UPVC v wood.


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Hi,

Yesterday I replaced glazing #6; I've just replaced three single panes of glass and also three double glazed units. Nothing special other than our double glazed units have lasted up to the 57 years since the bungalow was built. All our window frames are softwood originals; the front DG units started to fail a few years ago so I replaced them; the front of the bungalow facing the exposed valley suffers extremes of weather; the kitchen DG units just replaced are 57 years old and could have lasted a few more years but I can't at 73 I want to get all the heavy jobs out of the way whilst I'm still fit and able to do them.

Most of our neighbours have gone the plastic route having UPVC window frames and doors fitted; our neighbour directly across the street had the new DG patio doors fail in three years others have had to replace DG units after only 15 years.

Our wooden frames are still like new because I take time and trouble to ensure they are well looked after and we still retain them only replacing the units. I'd have been lost without my Fein Multimaster Top fitted with bi-metal blade; what a terrible job it proved to be chopping out the old linseed oil putty to release the units. Yes linseed oil putty used 57 years ago but the edes of the units were protected by foil tape unlike now when Butyl is commonly used and is what I've just used because I don't know where to obtain the foil tape. The units were fully bedded in the linseed oil putty which no doubt had added to their longivity; how many units in UPVC frames will last 57 years and how much UPVC will end up in landfil. When UPVC first appeared there was a rush as usual not to miss out on something new; many of these will now be nearing life end? Being so exposed to the weather here when it's very windy large DG unit glass can be seen to move being buffetted by the high wind which I feel adds to their early demise; the wooden frames with the units fully bedded are very solid indeed.

I'm just old fashioned as is my wife; we like the wooden frames even if it does involve lots of routine maintenance. Three years ago I made and installed a porch front making a huge difference to our entrance hall which doubles up as my office; during winter I could even feel the cold coming through the keyhole in the door even whilst the key was in position. I did make a mistake in the porch design in that I made the door with two plywood panels these cutting out a great deal of light even though both side panels were in glass; I've just replaced the large panel in the door with privacy glass so it's much lighter whilst I sit at the computer.

The original front door had the usual letter box; large weather bar and a yale lock as well as mortice lock. Whilst doing the makeover I took the original door into the workshop where I removed the letterbox and Yale lock letting in new timber using the router the mortice lock is retained but the weather bar too is now removed then I changed the glass as I also did with the side panel so now both doors and side panel have matching privacy glass it being this;

https://www.ukglasscentre.co.uk/dec...-glass-pilkington/stippolyte-pilkington-glass

The glass is 4mm thick and toughened; I used Butyl tape to seal it. These are the three single glazed panels. When I replaced the front DG units I installed Pilkington K glass units and these are simply wonderful keeping heat out whilst keeping heat in; it makes a tremendous difference when the rare hot sun is against the glass in keeping the rooms cool and in winter keeping heat in.

I admit I'm strongly biased towards wooden frames but wonder what other members have and how long their frames have lasted either wood or UPVC?

It's raining so I'm just passing a bit of time.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Ian

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You've got more patience than I!

I've also got wooden frames, but I really do dislike the maintenance. My wooden frames are about 16 years old and about 6 years ago I found some that had already started rotting when it was time to paint them - whoever built the house had used really poor quality paint. I'm coming up to needing to repaint again (likely next year, as too busy atm), so that'll be 7 years between it needing done. I'll likely get someone in to do it, as it's too big a job for me.

On the flipside, wood frames look great and it it avoids needing a big one-off job every 25 years or so, if UPVC needs completely replacing. My house is 3 story, so if I didn't need to get up to the top floor I don't think I'd mind so much :D .
 
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Hi,

Thanks Ian. My wife and I prefer all things wood; living in a Lego house has never appealed to us but having grafted so hard on this reglazing job I can understand the desire to go with plastic. Once the job is completed though it looks a picture and we can change the colours easily.

Living in a detached bungalow as we do makes access to window frames very easy even the higest points only need a step up. I think yours being a 3 story building demands plastic frames otherwise it's likely you'd need to get tradespeople in to do a full repaint at high cost; really living here in the UK with our climate there's no easy answer when it comes to exterior maintenance; today here it's 28C but it can rapidly change and drop 20C in a day; 28C for us is unusual and it's not even pouring with rain.

Kind regards, ColinW.
 
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