Wooden Sash Windows vs uPVC: Which Is Better?

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Experts in Sash Windows Repair & Restoration, Timber Windows & Timber Doors in east midlands

Why Trust Sash Window Refurbish?

Sash Windows Refurbish specializes in providing repair and restoration services for wooden windows and doors in the UK, as well as various types of carpentry. During the process of fulfilling orders, we utilize a range of tools and paints, including saws, sprays, primers, resins, and adhesives. With more than 20 years of experience in carpentry, we have tested and used various brands and types of work tools, making us well-equipped to offer helpful advice on selecting the right tools and paints for your needs. Read more ...

When it comes to the lifespan of windows, timber takes the lead over uPVC sash windows. The innate durability of timber ensures a lasting solution for your home.

UPVC sash windows have become a prevalent feature in numerous residences, particularly in older structures. Nonetheless, there is currently a trend towards the resurgence of timber sash windows, displacing their UPVC counterparts.

This transition can be attributed to various factors. Although UPVC sash windows are cost-effective and straightforward to install, timber windows boast superior aesthetic appeal and offer a multitude of advantages that their UPVC counterparts lack.

Wooden windows exhibit greater durability and longevity compared to uPVC alternatives. In particular, timber sash windows surpass uPVC sash windows in strength. Sash windows crafted from high-quality timber can outlast their plastic counterparts by more than double the lifespan.

When utilizing contemporary treated timbers like Accoya® or Red Grandis for the frames, the longevity is further extended. This is attributed to the fact that these specialized woods are less susceptible to expansion and contraction caused by temperature fluctuations. Consequently, the windows experience reduced stress, maintaining their structural integrity for an extended period.

Natural Warmth with Timber Frames

Timber frames introduce a natural warmth to your living space, creating an inviting atmosphere that uPVC simply can't match. The organic feel of timber enhances the comfort and aesthetics of your home.

Wood possesses inherent characteristics that infuse a particular warmth into your living space. Timber fosters a wholesome ambience, contributing to a cosy and inviting environment.

Contrastingly, uPVC exudes a cold and industrial aura. Its stark and clinical appearance, coupled with its chilly tactile sensation, relegates it to being merely an “object” rather than a distinctive feature that imparts a sense of homeliness. Timber, on the other hand, plays a pivotal role in imbuing a residence with a genuine feeling of home. In essence, timber emanates a warmth that surpasses that of uPVC and demonstrates greater resistance to condensation.

The structural integrity of timber frames is notable for its solidity, devoid of internal cavities, making it feel more robust compared to uPVC. A tactile comparison in a showroom setting between the two materials will likely illuminate this distinction.

The Aesthetic Allure of Timber Windows

Beyond mere functionality, the beauty of timber windows is unrivalled. The visual appeal they bring to your home is unmatched, making them a delightful addition to any architectural design.

The visual allure of wood is unparalleled. The very existence of plastic windows designed to mimic timber underscores the undeniable superiority of wood in terms of aesthetics. Opting for visually pleasing windows holds significance not only in enhancing the value and curb appeal of your residence but also in elevating your overall enjoyment of your living space.

Additionally, choosing a timber variety that complements existing wooden features like skirting boards enables the creation of a more authentic and harmonious finish.

Timber’s Commitment to Sustainability

In the pursuit of environmentally conscious choices, timber stands out as a more sustainable option compared to uPVC. Opting for timber windows reflects a commitment to eco-friendly living.

In collaboration with Derby University, Gowercroft conducted a comparative study examining the environmental impact of timber, aluminium, and uPVC windows. The research revealed that certain timber products exhibited a positive influence on the environment.

In stark contrast, the global warming potential associated with aluminium windows and uPVC was found to be considerable, with detrimental effects stemming from the extraction of raw materials and manufacturing processes. Additionally, the disposal of windows at the end of their life cycle, while recyclable for aluminium and plastic, still poses environmental challenges.

Timber windows sourced from sustainable forests showcased a positive environmental impact, even when transported over significant distances. The study unequivocally advocates for timber as the only conscientious choice. For further insights into the study, you can refer to the details provided at this link: https://www.gowercroft.co.uk/news/sustainable-windows-study/.

Sustainable timber plantations play a crucial role in reducing CO2 levels.

Authenticity in Heritage Projects with Timber

For heritage projects, where authenticity is paramount, timber windows effortlessly blend tradition with modern needs. The classic appeal of timber aligns seamlessly with the historical context of such endeavours.

