Wood Windows Explained: The Pros and Cons
Something every home has in common is windows. They brighten the room, look great, and help to make a room feel larger. They help to let in natural light and fresh air while keeping out the bugs, rain, and cold air. What makes windows more unique is the style and framing used. Window frames can be made of a lot of different materials with one of the more desired options being wood windows.
Wooden window frames have been around since windows were first created and many people still use them to this day. While they may not be created in the same ways as before, they still have many unique positive characteristics.
Appearance of Wood Windows
The elegant and warm look created by wood window frames is incomparable to any other window framing material. It has the most versatility as well, allowing homeowners to keep the natural appearance of wood grains or choosing to paint them to match the home and decor.
Using wood stains, you can get all the beauty of the wood grain and that alone can add a lot of warmth to your home, especially if you are wanting a cabin feel. When you paint the wood you have the option to change the paint color as often as you want, allowing you to always customize the window to your taste.
Keeping a wood window frame when you live in a historic district can also be important for helping you to keep with the more traditional look of the neighborhood.
Insulation Properties of Wood Windows
When you cook using a wooden spoon or utensil, you notice that the wood doesn’t get hot enough to burn you like stainless steel. This is because wood is a poor conductor of heat. This makes it perfect for window frames because they can keep your home much more insulated than any other material on the market.
What this means is that your wood windows can help you to save more money on your energy bills because they help to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Pairing wooden window frames with energy efficient windows is an amazing idea to cut down on energy bills and recoup your initial investment price.
Not only are wood windows good for keeping your home’s temperature down, but they also double as an extra layer of noise blocking. Your home can be quieter with the wood helping to stop the outside noise from entering your home.
Wood Windows Can Last a Very Long Time
Original wood window frames from over 100 years ago still exist in good condition today. With proper care, a wood window can last a lifetime or more. This is because unlike other materials, wood is not subject to rust.
Some wood window frames can be restored and refurbished as the years go on, allowing for a longer lifespan. This is not something that can be said about other materials such as aluminum, vinyl or fiberglass.
Disadvantages of Wood Windows
Unfortunately, there are a few disadvantages to having wooden frames. Just like any other framing material, each has its own set of cons.
They Need to Be Treated Routinely
Wooden window frames need a stain or paint to help keep them from rotting or becoming brittle. This is because the wood will absorb water and swell, then the sun and heat dry it out, leaving it to repeat this process indefinitely.
This is especially true if you live near a body of water or where there is a lot of moisture or high humidity. By treating the wood with a stain or paint, you are sealing the wood. Giving another layer of protection between the moisture and the wood, so that the two shall never meet.
Wood Windows Attract Insects
Another reason to treat your wood is to prevent insects such as termites from trying to destroy your beautiful wood windows. Insects like termites are quite possibly the worst enemy of a wood window.
Unfortunately, wood windows are incredibly expensive in comparison to the other alternatives. While they do save you more money in the long run with your energy bills and have a longer life expectancy if properly maintained, the cost is sometimes double or triple vs a cheaper alternative like vinyl windows.
Different Types of Wood Windows to Consider
Besides having windows frames made exclusively of wood, there are other options that you can consider to still get the look of wood without the price.
This combines wood with another material such as aluminum or steel. The wood adhered to the other material, giving the interior of your home all of the look and feel of a wood framed home, while the outside is more modern.
Wood composite is twice the strength of vinyl and the cheaper of the wood window options. It’s made using hard resins and fiberglass that can make it just as durable as the bumper of a car! They look almost exactly like a wood window but come without any of the necessary maintenance needed to keep a real wood window looking good.
What Wood is Best for Windows?
There are a few different kinds of wood that windows can be made from. We’ll break down the most popular options below.
- Oak– Popular due to the grain and natural light color.
- Cherry– Red hues can add a lot of warmth to a room.
- Mahogany– Has a unique grain making it stand out from the other varieties.
- Walnut– Expensive but the deep color makes it a favorite despite the cost.
- Pine– Used in a large variety of home furniture
- Juniper– Unique wood due to the trees always look so different.
- Cedar– Has a great scent, light color, and naturally bug resistant and not prone to rotting.
- Fir– Similar to pine. Fewer knots, tighter grains.
What Type of Wood Window Should I Get?
With there being so many different wood options, you have a lot to consider during the window selection process. Make a list of what you are looking for in your ideal wood windows.
If you’re on a budget, going for a more common wood or a wood composite could be better on your wallet. Most companies will carry pine or fir frames, to get a more expensive piece. If you want the resale value, beauty and longevity, getting a window made of hardwood could be the better choice.
Overall, with the wide variety of wood windows available, you can find one that’s perfect for your home and meets your current and future goals in homeownership.