You might not have given much thought to the right material for your window frames, but it's an important issue. Most people go with uPVC instead of the traditional timber simply because of price. However, the low cost of uPVC comes with its own set of costs – from appearance to longevity, it can't compete with wood.
Here are just three reasons to opt for timber instead of uPVC for your window frames.
1. Curb Appeal
It's hard to beat the appearance of wooden frames. Whether you live in an old-fashioned home or a minimalist residence, wooden frames provide timeless beauty and a sense of class that's hard to equal. That's why plenty of uPVC frames attempt to mimic the appearance of natural timber, though they seldom come close to succeeding. A vast variety of timbers allows homeowners to select the perfect colour and grain, and your frames will stay looking fantastic for years to come since they can be stripped, painted and varnished. uPVC frames will simply yellow and fade, and they are tough to repair.
uPVC isn't remotely good for the environment. It's a manmade product that involves the use of hazardous chemicals during production, and it takes significantly more energy to produce a uPVC window frame compared to a timber window frame. uPVC frames don't tend to last as long, and they are very hard to recycle. Most of the time, uPVC will end up sitting in landfill. Timber is a natural product that can be sustainably farmed; in fact, timber farms can help give back to the environment by producing oxygen and off-setting CO2 emissions.
3. Coefficient of Thermal Expansion
A material's coefficient of thermal expansion describes how that material's size and shape changes with shifts in the temperature. This is obviously a serious issue when dealing with windows, and it's another area where timber comes out ahead. It has one of the smallest coefficient of expansion ratings among materials used for window production. In contrast, uPVC expands and contracts quite a lot with hot and cold weather. This creates gaps in the frame, resulting in a movement of air between inside and outside, and that flexing and contracting can put additional strain on supporting structures. Additionally, any gaps around the window frames are going to make your home more attractive to thieves since tools, such as crowbars, can be more easily fitted in to leverage the frame from the wall.