Over the past few weeks I have run a mini-series on DGB looking at some of the products that has changed the industry in recent times. One of those posts focused on timber alternative PVCu. You can read that one here. After that post, I received a comment from a loyal Twitter follower who suggested that vertical sliding sash windows were the true timber alternative window. He raised a fair point.
Age old, ever popular
If home owners have an emotional attachment to anything our industry does, it has to be a sash window. I don’t think I’ve ever met a home owner that has told me the don’t like them.
Be it an old terrace house, a cottage, a townhouse or anything else in between, sash windows suit them. And they have a history that measures in the hundreds of years. It’s this history that I believe is a big part to play in the public’s fondness for the window.
Despite a dip in popularity, partly due to the PVCu sector making a bit of a hash in the early years of windows designed to replace them, they’re on the way back.
The number of installers selling sash windows has gone up, and continues to rise. Is this driven by demand from the home owner, or is it a case of installers trying to drive this once popular window back into homes in an attempt to put right the wrongs of some previous PVCu replacements?
The true spirit of timber alternative?
The definition of timber alternative is for a product other than timber, in this case PVCu, to replicate the looks, operation and character of traditional timber windows. Products such as the Evolution and Residence 9 range of timber alternative windows do exactly that, and can be credited with blowing the niche wide open.
But has we been a bit unfair in labeling these as the first timber alternative product? After all, PVCu vertical sliders have been around a lot longer than Evolution and Residence 9 windows have. Strictly speaking, Evolution were the first to bring out a timber alternative casement window system out, with Residence 9 joining the fold and quickly popularising them further.
I had not really considered this perspective until now. The entire principle behind PVCu sliding sash windows is to mimic the timber ones they replace. And that by definition and age of the product surely makes it the first timber alternative window on the market.
The debate I suspect will be hot on this one. The sash window companies will perhaps enjoy this post, whilst the newer timber alternative companies may argue a different point of view. As always, all comments are welcome in the section below.
You could say that all uPVC windows are essentially timber alternatives. After all, most are loosely designed to approximate the older timber windows that they replace. Just look at the ovalo details – they’re a nod in the direction of old timber beads. However, new uPVC casements work in a different way to old timber ones . They have lots of enhancements that make them perform better, but they also stop them looking the same. As a result, nobody mistakes a standard uPVC casement for a timber one. And then you get to the trend in the seventies and eighties… Read more »
I don’t think so.
Timber is one of the oldest materials used to make doors and windows. It’s hard to impossible to find its alternatives. UPVC is there but not as effective as timber.