One of the first decisions you will have to make when buying and having timber windows installed is whether to choose PVC or timber frames. PVC is often viewed as being longer lasting and more convenient but the truth is very different. What’s more, whether you are looking to recreate period property features or you simply want to enjoy a great looking property finish, timber offers a natural look and a beautiful finish that cannot be replicated with PVC or even with composite materials.
One of the reasons that a lot of buyers choose PVC is because they perceive it to be easier to look after, requiring much less maintenance than timber. In reality, however, this can actually be a hindrance. Timber frames do require regular cleaning and painting, but this isn’t an option with PVC. For the first few years of ownership, it may be more convenient to have frames that do not require any maintenance, but after this period, when PVC is beginning to look tired and jaded, you will be unable to repaint the frames. Timber frames will look as good as new every time they are updated, but once PVC starts to wear, it will look old and damaged.
Similarly, it is much more difficult to repair PVC frames. If a section of frame becomes badly damaged, the only recourse available might be the replacement of the whole frame. In contrast, a timber section of frame can be removed and replaced if necessary, without having to replace the whole window installation. While the PVC frames are unlikely to just fall apart, bad weather and stormy conditions can cause considerable damage.
PVC frames may offer a life of 20 or 30 years, and some manufacturers will guarantee the frames for this kind of period. However, this is nothing compared to the 60 years or more that you should get from timber frames. It may cost more to have timber frames installed, but the fact that you can replace small sections of damaged frame, and the fact that they will last two or three times longer than PVC, means that they will cost less over their lifetime.
If you want authentic period property charm for your home, then PVC simply won’t cut it. While composite and vinyl frames have improved, they still cannot come close to the natural beauty that timber has to offer. The wood not only fits perfectly with the outside of a property, but it looks beautiful inside too, and the sash pane design only serves to further enhance the beauty of your room and your property.
If you live in a period property, then PVC frames will look out of place, no matter the design or style of the windows. If your property is listed, or you live in a conservation area, then you may find that you are legally required to have timber frames and sash windows that are in keeping with the style of the property too. Even if you aren’t strictly required to have sash windows, it may prove easier to get planning permission for properties or extensions that will include this type of feature.