Timber or wood windows can be a very nice addition to any home, as they have a traditional appearance that can offset the look of aluminum siding, and they can be painted or stained any color so you can change their appearance over the years whenever you repaint your home's exterior or just want a fresh look. If you're thinking about timber windows, note a few questions you might have about this material and these windows overall, and then discuss the option with a window contractor. This can help you to make the right choice for your home.
1. What is engineered timber?
An engineered or multi-layer timber window is typically made from setting down different layers of wood with the grain set in the opposite direction for each layer. When wood shrinks as it dries, it shrinks in the direction of the grain. By having several layers of wood with the grain going in opposite directions, the entire piece of timber is not likely to shrink and warp out of place. The opposing layers of wood will resist the shrinking of each layer to which it's attached, so the wood is less likely to change shape or warp significantly when layered or engineered this way.
2. Why can't I find untreated or bare wood windows?
You may have a particular paint color or stain color you want for your timber windows and assume that it's best to get untreated or bare windows installed in your home, and then handle the painting or staining yourself. However, untreated or bare windows might be more prone to warping and shrinking, as the paints and coatings used by window installers help to protect the wood. Sealants are often applied along with those coatings to keep out moisture and even termites. This can help guarantee the lifespan of the timber windows, which is why you rarely find untreated or bare timber windows offered by a contractor. Ask if they can offer a custom paint or stain color rather than assuming you should paint the windows yourself.
3. Are timber windows eco-friendly?
You may be concerned over the use of wood for your timber windows, if you're concerned about the environment. Note that you can usually get timber windows made from recycled wood, or from what are called sustainable choices. These are forests that are grown and maintained specifically for the construction industry, so that natural forests do not need to be disturbed. Look for the term sustainable timber when shopping for the most eco-friendly choice.