For many of us refurbishing or replacing windows will be an important consideration as well as a substantial investment in a property. We explore the pros and cons of buying PVCu and wood windows.
Price - Both PVCu and double glazed windows wooden windows can offer great energy saving to homes, but the cost in buying them can vary dramatically. The average cost of a PVCu sash window is about £200 and for the equivalent in wood the price will be over 5 times this cost at around £1,200 for a hard wood window.
Maintenance - PVCu is maintenance free for at least 25 years (however they can tend to squeak after time), whereas wood windows will need maintaining every 5-7 years. However you can change the colour of your wood frames easily whereas with the PVCu windows you are really stuck with the original colour.
Recently we have seen an increase in popularity in grey and pale shades of window frames in our homes, and PVCu window manufacturers have caught on to this and rather than just offering the standard white PVCu windows, they are now available in all sorts of different colours, shapes and sizes, mimicking the traditional style windows of older homes where necessary.
In traditional houses the wood for window frames were originally made from high-quality, slow-grown softwood that came from Baltic forests in the 19th Century. In 2009 the National Heritage started a survey to try and stop PVCu windows from being placed into traditional style houses located within conservation areas. If you live in a conservation area, and your council has implemented what is known as an 'article four direction' then you might need to seek planning permission before updating your sash windows.
With all of the recent advances and developments in PVCu is it still possible to tell the difference between PVCu and wood? Most people would argue that it is possible to tell the difference between the two, and some buyers absolutely hate plastic windows in older homes, and some buyers hate the thought of maintaining wood windows. So in conclusion if you want to play it safe, we would suggest that you use wood frames for older homes and plastic for modern homes. However, in all cases we would suggest you seek advice from your local planning department before making any of these external changes to your property.
Here is an example of a wood window and a PVCu window, can you tell the difference? Let us know which one you think is wood and PVCu on our Facebook page, and we will reveal the answer at the end of the week.
Image source: Homebuilding and Renovating