There is a concern in the market that maintenance to timber windows is onerous, but this is far from the truth. Over 12 years ago, Gowercroft manufactured and installed new hardwood windows in my new house in Derbyshire. In light of the concerns over maintenance to timber windows, I thought it would be interesting to look at the wear and tear that has occurred to my windows over this period compared to the maintenance that I have completed to give an balanced overview for potential new customers.
To begin with, I need to say that the maintenance I have undertaken during those 12 years is very little! I haven’t repainted as there simply isn’t a need. I have greased the lock keeps on the back door and replaced a weather strip on the threshold (the prams and pedal tractors have got the better of it). They have suffered normal family window and door wear and tear. The window cleaner has bashed the bottom of the outside linings but they only want touching in. I have a large set of keys that have marked the door and frame and the threshold has had a few knocks. In all, if I were to paint the windows they would be absolutely perfect.
Since my windows and doors were made, our design and product specification has been improved significantly. We still manufacture from hardwood, factory spray finish and factory glaze but all of it is upgraded or improved. We now use Engineered hardwood or Accoya for all of our products to give extra stability and durability. We use Sirca paint which has a full 10-year guarantee with no maintenance requirement during that period; this is double the guarantee we had when my windows were made. We undertook the equivalent of 12-15 years of QUV testing in Italy when we chose this paint system to be sure of it’s longevity and the system passed with flying colours. Perhaps the biggest change is that we now internally glaze into wet silicone, which eliminates pins to the outside and cut mitres. This removes the weak spots from the paint coating and allows a considerably longer life span.
With all of these improvements to the original product that we offered a 5 year guarantee on (that has been in my house for the last 12 years untouched), how long is the current product going to last untouched? Also, when this is compared to a uPVC product, which will begin to yellow after 10-15 years of service and cannot be refinished, it demonstrates the lifetime value of the product. I regularly take customers to my house to look at these windows, and if you are interested, then please give me a call in the office.