Timber versus uPVC window frames: the pros and cons of each

Timber frames can last for 60 years

Timber frames can last for 60 years - Credit: Archant

If you are renovating your home and need to replace your windows, you may ask yourself whether timber frames or uPVC is best?

Timber frames can last for 60 years

Timber frames can last for 60 years - Credit: Archant

For some people, timber frames will be more appealing particularly for those who like a traditional look, for others, the clean lines and low maintenance aspects of uPVC will appeal.

uPVC window and door frames are available in a variety of colours and finishes, including wood, but white is the most popular option. uPVC is easy to keep clean, too, requiring little more than a wipe down with a soft cloth and a spot of washing-up liquid every now and again. Manufacturers predict their lifespan at about 40 years.

Timber is a greener option than uPVC as it’s a naturally renewable material. Many people feel wooden windows look nicer and more subtle than uPVC, particularly in traditional or period-style properties. While timber windows tend to be more expensive and need maintenance, they can last a very long time.

With timber, it is generally assumed they are higher maintenance, needing to be sanded and painted regularly due to wear and tear, and will not last as long as uPVC, but this assumption is not correct.

According to timber frame experts, they can actually last longer than uPVC, and although they are the pricier option to begin with, experts believe timber frames actually give you better value for money in the long run.

Studies show that timber windows made to Wood Window Alliance standards, have a life expectancy of more than 60 years.

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In fact, most reputable timber frame specialist will back up their products with industry leading warranties and guarantees to give you added peace-of-mind.

Also, triple glazing is more cost-effective with wood windows than with other materials, due to timber’s inherent strength. Timber windows will also add value to your home - particularly period buildings – which can offset the higher initial cost.

There are many pros and cons to both products; uPVC windows are low maintenance and cost less than timber windows, so it’s understandable that they’re a popular choice. However, you should also weigh up the cost versus the lifespan of the product - good quality timber windows will last a lifetime with the correct maintenance, making them a worthwhile investment.

Benefits at a glance


Long lasting

Better for period homes

More environmentally friendly

Add value to your home

Better value in the long-run


Low maintenance

Easy to fit

Lower cost

Good value for money

Fair lifespan

Visit Timberwindows.com of St Albans for more information.