Timber windows and doors are made from specially selected wood, and wood, like many other materials, is not maintenance free. Timber windows and doors are exposed to a mixture of weather conditions – especially here in the UK. However, developments in timber window design and finish have created products that can minimise water retention and damp penetration and the use of micro-porous paints allow wood to breathe, helping them to look good for longer. To extend the lifetime of your windows and doors, some maintenance is necessary, and here are some guidelines that will help you maintain the performance and appearance of your windows and doors long after their installation.
This should be carried out at least twice a year. A soft cloth with soapy water or washing up liquid can be used. To remove grease marks, again washing up liquid can be used with little or no water and then rinsed with clean water. Do not use glass cleaner on frames, or indeed, kitchen and bathroom cleaners. It is important to maintain the coated finish as this will not only leave the windows and doors looking good, but they could then be kept in great condition even after the guarantee runs out.
Annually, the surface coating needs to be inspected and if a re-coat is necessary a micro-porous stain or paint can be used. To do a recoat yourself, these steps can be followed – although alternatively, there are plenty of reputable tradespeople who could perform this maintenance for you.
- Clean the windows or doors with soapy water or washing up liquid.
- Using a wet and dry silicon carbide abrasive paper, lightly rub down the existing paint to remove any grease and dirt to provide a smooth finish.
- Using a wet cloth, remove dust and debris, taking care to not inhale the dust.
- Make sure you allow enough time for it to dry thoroughly.
- Taking care to not get the paint on the seals or gaskets, apply the micro-porous finish with a brush.
- Make sure to only use micro-porous paint and always follow the instructions.
Scratches and Chips
If there is any damaged timber, it should be repainted or re-stained immediately. Follow these steps below.
- The damaged area needs to be prepared using a light abrasive following the line of grain.
- Making sure to not inhale the dust, using a wet cloth, remove all dust and debris.
- Depending on the damage, a timber filler may be required to repair the damage and give it a smooth surface, ready to re-apply the finish.
- Re-apply the finish to the damaged area.
Knots, grain and movement
As wood is a natural product, features such as knots and differences in grain can appear. This is just a part of the properties of timber. As timber is a natural product, there may be some movement in terms of expansion and contraction.
If the above guidelines are followed, the good looks, durability and proper function of timber windows and doors can be maintained, ensuring they do everything you want them to do long after installation.
A garden room or conservatory can be a wise investment. Not only could it add extra room in your home, it can add value to your home when you come to sell. However, the style and finish has to look right. In addition to this, when everyone is concerned about sustainability and the environmental impact of everything we do, making the right choice of material for your garden room or conservatory is crucial.
UPVC vs. Wood Finish
UPVC was, for many years, the first choice for those wanting to enhance their home with a conservatory for many reasons including strength, popularity and because it was relatively low cost. However, we are now discovering there are downsides to using uPVC. These include the facts that the material itself can eventually become brittle and prone to cracking and it can discolour quite severely requiring certain chemicals to clean it to bring it up to scratch. The main drawback of uPVC lies in the production process, which gives off large amounts of carbon emissions and is as far from being environmentally-friendly as it’s possible to be.
When you opt for a conservatory or garden room made from beautiful and sustainable timber the benefits for the consumer and the environment are obvious. Sustainable timber comes from carefully managed forests using trees which can be quickly replaced and grown to enable them to perform one of their most essential duties – that of capturing CO2 from the atmosphere.
The Benefits to You of Sustainable Wood
The production of wood for use in the conservatory building industry uses far less energy than other materials such as uPVC, concrete, plastic or metal so that your personal carbon footprint is considerably reduced. Not only that but wood has superior insulating properties which means that your conservatory or garden room can be kept warm through the colder winter months and cool during the summer months. So whilst adding the comfort factor it can also help to lower your energy bills, a definite plus in these times of soaring fuel costs.
Beauty And Durability
Wood is classically timeless in its beauty and with lots of choice in colour and stain a wood conservatory or garden room can look as contemporary or traditional as you want. The timber used to design and make your bespoke garden room or conservatory is extremely strong and able to withstand all that the British climate can throw at it and providing that you take care to maintain it, will stay looking good for many years. All that is needed is a regular basic clean and every few years a refresh of the paint or stain to keep it pristine.
