Some Facts About the Wood That Comprises Timber Windows

If you have a period or historic UK home, there’s no doubt that its windows are made from wood. And if you’re considering replacement windows, chances are that you may have considered less expensive alternatives like PVC windows (PVC is a type of plastic). Here’s some information about why wooden windows are the superior choice.

Wood Types Available for Timber Replacement Windows

To make an informed decision about wood windows for your home, you should know that there are 2 types of lumber available: softwood and hardwood. Softwood trees generally are the types that produce cones, i.e., they are “coniferous.” These trees have needle-like leaves that do not fall off seasonally and are sometimes referred to as “evergreens.” Examples of softwoods are spruce, cedar and pine. Manufacturers use softwood extensively because it’s both affordable and available. Softwoods are found in a wide geographical area that includes North America, Scandinavia, Russia and Siberia. The botanical category in which softwoods belong is the “gymnosperms.” In contrast, the hardwoods or “angiosperms” are deciduous, meaning that they shed their leaves in the fall. Their leaves are soft and flat and this type of tree is found both in temperate climates like North America and Europe and in tropical and semi-tropical regions like South America, Africa and India. Examples of hardwoods are oak, maple, birch and mahogany.

Other Positive Attributes of Wooden Windows

As a building material, wood has one of the lowest “embedded energy” values. This means that the energy required for both; manufacturing a product and supplying it to the end consumer or point of use is much lower than other materials like PVC or aluminum. This is also known as “virtual energy” or “hidden energy” and when combined with other positive attributes of wood like insulating properties and low thermal conductivity, it makes wood the material of choice for sash windows, casement windows, bow windows and bay windows.

More Facts about the Wood Used in UK Timber Windows

For those with environmental concerns about installing timber windows and doors, the fact is that the UK imports 85% of its wood from countries who have government regulated forest management programs. This means that these trading partners are managing their forests as renewable resources. Russia, for example, has forests that are expanding by about 700 million cubic meters every year, while only about 500 million cubic meters are cut, giving a net gain of about 200 million cubic meters annually. Forestry and related industries employ about 45,000 persons in the UK and Britain’s forests supply about 20% of the wood that’s required for domestic use. Canada, a major UK trading partner, plants 2 trees for every 1 that it harvests.

So, it’s easy to see that there’s no reason to hesitate about installing timber windows in your UK home, since the vast majority of wood comes from areas where forest management policies are established and enforced. Error! Bookmark not defined.

Morris Streak has been installing timber and sash windows for the last 20 years. He is focused exclusively on the sash windows and timber window market. Since that time, he has shown hundreds of homehowners how to properly install sash and timber windows in their homes. By eliminating salesmen and installers, the owner of a typical 3 bedroom, 2 bath home can save thousands of dollars in costs, while at the same time ensuring that each window is done correctly.

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