If you’re building or renovating a house then one of the most important decisions you will have to make will be: which doors and windows do I choose? Today, construction is not just about going for what is cost-effective or aesthetically pleasing. There are all kinds of environmental regulations that need to be met so the material you choose needs to be as sustainable and energy efficient as possible. And this is all to the good, because a greener material will not only help lower your own carbon footprint, it will also save you money when it comes to energy bills. Timber is a material that is always going to be popular for windows and doors and it benefits are numerous. For example:
- Eco-Friendliness: As it is a natural-sourced material, wood is automatically more environmentally friendly than a polymer-based material such as PVC. Wood requires no additional processes to produce it so the CO2 emissions are very low. All that is required is the emissions used to transport it to the building site – and this can also be kept to a minimum if you ensure that you use locally sourced materials from sustainably managed forests. Remember that wood is carbon neutral, meaning that it actually absorbs more CO2 from the atmosphere than it actually produces.
- Insulating: As wooden window and door frame supplier Buildmer Ltd points out, wood is also a naturally insulating material so you won’t lose out when it comes to your energy bills. This is because wood retains heat very well so it will keep your house warm with less energy expenditure. Just make sure that you choose a good installer who will ensure your door and window frames fit perfectly.
- Long-Lasting: Wooden window and door frames have great structural integrity. What does this mean? Well, wood is composed of natural cellulose and strong fibres which can withstand many years of even extreme weather conditions. It will not expand or contact according to temperature fluctuations. In fact, if they are properly maintained according to the installer’s advice, you wooden frames can last a lifetime. This will save you money as it means avoiding potentially costly repairs or even replacements in some cases.
- Aesthetically Pleasing: There is no doubt that wooden window and door frames look good. And if you are building a home for yourself you want something that is pleasing to the eye as well as being practical and energy efficient. They are particularly suited to older or period properties so they’re the best choice if you want to maintain a ‘traditional’ look. With period properties, it enables you to hold onto the property’s authenticity and hence, of course, its market value. If you want something truly beautiful for your house, wood is probably the choice for you.
- Versatility: There are so many different varieties of wood available that you will be sure to find something to suit your particular tastes or the overall look of your property. This is without even beginning to think about the range of paints, stains or varnishes you can use to customise your frames. These stains also have a practical purpose in that their regular application can greatly prolong the lifespan of the frames. Consider also that the texture of woods vary considerably too, which can add another unique element to your home.
But of course, as with any material if you’re going to choose wood your frames will only be as good as the company you buy them from and hire to install them. Talk to several different providers and contractors to find out how much experience they have in this area. It’s good to choose a local firm, not just for practical purposes but so they will know about sourcing materials from the local area.
Once you’ve got a shortlist of companies you might use, ask for references from previous clients or perhaps ask to see examples of projects they have worked on in the past. This will give you an idea as to whether they can provide what you are looking for in terms of look, energy efficiency and so on. Remember that wood isn’t always cheap, but you should be paying for quality rather than going for the most low-cost option.