February is a month that celebrates the love between individuals, but it’s also the time of year that allows us to fall in love with the natural world that surrounds us. Evergreen trees draped in snow, swaying as soft, fluffy flakes fall while we watch from the warmth and welcome of our homes. Canada is a country deeply tied to the natural beauty of the land, and we see that reflected in our architecture. Many homes are built using wood from the surrounding forests, and even in urban areas, wood accents help remind us of the timeless appeal of natural patterns.
However, as unquestionably lovely as wood is, it does have a lot of competition when it comes to building materials, especially when it comes to considering a window replacement. Is the beauty worth the maintenance over time? Is the insulation value worth the price? Today we’re going to look at the good and the bad of wood as an option for your next window replacement and suggest some alternatives that might better fit your vision for your home.
The Good of Wood
If you’ve already installed wood windows in the past or purchased a home with wood windows, then you’re probably already well-acquainted with the benefits they provide.
- Insulation – Wood is one of the best natural insulators you’ll find and can save money on your energy bills, both in warm and cold weather.
- Minimal Expansion – One of the challenges of selecting a window replacement in Canada is the variety of seasons we experience. Different seasons have a tendency to make different materials shrink or expand, wood is less likely provided it is treated and maintained regularly.
- Beauty – Wood is easily one of the most beautiful materials you can use, you can show off the natural grain, stain it, or paint it with any colour you like to accent your existing home.
The Bad: Downfalls of Wood as Replacement Window Material
As great as wood is, it does have many drawbacks when it comes to use in window frames.
- High Maintenance – Paint or Sealant is a definite requirement along with regular maintenance! Wood is a natural material, which means that if it doesn’t stay properly treated or sealed off against the elements, it will adapt to changes in moisture, which can make the window hard to open when you need it. The introduction of moisture also means that wood has a higher likelihood of developing rot.
- Risk of Insects – If your wood window replacement isn’t painted or sealed, bugs can get inside and slowly eat away at the interior of your frame. Over time, this compromises the integrity of the window structure, which can lead to it becoming weak or falling apart, requiring additional costs in repairs or window replacement.
- Expense – If you’re looking for a quick, affordable fix, or if you don’t plan to enhance your home’s value over time, then wood windows might be more expensive than they’re worth to you. They usually require a pretty hefty upfront cost, which means they’re not the best option for most families. Vinyl windows are much more affordable, and they can do a better job due to continual advances in design and installation methods.
- Insulation isn’t Exclusive – If you’re trapped by the idea of energy conservation with a wood frame, you can relax. Thanks to advances in modern technology, there are plenty of alternative window replacements that come complete with insulation designed to protect against Canada’s weather changes year-round.
- Design Limitations – Wood is not as versatile a material due to it’s weight, in comparison vinyl windows are able to accommodate a wide range of style options and sizes that will remain beautiful and well functioning year over year with little to no maintenance.
The Aesthetic: Making Your Choice at Kempenfelt Windows & Doors
Wood has been a very traditional choice for windows in the past but has quickly been replaced with newer technologies. Vinyl options are well worth your time to consider. From cost savings to better durability and little to no maintenance costs, there’s an incredible variety of vinyl windows available to perfectly suit your home.
The experts at Kempenfelt Windows & Doors will be able to help you choose the ideal window replacement for yourself and your home. For more information on a window replacement, give us a call at (705) 737-1554. You can also send us a message or request a free quote online.