What are the pros & cons of wood replacement windows?

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Exterior upgrades to your home can add immense value, but they can also bring new style and a fresh appearance to your home as well, with one of the most beautiful being wood replacement windows. Your windows are one of the few exterior upgrades that have a direct effect on the interior and ultimately the comfort of your home.

Many people considering replacement windows have become familiar with vinyl windows and potentially even fiberglass windows, but there are still so many questions that people have about wood windows. We’re going to look at what exactly constitutes a wood window, and then we’re going to go down the most common pros and cons for them.

What Are Wood Windows

Wood windows are windows that have been made out of any natural wood material. The natural is an important qualifier since there are many companies now making engineered wood products, which are often closer to resin or concrete but have wood fibers incorporated into the final product. Wood windows are often seen as one of the most costly window materials, not only in initial material and labor cost to install but in the maintenance needed year-in and year-out for the duration of their useful life.

The Pros & Cons Of Wood Replacement Windows



One of the single biggest attractants and benefits of wood windows is their ability to be given almost any appearance that the homeowner wants. While they do need to be sealed in some way, they can have countless options for appearance since they can be painted or stained any color in existence.

This ability to sport any color or stain tone makes them incredibly versatile as well and allows them to blend in with most architectural styles easily. When the owner doesn’t want them to blend in, they can be distinctive and bring an old-world charm to many homes.


Another huge benefit to wood windows is that they can be made to any size, shape, and level of complexity desired. Other materials, such as metal and vinyl, are very difficult to shape into anything other than linear shapes, which makes them unsuitable for many applications that require a curved or custom-shaped window.

This isn’t to say that materials like vinyl can’t be shaped to custom designs, but it is much more labor intensive than it would be to make the same window out of wood. In the case of large windows, wood is also ideal for custom installations since it is so strong when compared to other materials, like vinyl, that can be damaged with comparably light loads.


High Maintenance

There is no sugar-coating it, homeowners that choose wood windows to replace their current windows are making a significant commitment to the future maintenance requirements of those wood windows. They will need to be cleaned regularly, as well as kept painted or stained to keep the wood sealed against moisture. The windows will need to be painted as needed, but generally every few years they’ll need to be stripped and resealed or repainted or risk warping and potential rot.

Not All Wood Windows Are Created Equally

When people think of wood windows they often think of large, extravagant windows letting in massive amounts of light. This was common with older wood windows that were made from naturally-occurring timber, but many modern wood windows are made from cheaper, softer wood that has been grown quickly and doesn’t have the same fiber density as older wood. They aren’t weak by any means, but modern wood windows simply won’t last as long as wood windows from 50-100 years ago.

Cladding Doesn’t Help

Metal-clad and vinyl-clad windows are touted to be much better than bare wood since they “protect” the wood with cladding. This is often a sales gimmick since wood and the cladding have different thermal expansion coefficients, they will eventually become unsealed and allow water between the wood and the cladding. This will speed up the rot and warping process.

For More Information About Wood Windows

If you would like more information about using wood replacement windows for your next project, reach out today and speak with a member of our trusted, local window installation team.