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South facing windows - UPVC or wood

(11 Posts)
graveyardkate Mon 02-Jan-17 00:43:34

I need to replace a few windows on the back of my house. The back of the house faces due south and as such, gets completely baked all summer. It is noticeable how much more quickly any paintwork deteriorates on the back than the front and how the (wooden) back door shrinks in the heat of the summer months and swells in the winter. A neighbour mentioned that he had opted for UPVC for this reason - he had been advised that it was more resistant to the extremes of temperature and light than wooden frames might be. Is there anyone out there who knows anything about windows and could advise?
Let me add that I always prefer wooden windows and if I did decide to go for UPVC would choose very carefully and get the very best I could, design wise. It is a period property (Victorian terrace) but frankly anything would be better than what we have presently, and almost all of the houses in this area have pretty grim UPVC windows so I don't think that I'm going to ruin an otherwise beautiful street with UPVC. Cost is however a factor.

ShortLass Mon 02-Jan-17 08:05:41

I have wooden windows on the south facing rear of my house. I am so going to change them to nice uPVC ones next year. You can paint the wooden ones, but it just flakes off and exposes the wood. So maintenance, if you can keep up with it, is a hassle and an expense.

All the neighbours have had their wooden windows replaced with nice uPVC. When I first moved in, the woman next door came out to say hello and pretty much the first thing she asked me was, was I going to replace the windows? It seems to be the first thing people do when they move in, if they have any money left.

In my street they've gone for a wood colour frame. I think you can get even more realistic wood effect. The man at number 4 got dual colour, so it's brown outside and white inside which really brightened up the house.

None of this is expert comment, I'm more or less saying what you know -- that painted wooden windows don't like to face south. Why not pop along to a local window showroom and discuss what design you could have in uPVC.

MrCreosote Mon 02-Jan-17 13:32:07

UPVC Windows can discolour slightly over time but, not as much as they used to.
They are more secure, warmer and needs very little maintenance.
When cleaning uPVC, always use a cream cleaner, do not use washing up liquid.

OCSockOrphanage Mon 02-Jan-17 16:36:09

We had all our south-facing wooden windows stripped, repaired and reglazed this year, rather than go for uPVC. We decided to use an American oil based product recommended for marine use in tropical areas, (which we'd used before on a boat in the Mediterranean). It's called Star Brite and it has worked really well. It will need a quick wipeover and a refresher coat every spring, but the wood is protected, it's dead easy to apply; the colour is good and it doesn't peel, crack and flake in the sun.

I think PigletJohn suggested linseed oil for the same reasons when I asked what to do on here last year.

However, you do need to take the wooden windows back to bare wood before you can start. A local guy did ours and charged between 800-1200 per window (up to five panels of glass, and nine feet wide). Way cheaper than fugly plastic windows.

bilbodog Mon 02-Jan-17 17:08:43

Please dont put upvc windows in a Victorian house - totally ruins the character as far as i am concerned.

graveyardkate Tue 03-Jan-17 00:13:56

I'm not replacing the original windows but ugly 1990s replacements which have all "blown" - so frankly a decent UPVC sash would be 1000% better than what we have. I would certainly prefer wooden frames but need to take into account durability and cost as well as looks. For the moment I'm only talking about the back of the house which has been spoiled aesthetically by rendering anyway.

RobinSnood Tue 03-Jan-17 16:54:35

We're also sorting out the windows in our Victorian terrace. Not totally decided on what to do yet but seriously considering wooden at the front and upvc at the back in order to keep the "curb appeal" while gaining some practicality.

OCSockOrphanage Tue 03-Jan-17 20:13:41

For durability, I'd want powder coated aluminium with wood faced interior, which are both beautiful and wear well. But eye-wateringly expensive.

HiDBandSIL Tue 03-Jan-17 22:56:50

We replaced our south facing uPVC with wood (Edwardian terrace) a number of years ago and haven't had any problems with maintenance or operation. They're so much nicer looking, feeling and sounding than uPVC and are much more appropriate for a character property.

Reed88 Thu 05-Jan-17 11:31:56

I agree, in terms of looks and durability aluminum windows are fab but more expensive - no problem if you have the money though!

upvc windows are generally quite a bit cheaper so more affordable and most properties have them these days so they can't be all bad.

They come in alternative finishes too so if you prefer the appearance of wood and want to maintain appearances then you can choose to have a woodgrain finish.

I would definitely recommend researching around because there are lots of different type of upvc windows aroud- some even designed to be incredibly slimline for period properties.

Styleline windows are a good example of this: www.sternfenster.com/styleline/styleline-windows/

Again, wooden windows if you don't mind re-painting or varnishing can also be a good with like you said, draught proofing.

Personally, I couldn't be bothered and know that DH wouldnt get round to doing it! grin

321zerobaby Thu 05-Jan-17 14:06:45

My south facing back double glazed windows were baked and rotten, I've just replaced with upvc. I can't believe how march warmer the room is, and quieter too, it seems to cut out noise too. I like wood windows, but reality is we didn't have time to maintain them.

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