Whether you’re renovating an existing property, constructing an extension or building your own home from scratch, your choice of sash windows is as important as any other decision you make. When deciding on which window materials to go for, you’ll likely be faced with two options: wood vs uPVC.
uPVC is a plastic engineered to be lightweight and strong. The main appeal of uPVC for homeowners is its durability and relative cheapness. However, there are several reasons why uPVC isn’t the best choice when compared with timber, especially in terms of its environmental impact.
The choices you make as a consumer are one of the most powerful ways to do your bit for the planet, and the construction materials you choose for your house are a part of that. In the battle of wood vs uPVC, this article aims to keep you informed.
- Timber is Better for the Environment
FSC-certified timber – that is, wood derived from sustainable forests – is considered the most environmentally friendly choice of building material. Not only is the technology used to obtain it considerably greener than that which is used to create uPVC, but it is also biodegradable and recyclable.
- Timber is Highly Durable
Timber windows can last for over 50 years if maintained properly, so once you’ve invested in some for your house, you’re unlikely to have to replace them again. uPVC, on the other hand is prone to sun damage and weather erosion, and will likely need to be replaced after just 10 years.
- Timber is a Great Insulator
Wood is a naturally effective insulator; when combined with double glazing, timber-framed windows are great for keeping out the drafts and ensuring your home doesn’t lose heat in the winter- great for reducing your energy bill and your carbon footprint.
- Timber is Easy to Maintain
Quality timber window frames are simple to clean, maintain and repair. Unlike uPVC, timber doesn’t need to be regularly wiped down to keep it looking great and in good working condition. It is also cheaper to repair should any issues arise.
- Timber Has Aesthetic Appeal
uPVC may be practical, but for many homeowners it lacks the aesthetic appeal and warmth of timber. Timber is much better suited to characterful period properties than plastic, and it offers a softer, more organic elegance than is never truly achievable with uPVC frames.
In the battle of wood vs uPVC, wood comes out on top in almost every metric other than cost. UPVC may have its benefits – it’s inexpensive and practical, but at what environmental cost? Our planet is faced with countless threats, and the vast majority of them caused by humans and the way we live our lives. As individuals, our power over political change can be exercised by where we spend our money. Channel yours towards sustainable products and businesses such as FSC-approved timber, and together, we can fight climate change and make our homes look awesome while doing it!