When building a new house or remodeling an existing living space, homeowners often find themselves overwhelmed by the multitude of window options they have to choose from. For example, many individuals wonder whether wood is a better window choice for their home over vinyl, fiberglass, or other material.
Windows made of wood are a classic staple in home construction. Its grain has a look and style that’s not only attractive but unique and versatile. And their effect can vary from house to house, depending on the homeowner’s style preference.
Are Wood Windows Right for Me?
Today, wooden windows are often considered the golden standard: they’re heavy and solidly built, yet they glide open and close easily and require little maintenance. In addition, they are highly customizable and energy-efficient. If you’re undecided on whether wood windows are right for you, consider the pros and cons:
What Are the Pros of Wood Windows?
The enduring popularity of wood windows comes as no surprise when you consider the many advantages of this classic and natural material. When you select wood replacement windows for your home, you will enjoy benefits like:
- Timeless beauty: Wood windows provide a classic, attractive façade for homes with any architectural style. For many homeowners, the incomparable elegance and warmth of wood is its primary selling point.
- Lasting durability: Wood is a robust and durable material that can sometimes last years longer than the alternatives.
- Limited heat transfer: When combined with quality glass, weather-stripping, and caulk, the solid construction of wood windows is an effective insulator. This helps keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
- Long-term cost-effectiveness: Wood windows typically cost more to purchase than aluminum or vinyl windows. However, when you factor in their longer lifespan and energy savings, they could potentially cost less in the long run.
- Eco-friendly: Wooden windows are eco-friendly and crafted from natural materials. If you’re looking to incorporate green solutions in your home, wood window frames are the answer. At Opal Enterprises, we purchase windows from the manufacturer that uses Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Woods. An FSC certification means your windows only come from lumber companies that protect the ecosystem.
- Broad customization potential: A window’s wood trim can be simple or ornately sculpted, and you can paint it to match any color. This versatility allows it to blend effortlessly with the look and feel of modern-style homes, houses with more traditional architecture, and anything in between. You can also paint it as often as you want or stain it to bring out its natural grains for a cozy cabin feel.
What Are the Cons of Wood Windows?
Some homeowners on the fence regarding wooden windows installed in their house should consider the cons to wooden frames, including:
- Needing to be treated regularly: Wood windows are excellent insulators, yet they need to hold their own against the elements. Ensuring they’re always stained or painted is crucial to prevent them from rotting or drying out.
- A higher price: Compared to other alternatives, wood windows cost more upfront. Though they save you money over time and, if properly maintained, have a longer life expectancy, their cost can be more than two or three times that of other materials.
- Attracting insects: Wood frames are vulnerable to termites and other pests. Ensuring your frames are adequately painted will make a big difference in keeping the insects away.
- Requiring more maintenance: If moisture penetrates the frame, decay can develop in a year or two. The mold or decay can be removed or sanded away and replaced with wood filler if caught early enough. If deterioration continues, the frame will need replacing.
More on Wood Window Maintenance
One way to ensure wood windows are appropriate for your home is to become familiar with the necessary upkeep:
- Regular cleaning: The beauty of wood grain comes at the cost of potential rot if it’s not well-kept; this involves regular cleaning. Frequent dusting will help prevent dirt accumulation, which can penetrate the wood grain and eventually cause it to dry out and rot.
- Ensuring caulk and weather-stripping are not damaged: Making sure the caulk and weather-stripping are intact is also essential. Drafts, temperature irregularities, and higher energy bills may be nothing more than the result of gaps that require sealing.
- Choosing high-quality glass: Opting for a higher-quality glass may help, as well.
- Regular window inspections: Regularly checking the outsides of the window, particularly at the change of each season, is another important facet in making sure wood windows are maintained.
- Contact an expert: Call an expert at the first sign of damage or rot. With wood, it’s crucial to have your window examined by an experienced professional.
Factoring in the Weather
Homes situated in extreme weather areas like Illinois may be harder to maintain when they have wood windows. High humidity levels in the summer can cause the wood to swell, while arid winters can make the wood dry out and shrink.
Trying to force open or close a window swollen from humidity can cause damage, while dried-out wood can be brittle and prone to crack. This is more typical with older windows; however, such extremes aren’t desirable.
Since wood windows, especially in older homes, are often a structural component of the house, it’s even more important to consider the overall weather conditions.
Understanding the maintenance required and ensuring the fluctuating climate will not be too stressful for your window frames is key to knowing whether they’re the right fit for you.
If you are still unsure if a wood window install would be the right step for your house, contact our team of experts for a consultation.
Learn more about our top-of-the-line products in Naperville 630-355-6557
Should I Keep or Replace My Wood Windows?
Whether it comes up during a major renovation or as a need to improve your home’s energy efficiency, you may need to decide whether to keep or replace your existing wood windows.
If energy costs have been unusually high or your house is drafty, it’s tempting to investigate wood alternatives, vinyl or composite. Yet, you shouldn’t decide to switch to a different material hastily. Wood adds an attractive quality to the style of a home, which may boost your home’s overall value.
Having straightforward repairs to your existing wood windows is often the best solution for aesthetics, value, and energy costs. Always hire a professional contractor to check your windows’ condition and determine if keeping or replacing your windows, wood or otherwise, is the appropriate solution.
Sometimes, it only takes weather-stripping and caulk to improve your home’s energy efficiency dramatically.
Get a free virtual consultation for Naperville or Des Plaines exteriors
Call Opal Enterprises to Install Wood Windows on Your Home
The best way to determine if wood windows are right for your home is to stop by either of the Opal Enterprises locations in Des Plaines or Naperville or schedule a showroom tour. See our window selections up-close anytime during our regular office hours.
To sign up for your free consultation with a wood window specialist, call or contact us today. We’ll come to your house to discuss your plans and help you select the perfect wood windows for your home.
Are you ready to transform your home? Schedule your free virtual consultation