Choosing your windows

Durable and excellent insulators for windows.

Timber frames are made from varieties of hardwood (from deciduous trees). Durable and attractive, timber frames give homes a traditional look and feel. They do, however, require more dedicated maintenance and are more expensive.
The most commonly used timber for frames comes from tropical mahoganies, such as meranti. European hardwoods such as oak, beech and ash are more costly but do have a finer finish and greater resilience. Usually timber frames should be stained or varnished rather than painted, but recommended treatments depend on the variety of wood.

A key point to check when purchasing timber frames is that the wood has been properly dried, to avoid future problems of cracking or shrinking. The thickness, grain and straightness of the wood to be used also need to be taken into account, as these will affect the double glazing window’s strength and resistance to distortion.

Timber frames are excellent insulators as they are low thermal conductors. Document L requires that new wood-framed windows should not have a U value higher than 2.0 W/m2K but exceptions are made for those used in historic buildings.

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