Windows: wood or plastic?

Hi
I am doing a loft conversion and my builders have asked if I want to have wood or plastic window frames.
Instinctively, I figured wood would give a classier finish but will need painting every few years whereas plastic will last for ages and be maintenance free. My builder recommends plastic, saying it is more widely used, is less bulky and is more expensive (and therefore better). However, I'm not sure my builder is much of an expert on this.
I have no clue as I've never looked at this at all. Does anyone out there have any advice? I would greatly appreciate any help you can give...
Ben
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Ben C wrote:

I'd trust a builder as far as I could kick him with my feet tied together & set in concrete.
Go for wood. Any builder who thinks plastic lasts longer obviously hasn't got a clue. Ever seen an old pastic window? They're yellow, probably cracked or cracking etc. Plastic really doesn't like UV... Whereas wooden windows will last for centuries.
H
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Plastic windows are total crap. Wood windows can be total crap worse than plastic if badly done, but can be brilliant if done well. So the main question is who is doing it.. If your builder is recommending plastic then I wouldn't have any faith in his judgement re wooden windows. You might be better off with a proper joiner.
cheers
Jacob
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snipped-for-privacy@jpbutler.demon.co.uk (jacob) wrote in message

Do window companies still do white ali in hardwood surrounds or am I totally out of date? These always seemed a much better choice than uPVC, thinner frames, more substantial, better quality, longer lasting etc. Don't know much about it all though, just had them in our old place, installed by previous owners. Could be shit for all I know ;o)
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We had a Monarch "Monaframe" powder-coated aluminium french doors put into the dining room a couple of years ago.
This was before part L building regs came into effect so I don't know whether they're compliant and therefore still sold.
however, they are really really good - a class above all the uPVC that's installed in the place (from previous owners, including nasty replacements for the sashes that would have been at the front. <spit>). Close and open with a lovely solid feel, and look good as well. I don't think that they will suffer any of the staining problems that affect uPVC frames.
Not cheap, though.
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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The windows are still available (we have just had some put in) but they tend not to be in wooden frames. They are (clearly) compliant with the new standards and are, as you say, nuch better (IMHO as well) as the size of the frame parts matches the ones they replaced much better, being thinner than the nasty uPVC versions! There's a premium on them though as less are made.
--
Bob Mannix
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However,
my take is that if wood gets damaged or needs repair it is fixable, plastic is throw away time.
mrcheerful
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mrcheerful wrote:

We have had the uPVC windows installed all over the house. Wow the frames are really cold in winter. Much colder than wood. I'll have double glazed wooden framed windows at my next house if I need to have them replaced. -- troubleinstore www.tuppencechange.co.uk
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I've always thought white plastic ugly and the gasket liable to run filthy black streaks down it. The section is hollow and relatively good at conducting heat and they channel internal draughts.
Having said that, they fitted them in my council flat and the flat is as warm as toast. Too hot in the summer.
Ben: Before you go any further , since you are making the opening why not make it to suit the size of your window?
Go around some of the local double glaziers and ask them for mismeasures. Anything they have in stock will be dirt cheap.
--
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Ben C wrote:

If they can't be reached by ladder then painting may be costly. If you feel PVCu would not be out of place, then it really is the default choice.
I'd keep 100y.o. sashes all round the house, but put PVCu in a rear dormer. I would ensure the internal board used for the sill/reveal is wood not hollow plastic.
--
Toby.

'One day son, all this will be finished'
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Ben C wrote:

uPVC was a *third* of the price of wooden replacment windows in our place. I don't think I'd want to see the sort of quality wooden windows your builder is thinking of then... ;)
Lee
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However,
HARDwood windows. More expensive but they last forever even if not properly maintained.
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Ben C wrote in message ...

Up there, who cares? I'd go with the plastic and forget about it. Wood will be a maintenance nightmare.
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If you *WANT* to paint windowis in your loft every few years - wood, else all other considerations aside - plastic.
You can get some "heritage" plastic windows, that look like painted wood (the edged are much slimer)
Rick
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Hi,
If the rest of the house has classy wooden frames then stick to something similar but research it carefully.
cheers, Pete.
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wrote:

widely
However,
there
Wood has better proportions than uPVC owing to its higher strength, and IMO a wooden window frame done in a 'natural' wood finish ( e.g. microporous Sadolin Advanced Woodstain - not varnish ) looks heaps better than uPVC. My remaining wooden window frames are 70 years old and sound. As mentioned, they do need painting once in a while though. Sometimes to get the best end result you need to put a little work in.......
If you paint the windowframes in gloss paint then use a paint 'system', i.e. primer/undercoat/topcoat or as recommended, and buy the best quality paint, painting is a chore so best to do it properly in the first place.
I have seen wood effect uPVC and it is reasonably good in reproducing the grain and colour of wood but as with all uPVC, the frames are rather chunky. Anyway, my personal view is that a fake is a fake, if you want something that looks like wood, buy wood!
Andy
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best
I'll second this. I have a south-facing wooden window frame painted with an acrylic "system" coatings that showed no sign of flaking or other deterioration after nearly 15 years. (Sandtex exterior). Properly applied, I see them as giving you the best of both worlds - you have wood with a replaceable plastic coating to resist the weathering !
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Wood looks nicer and actually requires less maintenance. OK, wood requires recoating in acrylic or solvent based paints every five years (but will last for hundreds of years if this is done). Plastic doesn't require painting, but does require wholesale replacement every 10 years as it rots and goes totally skanky in approximately that period of time. I suspect that over a long period, the wood would turn out to be cheaper.
Christian.
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Rubbish. I don't like plastic frames aesthetically but I have never come across one that needed replacing, or had degraded in any way since it was fitted. No doubt today's materials are better than 10 years ago anyway.
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So you haven't seen the surface delaminate and the joints come apart and the corners covered in that black staining mould that eats the surface?
Christian.
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