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Timber Sash Windows vs. uPVC Timber-Effect Sash Windows

Timber Sash Windows vs Timber-Effect Sash Windows

If you’re doing some upgrades to your home and choosing timber sash windows or uPVC timber-effect sash windows, the choice can initially seem a bewildering one. We’re here to help you make the decision that suits your budget, tastes and property.

What Are Sash Windows?

Traditionally, sash windows were made from timber and used single glazing, but these older models can be problematic in terms of letting out heat and letting in noise, while also being less secure and generally not featuring double glazing.

Today, uPVC timber-effect windows are a viable option if you’re either looking to replace your sash windows or change your current units to sash ones.

The sash window design originates from seventeenth-century London, when narrow streets meant jutting windows could have touched the building opposite or got in the way of a thatcher. And the style came to prominence after the 1666 great fire of London.

There have been many designs since then, but the essential concept remains the same. The sash is the frame containing the glass, and typically there will be a top and bottom sash. These windows slide up and down thank to weights and cords, or, more recently, spiral balances, so that the window can be opened.

When closed, the upper and lower sashes are locked together at the mid-rail so they don’t slide. Open the window by sliding the bottom sash up, or, with a double-hung model, slide the top sash down as well, for added ventilation and airflow.

Once you’ve decided to go for new sash windows, you have to decide whether to go for traditional timber or timber-effect versions made from uPVC.

Pros and Cons of Real Timber uPVC Sash Windows

Although they certainly have their downsides, wooden timber windows can look genuinely amazing – they’re real showstoppers! They’re also the eco-friendly choice and can offer great performance in terms of insulating properties. What’s more, you’ll find plenty of styles and colours from which to take your pick.

Pros of real timber windows

  • Timber is a natural insulator, and it’s a strong, environmentally friendly material with a negative global warming potential (GWP)
  • Real wood lasts a long time and is very good at handling the worst of the British weather
  • There’s no denying real wood’s stunning appearance

Disadvantages of real timber windows

  • Draughts can get in and panes can rattle if these sash windows aren’t fitted and then maintained properly
  • Maintenance is needed to protect the wood – untreated wood may just rot and this can happen very quickly
  • Real wood timber windows are much more expensive than their uPVC timber-effect counterparts
  • Timber can potentially be vulnerable to insects, such as termites
  • In coastal areas where there is quite a lot of salt in the air, the salt can affect the wooden frames

Pros and Cons of Timber-Effect uPVC Sash Windows

Timber-effect uPVC sash windows replicate the look of natural timber, with a realistic wood-grain finish. So they’re an excellent choice, especially if you want to retain your home’s period character. What’s more, they’re often the most cost-effective option.

Pros of Timber-Effect uPVC Windows

Here are some of the other benefits you can look forward to:

  • Low-maintenance – there’s no sanding or repainting, just the occasional wipe down for your sash windows to stay looking as good as new
  • Energy efficiency so that you soon feel the benefit of a warmer and better-insulated home
  • High levels of security – giving you extra peace of mind
  • The appearance of these models is so authentic they even work for replacement windows in heritage and conservations areas. Their woodgrain coating can be very difficult to distinguish from genuine timber.
  • Durability – your home is protected with a long-lasting, weather-resistant product that won’t rot or succumb to insect infestation

Cons of Timber-Effect Windows

Inevitably there are a few ‘cons’ to understand as well.

  • Not every home may be suitable to have these models fitted
  • uPVC isn’t always the most environmentally friendly choice, and, in the unlikely event of a fire, some poisonous chemicals could be released
  • Frames can sometimes discolour over time
  • You may sometimes find a more limited colour choice
  • Individual parts of these sash windows can occasionally be hard to source and replace

Our Flush-Sash Windows

At Paradise Windows, our timber-appearance uPVC sash windows engineer out the above issues at design stage. So we offer all the performance benefits of modern windows, including heat resilience and resistance to poor weather, combined with a look that is indistinguishable from that of real wood.

Our elegant System 10 Rustique models are crafted with attention to detail and are the natural choice in period homes in particular. We supply timber-effect windows in Oxford and across Oxfordshire. Talk to us today.