Homeowners today have more window choices than ever before and each manufacturer has convincing arguments that their particular type of window frame is the best. This article makes no attempt to sell the homeowner on a particular type of window; the only goal is to provide the homeowner with unbiased information regarding the pros and cons of wood windows so the homeowner is better equipped to make an informed decision.
Deciding what is right for a particular home remodel can be exceptionally difficult, especially when it comes to replacing windows. Homeowners who are conflicted should talk to someone who knows windows inside and out, such as the window experts at United Home Experts. We install virtually every type of window imaginable, which means our recommendations can be based solely on what is right for a particular home and for a particular budget and not on which product they are expected to push.
There are vinyl windows, steel-framed windows, clad wood, composite, aluminum, and fiberglass windows as well as genuine wood. A lot of choices; a lot of pros and cons to weigh and consider.
The Advantages of Wood-Framed Windows
For many people, especially those in older, more traditional homes, there really is no choice other than real wood-framed windows. There are several advantages, as well as drawbacks, to genuine wood.
Genuine wood has a look and a feel to it that nothing else can match. Wood is classic; wood is solid; wood is the real deal. Virtually all other window frames attempt to mimic the look of wood. Why settle for cheap imitations when the real thing is available?
Genuine wood frames help to insulate a home far better than almost any other kind of window. Real wood provides 400 times more insulation than steel window frames and 1,800 times as much as aluminum-frame windows. The additional insulation that real wood provides can help keep a home warm in the winter and cool in the summer and can save the homeowner on utility bills all year round. Wood-framed windows also provide an excellent barrier to outdoor sounds”much more so than virtually any other frame.
Wood frames are also easy to install so long as the installer has basic tools and carpentry skills. A homeowner can guarantee that wood windows will be properly installed by employing the services of a true professional from United Home Experts. The skilled technicians at United Home Experts have years of experience installing wood-frame windows and provide a guarantee with each installation.
For the homeowner attempting to go “green,” genuine wood window frames are as environmentally sound as it is possible to be. Wood is the very definition of eco-friendly. Trees are a renewable resource, and wood window frames need never end up in a landfill but even if they do, they naturally break down into compounds that are beneficial to the soil.
Wood, if given care, will last a lifetime. The same cannot really be said of most other types of frames. Also, unlike metal frames, wooden frames are not prone to rust – a decided plus in many locations.
It should be noted that it is also possible to purchase wood-clad window frames. These are wooden frames that are covered on the outside with vinyl or even aluminum. The advantage to wood-clad frames is that the outside of the window is protected from the elements while the inside retains the look, feel and insulating properties of genuine wood.
As far as aesthetics are concerned, wood wins hands-down if the homeowner chooses to paint. While some other types of frames may accept paint, wood embraces any color a homeowner chooses to apply. Wood not only welcomes paint, it virtually demands it. Wood also enhances the value of most homes. The reason most other types of frames attempt to look like wood is that the majority of homeowners prefer wood, and genuine wood window frames almost always demand a premium whenever a home is sold.
The Disadvantages of Wood Frames
The need for paint is one of the disadvantages of genuine wood frames. Wood was once a living substance, and if left untreated it can rot or warp and will begin to look old. Wood frames which have not been properly cared for can twist slightly or can swell with moisture, making it difficult (if not impossible) to raise or lower the window. Homes near the ocean, which are subject to salt combined with moist air, are especially vulnerable; wood-frame windows in these homes will need more attention than those in many other areas of the country.
Wood is also vulnerable to insects, especially (but not limited to) termites. Of course, if the home is sided with wood then the tiny extra amount of wood in a wood-framed window makes little difference. Keeping the frame properly painted will ward off insects.
Another disadvantage can be “cost”. Wood frames generally have a higher initial cost than vinyl or steel frames. Keep in mind, however, that wood frames can last far longer than most other frames if properly maintained, and wood never rusts. Many homeowners also feel that the rich, solid, traditional appearance of genuine wood more than makes up for its initial cost difference.
All of this presupposes that the supplier of the wood frames has provided the homeowner with good quality wood to begin with. Wood should be free of knots and warping and should have the outward appearance of being in perfect condition. Homeowners can be assured of excellent quality if they deal solely with companies that have an excellent reputation and which are known locally.
In most cases having choices is good, but when it comes to choosing the right windows for a home remodel, the sheer number of choices can become overwhelming. The trick is to seek professional help and advice. The professionals at United Home Experts know windows and they genuinely care about the looks of a home as well as the homeowner’s wallet. Ask for help from the professionals, because choosing the right windows is a decision that most homeowners have to live with for many years.