Wooden windows are a preferable choice for historic structures and projects involving the restoration of aged buildings. They align more closely with the authentic components that were likely installed over a century ago. Obtaining approval for window upgrades in listed buildings and those situated in conservation areas necessitates planning permission.

Local planning authorities are more inclined to endorse specially crafted windows featuring a slimmer profile, emulating the appearance of the original single-glazed windows. This emulation is accomplished through the utilization of ultra-thin vacuum double glazing—a groundbreaking product.

Not only does this innovative solution replicate the effect of a single-glazed window by mitigating the double reflection inherent in standard double-glazing, but it also significantly enhances the overall efficiency of the structure.

Timber’s Contribution to Indoor Air Quality and Resident Comfort

Timber windows contribute not only to the aesthetics but also to the well-being of your indoor environment. They play a role in maintaining superior indoor air quality and enhancing resident comfort in the process.

Timber windows are crafted from natural materials, offering a more health-conscious choice for occupants. Considerable research has delved into the capacity of natural materials to maintain a harmonious balance in indoor air quality, moisture levels, and toxicity, aiming for a stable equilibrium.

A noteworthy distinction lies in uPVC frames—indeed, all plastic items—releasing a hazardous substance known as BPA or Bisphenol A. BPA possesses “hormone-like properties that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.” Research has established a correlation between exposure to BPA and issues such as fertility problems, male impotence, and heart disease.

Moreover, emerging evidence points to the off-gassing of toxic compounds from uPVC products when exposed to heat, posing a significant risk, particularly in the event of a fire.

For additional information on BPA, refer to the Wikipedia link: Bisphenol A

Plastic windows release harmful gases into your living space.

Supporting Local Businesses with Timber Windows

Choosing timber windows goes beyond personal benefits; it extends support to local businesses. Opting for timber helps sustain British enterprises, fostering economic growth and community development.

Drawing the Curtains on the Debate

In conclusion, the myriad advantages of timber windows make them a standout choice against uPVC sash windows. From durability and aesthetic appeal to sustainability and support for local businesses, timber emerges as the superior option for discerning homeowners. When it comes to framing your view of the world, timber windows provide a timeless and unparalleled solution.

About the author

Glen Ramsey, who presently holds the positions of customer support and content manager, is a cherished member of the Sash Window Refurbish team. He is in a unique position to provide advice on all questions pertaining to the renovation of historic windows because he has a wealth of experience in all elements of window renovation, dealing with clients regularly and assisting them in choosing the best window-related course of action. He oversees the creation of information for all of our platforms in his capacity as content manager, including web content and other materials. Glen has witnessed the whole gamut of Sash Window Refurbish's window restoration activities, from our work on significant listed Georgian homes to a wide variety of smaller-scale private residential projects.


My technician Andrew replaced all my sash windows that had rotten sills. Accessing the rotten sills was not an easy task. He explained to me what needed to be done in order to fix the problem. He is a great person and I’m happy that he was the one who did the job. He is reliable, tidy, friendly and very professional. I highly recommend him.



I hired Andrew and Alex a while back to repair my damaged sash windows. They were was very considerate and very patient as he did his job. A few days ago, I had another problem with one of my sash lock keys and I called him again to come and fix the problem. I’m very impressed that Liam responded quickly and he not only fixed the problem but he also gave me a spare key. What a great after sales service!

Alan W.


I’m very impressed with the new windows that Andrew installed and also the reconditioning job that he did on other sash windows. The quality of his work is by far more superior than what we got when we hired another company a few years back. We will certainly hire him again if any window work arises

Kelly (Sleaford)


Our decorator referred us to Andrew because some of the work needed a window expert. Andrew together with our decorator did a fantastic job. The work was done efficiently and to the highest standards. Andrew is understanding, committed and very professional. I recommend him without any hesitation.

Steaven Reader


Alex did a great job in fixing windows in our terraced house. The windows were broken, frames damaged and the wood was also rotten. Alex's job was high quality and he did it pretty fast. I was also very impressed that he was considerate of my son’s asthma condition and maintained cleanliness. Top work.



Andrew just recently replaced three sash windows in my Edwardian house. He also repaired and replaced some sills and draught proofed three windows. In addition to that, he also did some carpentry work. What I like the most about Liam is that he did a clean job. He is very professional and always updated me about the timescales and costs. He also did his job with minimal disruptions. I highly recommend him.

Cris M.