Home Improvement

Sash Windows: Should You Choose Timber or uPVC?


When it comes to your sash windows, it can present a difficult decision — should you be looking at timber sash windows that will require maintenance and generally be quite expensive, or should you opt for cheaper uPVC sash windows? Looking through various online forums shows just how difficult the decision can be.

A large part of the decision comes down to preference.

For some, the look of the window and maintaining the character of the property pips everything, but for others, budget is the primary driver. There’s no doubt that wood can be a more expensive option than uPVC, but when you take into consideration the impact on property price and saleability, sometimes the upfront cost can be outweighed (House Beautiful wrote an interesting article about the myths surrounding timber sash windows, you can read it here).

There’s a common misconception that timber means more maintenance, but you can actually get timber sash windows that are maintenance free if you’re in the UK — The Alternative Window Company offers a replacement sash window that requires no painting and very little maintenance once installed, we’d recommend taking a look at their website.

There’s no doubt though, if you are looking for a window that won’t require any maintenance at all, uPVC is probably the option for you and there are several national companies that offer uPVC sash windows.

For me personally, my home is a countryside home and I bought it because of its character. Although uPVC options have definitely improved, I still don’t think they come close to timber sash windows and their subtle elegance.

It’s important to think about the quality of the window you’re buying however. There are plenty of local joiners that will happily take your money without having the first clue about how to properly install a sash window system and so you’ll definitely need to do your research in this area.

A few good tips include getting references from previous customers, physically visiting some of their installations and, with the permission of the homeowner, scrutinising the quality of the workmanship.

We also recommend getting a few prices for any home improvement work that you pursue, this can save you from paying over the odds for your project. An important point to note though is that you need to make sure you’re comparing like with like. There’s no use buying a bad product because it saved you money, you should make sure that the quality is consistent from all of the quotes you get. The old adage buy on price, buy it twice is certainly true here.

Hopefully this article has been helpful for you if you’re looking to replace your sash windows. There’s arguments for both uPVC and timber, but as we said at the start of the article, it will likely come down to the factors that you think are most important.

Good luck!