I've ruled out metal frames as they're just not aesthetically
So, the choice is either uPVC or wood. uPVC is maintenance free but
looks a bit crap...
Which would you go for, and why?
I .think. I'll go for wood - can anyone tell me what maintenance will
be required and how often?
Thanks in advance.
uPVC is rarely maintenance free. I've seen more skanky looking plastic
windows than wooden.
I didn't see the original question, but I'm guessing the answer goes
Use the windows that are appropriate for the age and design of the property.
If it originally had metal Critall windows, then find modern replacements.
If it is a Victorian property, get proper wooden sashes. If it is a 1980s
Baratt hutch, get uPVC.
Painting every 5 to 7 years, occasional touching up between.
uPVC seems to require wholesale replacement every 10 to 15 years or so. A
good quality hardwood wooden window, well maintained, will last for
centuries. Even a cheap softwood frame will last many decades, with the
right treatment and care, whilst higher quality softwoods can also last
Oh boy was it. They started using (importing ?) some dire pine and other
softwoods around then. Before that English hardwoods tended to dominate.
Our place has had bits added over the centuries and it is the 1890s bit that
needed the most wood replacement. There's an oak beam possibly from the
1600s further down the corridor with hardly a mark on it.
If you get a good hardwood frame, have it properly treated before
installation then stained or painted if needed after insulation it will need
little attention. Oak can possibly even be left 'as is' until well after
It is poor quality softwood frames that gave wood a bad name and led to the
uPVC explosion. Note that not all softwood frames are crap, but most seem
I made a new sash window in my house 15 years ago from bog standard
and now it hardly needs a lick of paint. The Magnet pressure treated
softwood windows put in at the same time are falling to pieces BUT sliding
sashes are protected from the weather by 6" or so of masonry whereas the
Magnet windows were flush with the wall. I think the situation is probably
more important than the type of wood. If you want a deep sill on the
I'd go for plastic or aly.
Have you looked at powder-coated aluminium? We've got a pair of Monarch
Monaframe patio doors & they're by far the best "windows" in the house.
They've only been in for 4 years now but show absolutely no signs that
they'll suffer the staining/weathering issues of uPVC.
(Barring wood) they were the only choice for the particular location as they
have much less bulky frames than uPVC & therefore gave a decent glass/frame
They were fitted pre-building regs part L, but I'm sure that when I did a
web search last year they were still very much available, so I presume that
they can be part L compliant.
The only downside is the cost - rather higher than cheap uPVC.
I always wash the one ground floor UPV window and patio doors I have with
plenty of warm water and a drop of washing up liquid. And do the frames at
the same time. So far, they still look like new. Paintwork done at the
same time they were fitted looks like it'll need doing again this year.
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Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
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