Add Value to Your Home
A garden room or conservatory with a beautiful wood finish and made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber is something which will enhance the appearance of your home for many years and add value, all while providing the satisfaction of knowing you have made the right choice for the environment. This makes it an investment well worth considering.
Authorised by the government in the UK in April 2002, FENSA (Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme) came into being as the first scheme relating to Competent Persons involved in the installation of windows and doors in both England and Wales.
Why do I need a FENSA authorised installer?
When you are looking for a company to assist with windows and doors for your property it is very important to check if the company you are looking at using is FENSA registered. Any installer is required to be a member of a Competent Persons Scheme (CPS) that is authorised by the government, and FENSA is one of these schemes. In order to become a member of such a scheme an individual or company will have not only undergone a rigorous vetting procedure but will also be the subject of regular routine inspections by FENSA themselves, in order to ensure that compliance to Building Regulations is being followed properly. If it is found that they are not, then they will be required to correct any issues, or they could be suspended until the work that is needed to ensure compliance has been done.
When you choose a FENSA registered installer for your windows and doors you are ensuring that the level of service you receive will be of a very high standard and if there are any issues then you will be able to get them dealt with. Unfortunately, those companies who are not registered with FENSA or another CPS may not be as honest when it comes to dealing with any issues you might have after installation.
What is covered by a FENSA certificate?
The FENSA website (fensa.org.uk) states “FENSA covers the replacement of external windows, doors, roof windows and roof lights against the relevant Building Regulations in domestic properties on the original foot print of the property where the use or size of rooms have not been altered.” So, if you have windows or doors replaced on your property or have moved to a property that has had these replaced since 1st April 2002, then there should be a FENSA certificate to cover the installation.
Keep your certificate safe
Following the installation of your windows or doors you will be issued with FENSA certification and it is very important that you keep this in a safe place. If at some point in the future you want t put your house up for sale then the solicitor acting on behalf of your buyer is likely to request a copy of the certificate for their client so that they know that any replacement windows or doors have been fitted by a competent installer. Fortunately. if you have misplaced the certificate you can request a replacement but they are costly at £25 (including VAT) each.
Here at Oaktree Joinery, we’re delighted to report that we are, and continue to be FENSA certified, so when you use our services, you can be sure that the job will be done to the highest of standards.
In recent years uPVC has seen a considerable surge in popularity when it comes to windows and door treatment. Many consumers see it as the cheaper and more durable option on the market, but sometimes cheaper, unfortunately, isn’t the best and it is worth investing that little bit extra. However, don’t just take our word for this, we have set out some information on both UPVC and timber windows and doors so that you can make the best decision for your property.
Often the main reason that people look to replace their windows and doors is energy efficiency, and with so many people becoming more ecologically aware it makes sense to consider those areas of the home where cold air might get in. Ensuring that your windows and doors are in good condition and fit perfectly is very important in this respect. While there is no denying the advantages of double-glazed panels, it is worth thinking about your frames as well. Regardless of what type of glass you choose to use, wood is an excellent product that offers natural insulation. This makes it a choice that is well worth considering.
What makes UPVC windows and doors cheaper is the fact that they are typically mass-produced. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that there are some limitations when it comes to selecting something that is in keeping with the style of your home. Timber window frames and doors can be custom made to your exact requirements and the style of your home. They are a bespoke product that means you can get precisely the product you are looking for. It also means, in terms of aesthetics, that you can even replace the original designs of your home if you have an older property. Timber offers you something that uPVC cannot replicate when it comes to a period property, and, of course, it is worth considering that there are a variety of colours and finishes available.
It might surprise you to know that timber with a factory finish can last longer than uPVC. However, you do need to put a little effort into ensuring that it remains in good condition a wipe down and a refresh when necessary should be all that is required. Every 8-10 years it is worth having a full repaint done to keep everything looking fresh and cared for. While there is no need to repaint uPVC, over time you will notice that it begins to lose that lovely white finish that attracted you to it in the first place and it may become somewhat discoloured. If you need to make any repairs to your frames, it is easier to do this if they are made of wood.
As we already mentioned timber frames do come at a price, but when you weigh up the benefits of selecting timber over uPVC, it is easy to see that over time the extra money that you invest in timber window frames should pay for itself. All you need to do is ensure that you care for them properly.