Timber windows are favoured in many homes because of their aesthetic appeal and traditional look. They perform well thermally by keeping out the winter cold, and are resistant to condensation. Timber window frames also have excellent structural strength, and the nature of timber allows it to easily be made into custom shapes and sizes.
Timber window frames can be repainted to lengthen their lifespan or change their colour. Using a preservative treatment provides protection against rot and attacks from insects, rodents or birds. Timber is susceptible to changes in weather and may shrink or swell. High quality hardwood frames will provide better durability than softer alternatives, although they will come at a cost.
In terms of ventilation and efficiency, timber frames may require larger tolerances in openings, which can result in gaps that allow draughts. The use of good draught seals (weatherstripping) will help to improve thermal performance and reduce the amount of air infiltration.
The traditional window frame material is wood, because of its availability and ease of milling into the complex shapes required to make windows. Wood is favoured in many residential applications because of its appearance and traditional place in house design. When discussing wood windows and doors, aesthetic beauty is usually one of the first advantages to come to mind. While other materials have steadily gained market share, beauty is one of the main factors that allows wood to remain successful in the fenestration market. Since wood is paintable and stainable, it compliments any décor. The natural grain of wood provides a feeling of warmth and comfort, and adds to the unique character of a home.
From a thermal point of view, wood-framed windows perform well. Wood is not intrinsically the most durable window frame material, because of its susceptibility to rot, but well-built and well-maintained wood windows can have a very long life. Paint protects the exterior surface and allows an easy change in colour schemes. Wood is used in window manufacturing due to its good material properties: high strength to weight ratio, good thermal and sound insulating properties, and it doesn’t corrode. It is used for the window frame as well as for the sash.
Windows, doors and other joinery are manufactured using a wide range of Australian and imported timbers. Species used include Western Red Cedar, Meranti, Silky Oak, Rosewood, Pine, Tasmanian Oak and quality paint-finish hardwoods.