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PVCu vs Timber. Is it that difficult a choice?

Posted on 18th March 2020

We have generations of experience at the Staffordshire Window Company so we’ve seen how the market has changed and the buying habits of customers has influenced the products we now stock.

We’ve always been interested in the history of our industry, it’s what puts food on our tables after all, so we thought we’d look at the argument that still rumbles to this day and offer our views.

PVCu or Timber?

Let’s roll the clock back about 40 years at the zenith of the PVCu boom in the 80’s. This new almost space age material, rolled into our lives and changed the landscape for replacement windows forever. Cheap and easy to install, PVCu mopped up on windows and then expanded into conservatories and doors as the technology advanced. But they were bulky, only available in white and not particularly environmentally friendly (although nobody ever really knew about this back then).

So, in turn, it never really toppled the timber windows market. The wooden window was a thing of beauty, something any homeowner was proud to have, something that boasted superior thermal qualities and when it came to listed buildings, PVCu couldn’t get a look in.

Quite simply, timber was still king.

Fast forward to today and the complexion of the market is very different.

PVCu has advanced so far that the windows available now, are more than a match for their timber counterparts. And with the advent of timber effect windows, the aesthetic argument which timber always had the advantage over, is no more. Windows like the stunning Residence collection are almost indistinguishable from the real timber alternative but offer a multitude of benefits. No more painting, no more warping, practically zero maintenance and incredible thermal efficiency properties, mean PVCu has risen to the occasion with aplomb. Here at the Staffordshire Window Company, we offer two timber alternative systems including the award-winning Residence Collection to give our customers the very best options.

And let’s deal with that thorny issue of conservation areas, once the sole domain of the beloved timber window. As our name suggests, The Staffordshire Window Company supplies Staffordshire amongst other counties and we have had to familiarise ourselves with the local authorities and their requirements. Were you aware for example that across Staffordshire alone, there are 30 conservation areas covering places such as Eccleshall, Stone, Trentham, Meaford, Bradley, Chebsey and many others and they garner titles such as “areas of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”.

Historically getting PVCu approved was nigh on impossible, but we’re delighted to say that our Residence 9 windows are Article 4 approved meaning they simply sail through the red tape as local housing associations recognise they adhere to the aesthetics required and bring traditional bench making techniques to the process.

Without a doubt one of the biggest developments in PVCu is the thermal properties it can now offer. With multi chambered systems available on even the most basic entry level range we supply, A++ energy ratings are achieved. Add to that the fact the colour palette has expanded from traditional white to…well…just pick a colour, and you can see how far PVCu has come since those “White Gold “days.

At the Staffordshire Window Company, we have always loved PVCu and grown up watching it advance. The array of choice is something that has always interested us and we know that our customers benefit from the options available.  Yes of course, PVCu is on the whole, a cheaper investment but the benefits far outweigh just the simple cost saving. Timber will always have its place, but PVCu is no longer the red haired step child of the window family it once was.

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