Are Wood Windows Bad?

Are Wood Windows Bad?

Windows can brighten any room and let fresh air into the home but are wood windows bad? Whether you are remodeling or prefer a rustic look, you may ask if wood windows are the right choice for your home. Wooden window frames are ideal for their durability, insulation, efficiency and appearance. However, they aren't the right match for every home or building.

Let's explore the benefits and drawbacks of wood windows. Knowing the pros and cons of wooden windows can help you decide if they're the best choice for your project.

What are the Advantages of Wood Windows? 

Wooden windows come in different colors, shapes and wood variations but, why select hardwood windows? Wood is strong, light, easy to work with, and a good insulator. Long-lasting, authentic and organic, many homeowners choose wood because it's classic and ageless. Energy-efficient, wood windows insulate about 400-times more than steel, that means no air or heat escaping with the changing seasons. They insulate a whopping 1,800-times↗ more than aluminum!

Wooden window frames or exterior cladding can include fiberglass or vinyl. It resists fading, holds its original color and provides excellent weatherproofing. Versatile, wood comes in several colors/styles like maple, pine, red or white oak, Douglas fir, mahogany and cherry. Advanced insulation can protect against stains, mildew, moisture, mold, pests (insects, woodpeckers) and decay. And, lower your energy costs by up to 25%↗.

What are the Disadvantages of Wood Windows?

Seeing high energy bills? Feeling a draft? Problems with wooden windows↗ include rot (decay), foggy glass (pane condensation), outdated styles and poor functioning. As windows age, their tubular sashes (designed in the 50s-70s) are sometimes hard to open or they won't stay open. 

Vinyl windows which are maintenance-free, might cost $125 each while fiberglass (low to no maintenance) might run $400-$1,200. Wood windows are better quality but more expensive than fiberglass or vinyl. Wood windows start at $200/each and premium styles can cost $2,000 or higher. The increased cost is from the maintenance. Wood may require sealers (to resist pests, rot), staining or paint every 3 to 7 years. Paint might cost $20-$40/window or cheaper with a DIY approach. 

What Wood is Best for Window Frames?

With real wood windows, pine is preferred as it is inexpensive and absorbs stains and paints well. However, it can sometimes ding or dent. Oak is used but it can swell or shrink with weather changes. Aside from the type of wood, choosing a durable wood design is also recommended. 

While Douglas fir is one of the strongest, it might not hold up like pine. Furthermore, some woods like Honduran mahogany (Honduran Swietenia Macrophylla species) are of better quality but hard to find. White Oak takes longer to dry. It's popular and yet it requires special preparation.

Is It Worth Replacing Wooden Windows?

Perhaps your concern is how do you keep wooden windows from rotting. Or, maybe you're unsure how to replace rotted wood around the window. Preventative measures include finding the most durable wood that resists pests and rot. And, that's why wood treatments are important.

The treating process can help ensure longevity. Treatments might include insecticides, fungicides and water repellants. Even when the wood is cut, it needs a re-submerging to keep it protected. The best wood↗ includes oak, mahogany, accoya and red Grandis. 

Factoring in costs, high-quality windows might cost more. However, you won't have to worry about repairs or high energy bills. With improved efficiency, you're able to recoup the costs over time. 

How Do Wood Windows Compare To Other Window Materials?

To help you understand which window is best for home, your options might include wood, vinyl, aluminum or composite frames. These provide better thermal resistance than metal materials. Homeowners may choose window materials based on factors like color availability, size availability, cost, and lead time. 

Vinyl frames are efficient, durable, and cheaper than wooden windows. They also come in several sizes and styles. Aluminum, while maintenance-free, affordable and long-lasting, isn't the most energy-efficient. Because it conducts heat rapidly, it provides poor insulation↗. Composite frames and fiberglass are other options to consider. Composite frames have stable thermal properties like wood, are durable and can resist decay and moisture. However, when compared to wood, fiberglass offers better thermal performance. 

When choosing replacement windows, schedule a free estimate with a local window company. Discuss the decorative style you want and if you would like to maintain the same look you have with your existing windows. 

So, Are Wood Windows Bad?

No. While more expensive and costly to maintain, wood windows are a big seller with homeowners. Stained wood is a sustainable material that can help increase your resale value and curb appeal. What's more, you can paint and prime your windows to update them. However, it's not easy to paint fiberglass or vinyl. 

Get a Picture Perfect View with Wood Windows

If you're wondering if it is worth replacing wooden windows, you'll find that they're durable, have a high resale value, are organic and are easy to stain. Wood windows also come in a variety of colors and styles. Drawbacks include wooden windows are pricier and relatively high-maintenance. When compared to wood, fiberglass is an ideal choice and offers exceptional thermal performance, but wood offers more insulation than vinyl or aluminum. 

If you're shopping for cheap wood windows, consider low-cost wood windows and DIY painting or staining to maintain them. For flexible budgets, choose fiberglass, clad or vinyl exterior for your wood interior windows. Aside from the extended warranty, you'll have increase durability and windows that last for years. Looks like brighter days are ahead!

Need a product recommendation? For solid wood windows we're fans of Sierra Pacific windows. 


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