Wooden windows offer value, style, and durability, making them one of the most enduring window styles in the UK.
However, as a homeowner looking to purchase wood windows, you must be aware of costs, the pros and cons of timber, and other considerations that will affect your home.
- Wood is the most expensive material for frames
- Wooden windows typically start out at £845 and up
- Wood can last 50 or more years with proper care
- Timber windows add value to your home and may make it easier to sell
Wood and timber windows have a lot of pros and cons, but as the most expensive material, you’re probably most concerned about costs.
Cost of Wooden Windows
Wooden windows are expensive and you should expect to pay significantly more than you would for any other frame material.
However, the cost of wood and timber windows varies a great deal depending on factors such as the type of wood, the type of frame, the size of the window, window treatments, whether you choose double or triple glazing, glass type installation, and brand. In most cases, 30-40% of the cost of installing wooden windows will be the actual price of having the windows fitted.
However, you can consider the following chart with standard costs for double glazing for different types of wood and wooden frames.
|Size||Casement||Sash||Tilt & Turn|
|Softwood (small to medium)||£845 – £910||£1,250-£1,820||£1098- £1,274|
|Hardwood (small to medium)||£1140 – £1,228||£1687 – £2457||£1,482 – £1,719|
|Softwood (medium to large)||£1098 – £1,183||£1,625 – £3,161||£1,438 – £2,139|
|Hardwood (medium to large)||£1,482 – £1,597||£2,193 – £4,267||£1,941 – £2,887|
Actual costs will vary based on your quote and your installer. Most UK homeowners pay a median of about £1,250 for each wooden window they install.
Hardwood prices can be as much as 4x the cost of softwoods if you choose a luxury material. However, these quotes are based on the median prices for common hardwoods like oak.
Softwood vs Hardwood Windows
Softwood and hardwood are both popular options but each has its own pros and cons.
Softwood – Softwoods include materials like pine, cedar, fir, and yew. These wooden windows are less durable because they are softer, but are often more resistant to bugs and sometimes to damp or to rot. This means that they will require less treatment over time, but are not as strong and are more likely to be damaged. Softwood windows can last 50 years or more and are as much as 35% cheaper than hardwood, because softwood trees grow very quickly. You can expect to pay £6,000-£15,000 for new windows for an average home.
Hardwood – Hardwood comes from slow growing trees like maple, mahogany, oak, birch, beech, etc. These trees product thick, dense wood that is heavy and extremely durable, providing very good U-values and thermal resistance. Hardwood windows are more expensive because they grow more slowly. You should expect to pay £8,000- £20,000 for new windows for the average home.
Wood vs Other Materials
Wood is the most expensive material but it also offers high energy efficiency, durability, and low environmental impact.
For example, consider the following costs for a 90 x 60 casement window.
|Material||Cost||Thermal Conductivity*||BRE GG Rating|
|Softwood||£845 – £910||0.13||A+|
|Hardwood||£945 – £1,650||0.18||A+|
*exact thermal conductivity will change based on the thickness of the wood frame, any coating, and whether the wood has been compressed.
What About Energy Efficiency?
Wood windows are one of the most eco-friendly choices you can make for your home, both in terms of energy efficiency and long-term carbon reduction. If your goal is to reduce your impact on the environment by lowering your carbon footprint, wood windows are an ideal solution.
For example, a Wood Window Alliance certified wooden window has a guaranteed lifespan of 60 years or more. Over that lifespan, you can save around 3/4s of a tonne in CO2 output.
While the energy efficiency of wooden windows is largely dependent on the glazing, wood is thermal resistant, making it highly energy efficient. You can also achieve U-values of up to 1.0W/m2K using hardwood frames. For this reason, most wood double glazing frames are A rated or higher.
Unfortunately, with the high costs of wood, you cannot expect to see a return on your windows unless you get a very good deal on the installation.
For example, consider this chart including savings as estimated by the Energy Savings Trust based on average prices.
|Energy rating||Detached (10+ windows)||Semi detached (8+ windows)||Mid terrace (6+ windows)||Bungalow (5+ windows)||Flat (4+ windows)|
|Cost to Install||£8,450+||£6,760 +||£5070 +||£4,225 +||£3,380 +|
|Savings per Year||£130 – £175||£90 – £120||£80 – £105||£60 – £80||£50 – £65|
|Savings over 50 Years||£6,500 – £8,750||£4,500 – £6,000||£4,000 – £5,250||£3,000 – £4,000||£2,500 – £3,250|
In short, you are unlikely to see a return on your wooden windows. However, wood windows do add value in other ways.
Pros and Cons
Wooden windows offer numerous pros and cons which you should be aware of.
Pros of Wooden Windows
- Long lasting. Wood Window Alliance windows are certified to last 60 years or more.
- Energy efficient. You can greatly reduce your carbon footprint with wooden windows
- Plenty of colours and styles
- Most people find wood to be beautiful
- Weather resistant when properly cared for
- Wood windows add value to your home
Cons of Wooden Windows
- The most expensive material you can choose
- Require frequent care. Wooden windows must be refinished or painted every 5-8 years
- Vulnerable to rot and insects if not cared for
Who Installs Wooden Windows?
Wood and timber windows are available from multiple installers around the UK including some of the best double glazing installers in the country.
|Guarantee||10-Year||10-Year, + 30-year rot and fungus guarantee||10-Year, 10 Years on paint, 5 years on finish||10-Year||10-Year|
You can also choose to purchase wooden windows from smaller, local installers. These installers may offer cheaper prices, but will likely offer less comprehensive guarantees and may not have insurance backing. Always double check offerings before committing to an installer.
Getting the Best Price on Wooden Windows
Wooden windows are among the most expensive you can buy so it is reasonable that you try to save money. Luckily, you can reduce costs by knowing what you want, understanding pricing, and sticking to your plan during a sales meeting.
- Know what your windows should cost. Some sales representatives quote as much as 60% over their minimum price.
- Don’t accept same-day offers, they aren’t a good deal.
- Don’t sign anything same day. Take your time, get more quotes, and compare your options. An installer is legally obliged to give you at least 14 days to decide.
- Know what you want before you have a company inspect your home. If you want softwood casement windows, don’t let a salesperson talk you into hardwood sash windows, which will more than quadruple your price.
- Make sure that your installer is FENSA or CERTASS certified.
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