Discover the Differences Between Wooden and uPVC Sash Windows

Most period homeowners with properties featuring sash windows are firmly in the wooden windows camp but differences between wooden and uPVC windows tend to apply to all window types and not just sash windows.

Most period homeowners with properties featuring sash windows are firmly in the wooden windows camp but differences between wooden and uPVC windows tend to apply to all window types and not just sash windows.

What is uPVC?

uPVC is an affordable plastic that is long-lasting and low maintenance with excellent insulation properties, especially when teamed with triple glazing. With minimal care, uPVC window frames can look as good as the day they were fitted. It means that homeowners can just forget about the chore and cost of maintaining wooden frames and sills plus, they know that thermal regulation is taken care of so that means the best outcome for home energy bills.

But what if you care about the design aesthetic? uPVC windows particularly sash windows, just don’t look the same. There is a uniformity and regularity with uPVC windows which is simply at odds with mellow Georgian or Victorian brickwork. Anyone can see the windows are not original or even new wooden replicas and that’s a problem if you care about the features and appearance of your period home. Wood has a texture and finish that is three-dimensional, wood is a natural material that moves and breathes with the house compared to the one-dimensional flat and rather a lifeless look of uPVC windows. So, there is a price to pay for warm and draught-free rooms, but it isn’t financial as uPVC sash windows are generally much cheaper than wooden equivalents.

Why bother with wooden sash windows?

If wooden sashes are high-maintenance and prone to poor thermal regulation, why wouldn’t anyone swap them for a uPVC equivalent? Well, for the same reason, that you cherish old, wonky doors, funny-shaped rooms and period features which are impossible to decorate around, that’s all part of the charm of a traditional home.

The windows are the eyes of the soul of a house. Most people want to cherish and preserve original features, they have value and a cachet. No one buys an old house for an easy life, they put other things ahead of convenience.

Getting the best of both worlds

For many years, period homeowners have sacrificed their comfort and energy bills for the style of their draughty and rattling single-pane sash windows. Now, householders can upgrade their existing windows with thermal glazing, which is lightweight and single-pane, offering the properties of triple glazing with the ability to fit the narrow frame of a sash window.

Old wooden sashes can be replaced with new wooden equivalents either in whole or in part, retaining all the originality and charm of period features but with new draughtproofing features and lightweight insulated single-pane glass so avoiding the bulky look of uPVC equivalents. It’s been a long time coming.

Sustainability and Eco-credentials

Plastic has had bad press when it comes to its green credentials and uPVC window manufacturers are campaigning hard to educate people that uPVC windows can be recycled. However, it is in the production process where timber scores so highly when compared with uPVC.

It’s possible to source wood from forests approved by the Forest Stewardship Council where both the timber and its associated harvest comply with a set of ethical rules which protect not only the environment but the people and communities at the timber’s source.

What’s more, there are now woods available like Accoya which have revolutionised the production of fixtures for the home which are exposed to weathering. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of the Accoya tree as Accoya is actually a fast-growing pine tree which is harvested at thirty years and then treated to a modification process called acetylation which uses acetic acid to produce a non-toxic timber.

Accoya is highly rot-resistant and perfect for the damp climate of the UK. It has exceptional durability and very green credentials in production as the treatment process simply increases the levels of elements already present in the molecular structure of the wood. Accoya is perfect for windows and doors with incredible performance and all without the use of preservatives. And well spotted, Accoya isn’t even a hardwood!

In the 21st century, wooden sash windows have never been easier to look after or more thermally efficient, all using single glazing and original frames.

We produce wooden sash windows for traditional and contemporary homes and can also offer advice and restoration on existing sash windows which are in need of refurbishment. Innovative techniques and 21st-century materials combined with our craftsmanship, and experience blend the very best of old and new so now there’s no need to resort to uPVC units to protect your home insulation and energy bills. We can also design new windows for any style of property and in any size or shape plus retrofit new sash windows into original frames.

Contact us here to find out more about original and brand-new timber sash windows for your home.