Timber is the third major material used in the UK double glazing industry. It used to the most popular. Before PVCu was introduced it was either timber windows or metal windows that were the choices. Now, timber isn’t used as much, but is back on the increase and still has its place in the UK market. If you are thinking of changing your windows and doors, here are a few reasons why timber should be considered:
- Life expectancy: research commissioned by Imperial College London suggests the expected life cycle of WELL DESIGNED timber windows & doors to be 60 years. The BRE commissioned study on PVC estimated 35 years in comparison.
- Sustainability: PEFC/FSC Certification – using timber from managed resources really is a fantastic idea. If managed correctly, it is a limitless resource.Carbon footprint – has a large embodied carbon element and in its “rough sawn” form, requires no extra work to be added to the product other than logging before being distributed to a manufacturer.End of use – obviously, timber can be re-used, used as fuel etc in the future. It’s also fully biodegradable of course.
- Flexibility of product design. You can create project specific trim details or even re-design certain sections for a relatively low cost with timber. Of course, one must always remember to not design-in issues with long term product durability AND you would need to find a manufacturer to had the skills in house to design and fashion new tools.
- Colour – limitless options but perhaps more important, you can readily change the colour of timber through its life.
- Inherent Strength. From a structural perspective, timber is a fantastic material. We have designed large screens, conservatories without portal frames 18m long by 5m wide and all with the correct structural calcs I should add! We also do not get issues with sashes dropping etc with timber as the screw retention is excellent and a fabricator cannot “forget” to put steel in!
- It’s wood! Why do we aspire to a wooden bookshelf as opposed to a manufactured board with a veneer effect? There is (and I accept this is not a factual point) an emotional attachment to “natural” materials and I believe timber windows/doors are viewed more as a piece of furniture. In essence, it is not so much a commodity product as PVC.
- It’s stable. Engineered timber (the concept of taking 3 pieces of solid timber and laying them back to back) almost eliminates the natural movement (twisting/warping) that was traditionally used to criticise the material. In some ways, it works on the same way as reinforcing dark PVC profiles to stop them from warping.
- It doesn’t rot. Assuming the product has been design with suitable drained and ventilated glazing systems and there are no flat surfaces for moisture to build up, timber will not rot. Having these systems also aids in increasing the intervals between paint maintenance cycles and crucially the ease of maintenance as allowing the timber to significantly increase its moisture content has a direct impact on the paint adhesion. If a moisture content gets too high, this can lead to paint blistering.
- U-Values. Timber can achieve passive haus standard (0.8 whole frame u-values or less) on PVC and Timber material types so not much between them here I would say.
- There is much more diversity in product quality AND product price in the timber market compared with the PVC. Consumers therefore need to be made aware of the key added value points that stop them from replacing their timber windows in year 5-10 because they haven’t been designed with the correct drainage/ventilation systems for instance. We could not produce a timber window for anywhere near the cost of a PVC window and therefore, as I said in my answer on your blog, I believe there is a place for all materials in the marketplace.
This information has kindly been provided by www.dempseydyer.co.uk. If you would like to know more about timber windows and doors please visit the website above or contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org