Timber Windows v UPVC Windows

Choosing the right material for your new or replacement windows is a critical part of any homemaker’s decision making and the choice has an impact when it comes to heat loss, sustainability, environmental friendliness and ultimately the kerb appeal of your home for you and any potential buyers in the future, and if you live in a conservation area the choice of your window materials has ramifications beyond your house and home.

One of the biggest questions we face by homeowners is what the key differences between Timber Windows and uPVC are.  Here we will explore some of the most contentious areas and tell you the reasons why you should re-consider using uPVC when selecting your new windows.


Timber Windows are characterised by their elegant, quality and authentic appearance and add the finishing touches to any home. For period properties they help to maintain and enhance their striking traditional features.

There have been developments in the style of uPVC windows in recent years which means there are options which are very close replicas of timber windows, however, they do not have the same impact of a wooden timber window. The look of your house has a direct impact on the kerb appeal and can be a determining factor on house sales.

  • The use of uPVC on period properties and within conservation areas is something that has been heavily criticised by English Heritage and is actually banned by law in a conservation area.
  • The use of uPVC on a period home has been subject to countless studies and has been shown to devalue a home with some reported cases seeing decreases of up to £12,000.


Sustainability is one of the most contentious issues when it comes to a Timber vs uPVC face-off. Timber is a highly sustainable solution for your windows, we ensure that all of our timber is sourced from managed forests and we take care to ensure that the paints and stains used are environmentally friendly.

Timber windows have a carbon negative effect when used in new fenestration projects and over a 60 year period reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by replacing competing materials.

On the other hand, the production of uPVC causes the release of 6 of the most hazardous chemicals listed by European governments that threaten both environment and human health.

  • The BRE (Building Research Establishment) has produced the Green Guide. This is recognised on a wide basis and rates products with what’s called ECO points. These are used against the Code for sustainable homes in order to meet the criteria for Carbon footprint.
  • In the Green guide Timber windows made under the British Woodworking Federation third part accreditation scheme Timber Windows are rated A+. A level of performance above most other Aluminium and plastic PVC windows.


The initial upfront cost of timber windows in comparison to uPVC windows is almost always higher however, as uPVC windows have a lifespan of around 20-35 years compared to the 60 year lifespan of timber windows, the lifetime value of the windows is either equivalent to each other or more expensive in the case of uPVC.


Pre-held stigma against Timber Windows due to poor quality products being used in buildings throughout the 1960s and 70s means that there is a long standing belief that wooden windows require more maintenance than their uPVC counterparts.

Developments in design techniques that minimise water retention and damp penetration, and in microporous paints and stains that allow wood to breathe, mean modern, high performance, timber windows need minimal maintenance.

Wooden windows have a lifespan of at least 60 years whereas uPVC has only 20-35 years and the way they are manufactured means that timber windows are much easier to repair.

Energy Efficiency

There is very little difference in the energy efficiency qualities between uPVC and Timber Windows. All modern timber windows are double glazed and factory finished as standard and meet all industry ratings in both casement and sliding sash models.


If you would like any further information about timber windows then contact one of our expert team at Timber Windows of Harewood.


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