Windows with external shutters

Hardwood vs. Softwood Windows

Choosing the right windows for your home is really important. It’s not like you get do-overs (not without incurring costs, anyway). 

If you’ve decided on fitting your home with wooden windows but are confused about the differences between hardwood and softwood windows, read on.

What’s The Difference Between Hardwood and Softwood Windows?

You might be familiar with the terms hardwood and softwood, but do you fully understand the differences between them?

Hardwood timber refers to deciduous trees. Species like oak, mahogany, teak, walnut and maple are all hardwoods. They have a high density and are incredibly durable. 

Softwoods are of a lower density and come from coniferous trees like fir, pine, spruce, yew and cedar. These are generally speaking, less durable than hardwoods, although that isn’t their defining difference. 

Some hardwoods aren’t very durable at all, like balsa, which is extremely light. Yew timber, a softwood, is extremely hard-wearing. In broad-stroke terms however, hardwoods are generally more durable, and harder to mould and work with, whilst softwoods are the opposite. 

Hardwood vs Softwood Windows

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty and see how each type fares against the other in a number of categories, and examine some of the differences between hardwood and softwood that you should know about. 

How Long do Hardwood and Softwood Windows Last?

Both hardwood and softwood windows can last your entire lifetime if maintained and refurbished. There are cases of listed buildings with softwood windows that have lasted well over 150 years!

You can expect your wooden windows, especially hardwood timber, to last up to 60 years or more (some of our wooden windows come with a 40-year fungal and rot guarantee). Softwood windows are more responsive to the seasons and will expand and contract more, whilst hardwood windows are a safer bet in terms of longevity.

Although all woods are susceptible to fire damage, hardwoods are much more fire resistant than softwoods (if that is something you need to consider). 

What Looks Better: Hardwood or Softwood Windows?

It’s a dead heat in this match. Both hardwood windows and softwood windows can look equally stunning. Hardwoods give you that genuine timber feel that creates a fantastic traditional look. Softwoods tend to be more subtle and understated in appearance.

Bear in mind that softwood timber is much more workable than hardwood, giving you more flexibility in terms of carving and creating complex joints.  

Are Hardwood or Softwood Windows Cheaper?

As a general rule of thumb, you can expect hardwood windows to be up to 30-40% more expensive than softwoods. As it takes longer to grow, and is harder to harvest and then work into window frames, this is simply the price you pay for the extra cost and effort that goes into collecting and making it ready for sale. 

Softwoods are also a more sustainable option in terms of the environment. As they grow much faster, softwoods are able to be more sustainably sourced.

Shop our website for great deals on our fantastic energy-efficient windows. We offer both softwood and hardwood windows, with ranges of sash windows, casement window and more. We also offer hand made bespoke windows, so you can pick the perfect windows for your home. 

Aluminium windows

Choosing the Right Colour Window Frames

There are now more options than ever when it comes to windows and in particular, window colour.

The colour of your window frames can help you achieve many different effects, and when done right, can add a new dimension to the facade of your home.

Before we go into choosing the right colour window frame for your home, here’s some advice: try not to go for whatever’s hot on Pinterest right now, or what’s ‘in’ – unless you’re absolutely sure you’re going to love it years down the line, or have the means to keep up with changing trends.

Windows will be a fixture of your house that last many years, so simply choosing what’s trendy right now is bad practice since if you change your mind, you’ll be stuck with your decision for a while.

Why Does Your Window Frame Colour Matter?

Windows are a vital feature of any home or building, but what do different window frame colours achieve, other than being a colour that you like? Think of the window as a whole and what impact you want it to have.

Dark colours create a sleek and smooth feel. Black window frames, for example, will give the feeling that the window is blending into the frame, for a uniform smoothness.

Bright colours, like a white window frame, make the window stand out, bringing in colour contrasts and vibrancy to the facade.

Glossy window frames will accentuate the frame, giving it a deeper colour and a more distinct look. A matt window frame, however, is much subtler – ideal if you don’t want to distract from the rest of your home’s exterior.

Think about how you can contrast colours against the facade to create truly striking windows. A dark window frame on a bright facade creates that colour contrast, and gives it its own personality (not to mention that bright houses with dark windows are always really striking).

These are all extra facets of design that can be achieved through the colour of your window frame, and as with lots of houses, everything is in the details.

Things to Consider When Choosing Window Frame Colours

So, how do you choose the right window frame colour for your home?

Most people will opt for either black window frames, white window frames, or neutral grey windows. These are strong colours and they’re a safe bet. At least one of those three will complement the colour of the facade and particularly works well if the facade colour is relatively subdued compared to the strong window frame colour.

If you don’t want to play it safe, there’s plenty of other colour options. Bright blue window frames set against a bright, white facade gives you that nautical, dreamy beach house look. Or how about a deep red if you have a wooden facade? This will combine well with nature and your garden.

Similar principles apply for the interior colour of your window frame. Bright colours, like white aluminium windows, will add a softness to the window when observed from the inside, whilst coloured upvc windows can be deployed in a number of different ways so you can realise your vision for the house.

Shop our website for a fantastic range of Jeld Wen windows including sash windows, casement windows and our handmade bespoke range. Free shipping is available to anywhere on the UK mainland – get in touch and order today!