3 REASONS WHY WE NO LONGER OFFER TIMBER WINDOWS.
In earlier years we offered timber windows and doors as part of our premium product range, but in recent years we’ve removed this and offered uPVC instead. So why do we no longer offer timber windows? And why did we offer them in the first place? And what should you do if you wanted timber windows?
The first thing we want to say is that there are still companies out there manufacturing timber windows, and as a result there are no doubt still many builders installing them in the homes they’re building.
We’re not here to denigrate anyone, and everyone’s view of the world is different so there’s not necessarily a right and wrong answer to the questions in this blog. But to truly serve our customers we’ve determined that we can’t be all things to all people and that’s why we’ve made the decision not to include timber window in our homes.
The second thing we want to say is that we acknowledge the natural beauty of timber. It has a special warmth and charm about it that’s difficult to replicate and is unique in all the world. And this natural beauty and appeal is the very reason we included it in our homes in the first place. And of course, we use timber to frame our homes for it’s strength and usefulness and it flows through to various other products in our homes as well.
But when it comes to windows it started to give us grief. There are three main reasons for this, which we’ll drill down into.
The first is the energy efficiency of the home. This may seem a contradiction because timber – in itself – is a good insulator. So in an ideal world, timber windows and doors with double glazing (which all of our homes have) would seem a good solution to a more energy efficient home.
But timber has a mind of its own as they say, and it moves – it bows and warps and shrinks and expands. And this means that gaps open up. Gaps between and around doors become bigger than they should be. And the seals around the glazing are broken and then air gets in. And the benefit of a good energy efficient material is not only lost but made worse than other materials because of the draughts that allow heat to escape in winter and the cool air in summer.
Which leads onto the second reason for saying no to timber: Maintenance.
Lots of it.
Timber is a natural product and unlike a man-made product it will deteriorate over time and need ongoing maintenance. Now you might say well so does decking, what’s the difference? The difference is that doors and windows have to be very precise in their size and shape to allow them to open and close effectively and seal tight to keep out the weather. It doesn’t matter if decking moves a bit – nothing will be affected enough to stop it from doing its job. But in a window this can ruin its efficiency; prevent it from being opened and also look terrible.
Most of us are time-poor and lead busy lives, so spending vast amounts of time every 2 or 3 years preparing and coating all the windows and doors around your home is difficult to say the least.
And thirdly is the cost. Finding good timber and making then into windows and doors isn’t the same as it was 30 years ago. Timber quality in the world has deteriorated through harvesting too early. Chunkier frames to allow for double glazing adds to the cost. And so does finding the right timber to allow for sufficient bushfire ratings. And then coating it properly to try and protect them as much as possible is a substantial cost. All of these things have added to the price of a good set of windows and suddenly it becomes cost prohibitive for the majority of home buyers.
There are other factors that have contributed to the withdrawal of timber windows from our product range such as bushfire ratings, timing, and product style, but the three discussed above are the main reasons.
But what to replace it with? UPVC has been used for windows in the northern hemisphere for a long time but has only been emerging in the Australian market in the last decade or so, but has already become an excellent product. It ticks so many of the boxes that timber doesn’t and we’ve now been using it with great success for over 6 years to the extent that we highly recommend it over any other product for windows and doors.
There’s a lot of things about uPVC that we could discuss but we’ll leave that for another blog…
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