?
As it turns out – quite a bit. Wood is a natural, renewable resource. This means that it can be produced theoretically forever. As long as every tree that is cut down is compensated for with newly planted trees and saplings, then wood will be available for years to come.
The same can’t be said about other materials which are used on window frames such as metal aluminum. These resources are finite, meaning that there is only a certain amount of them available throughout the world, and once those deposits are mined dry, alternatives will have to be used.
It’s not just about abundance, either, there’s the ecological footprint to consider too. The mining of heavy metals requires an enormous amount of harmful production processes which leave tracts of land devoid of life and scars the earth permanently.
When it comes to vinyl windows, plastic production is a huge environmental pollutant, especially considering that vinyl and plastic are not easily biodegradable.
Wood production, on the other hand, is a much more gentle process that doesn’t require any solvents or chemicals in order to acquire the final product. As long as trees are sourced sustainably and the trees are replanted, the ecological footprint of sourcing wood is infinitesimally smaller than that other materials.
Unlike mineral production, which requires massive amounts of heat and energy in order to melt, extract and then process metal from rock, when it comes to wood production, the tree itself is almost the finished product, and the mills used to refine the wood are relatively low-energy affairs by comparison.
How easy are wood windows to install?
The answer to this question requires a little bit of unpacking. Installing a wood window in and of itself isn’t’ a very difficult task to do, but it does require some know-how and a specific set of tools.
If you are extremely handy or do this type of work as a trade, then by all means try and tackle it yourself; but otherwise, it’s advisable to contact a professional who can very easily install a wood window without any problems.
When it comes to window installation there are two separate points to consider. The first is called new-construction and the second is called replacement. New construction is exactly what it sounds like: a newly constructed window designed for a new home. These windows have nailing fins which allow the window to be nailed on to the front of the house.
A replacement is a window that is designed to replace an old or damaged window. A replacement window does not have nailing fins which allow it to easily slot into an opening which previously held a window.
Whichever option you need, a skilled contractor or handyman will be able to install your wood window easily and without hassle.
How expensive are wood windows?
While upfront wood windows might cost slightly more than say vinyl windows, they’re still way cheaper than steel or aluminum. Of course, the type of wood which you opt to buy will have a massive effect on the price, but on average they still fare way better cost-wise.
However, the upfront cost isn’t the only thing you have to consider when choosing material for your windows. If you have to replace your windows every ten years as opposed to every fifty, then the return on your investment isn’t going to be very high, and this is where wood shines through.
Wood windows generally have warranties of up to fifty years, meaning that they’re likely to last almost a lifetime and hardly ever need to be replaced.
When looked at that way, it’s clear that the cost of wood windows will even out of time, making them the superior and more cost effective choice for home improvement projects.
Looking to find out more? You can read our full post on here on why windows are expensive.
When it comes to windows, it’s safe to safe that wood windows are clearly the best. The advantages of wood windows far outweigh whatever disadvantages may exist, especially when compared to other less favorable materials such as steel, vinyl or aluminum.
Whether it’s their aesthetic charm, their favorable insulation qualities, or their impressive longevity, wood windows are clearly the best option should you ever need to replace a window or install one from scratch.