Wood vs. UPVC Windows: A Comprehensive Comparison for Home Owners

Your windows contribute significantly to the warmth and aesthetic appeal of your property as well as to the reduction of outside noise. 

But it’s simple to become confused while looking for new windows because of the variety of materials available. 

While UPVC is currently the most common material chosen by homeowners for their windows, largely due to its low cost and energy efficiency, wooden windows have been a fixture in houses for decades. 

This page contains a detailed comparison of UPVC vs. wooden windows by First Home Improvements.

How are wood and PVC different?

Generally speaking, wood is stronger than PVC foam panels, but PVC foam panels are extremely robust and made to last. 

Untreated wood may require replacement on a regular basis owing to rot and water damage, while PVC foam board can last considerably longer without degrading structurally. 

Here are their main differences:

What are wooden windows?

Wooden windows have been in use for a very long time and usually outlast all other window frame materials if they are maintained regularly. 

Typically available in both softwood and hardwood application, with softwood being the less expensive option and hardwood being more resilient and longer lasting. 

Since most windows and artistic doors contain glass, a frame made of wood protects the glass from shattering when the structure rapidly contracts. 

Wooden frames stay longer since they do not warp or break when properly sealed.

What are UPVC windows?

Un-plasticised polyvinyl chloride, sometimes known as UPVC, is a sturdy, low-maintenance, yet lightweight plastic construction material. 

It gained popularity in the home improvement sector as a paint-free alternative to painted wood because of its many advantages, including great resistance to chemicals, sunlight, and water oxidation. 

As a result of its affordability and ease of maintenance, it is especially suitable for double-glazed windows and doors.

How long do wooden windows last, compared to UPVC?

You want to make certain that the investment you make in a new window will last. 

If properly maintained, windows made of UPVC and wood have similar lifespans. Windows made of wood, however, often survive longer. 

This comes at a cost because hardwood windows need more upkeep to last longer than their plastic alternatives. 

However, on average, UPVC windows typically last around 20 years, but this number can range from 10 to 35 years, depending on the quality, installation and maintenance. 

In some cases, wood windows can last from 35 to 45 years but require a huge amount of maintenance to do so.

Comparison of UPVC vs. Wood: Pros & Cons.

UPVC windows:

Price – UPVC is the best option if you have a limited budget because it is significantly less expensive to install and maintain than other window materials. Aesthetics – Although UPVC windows come in a variety of colours and designs, compared to wooden windows, one could say that they lack the same allure and appealing appearance.
Insulation – UPVC frames can have great insulation properties, but be careful as not all window profiles are the same. First Home Improvements use a profile with 5 separate chambers which creates multiple barriers from outside to in for cold transfer. 
Maintenance – A UPVC window provides you the greatest appearance with the least amount of effort, which is something we all desire from our windows. They can be kept looking brand new with just the occasional wipe down with soapy water. Customisation – UPVC windows still lag behind when it comes to standard colour selection possibilities. However First Home Improvements can spray your windows prior to installation to any RAL colour with a surcharge applied to the price. Wooden windows allow for the application of paint and varnish in any colour, allowing you to design a specific appearance that can be changed if desired.
Durability – Because UPVC is a non-corrosive material, you don’t have to worry about any rot or rust. UPVC windows are immune to fading in prolonged sun exposure, unlike other window materials.
Lifespan – The lifespan of UPVC windows can range from 10 to 35 years, depending on the quality and upkeep.

Wooden Windows:

Aesthetics – Traditional wooden windows’ aesthetics are difficult to match with those of other window materials. They are also quite adaptable and customisable. Maintenance – Wooden windows have the downside of requiring extensive maintenance to keep them in excellent shape. This involves applying new paint on a regular basis or treating wood to stop decay – often required yearly.
Better Insulation – A wooden window may also has the advantage of being very insulative, permitting little heat or cold to enter your home. May attract insects – Termites and carpenter bees are two of wood’s biggest enemies, thus without care, insects are a potential problem.
Lifespan – Wood may last far longer than many other frames but only with proper maintenance. .

Are wooden windows more expensive than UPVC?

In general, and depending on quality, UPVC is less expensive than wood. Prices for windows can vary based on features and product quality, however UPVC is often less expensive. 

The installation fees are averaged and have been included in the cost estimate.

UPVC vs. Wood Cost Estimates by window types & styles *

Material Cost Estimate
Wood Prices range from £850 – £1,000 for a 600 x 900 mm frame.

Prices range from £1400 – £2,000 for a 1200 x 1200 mm frame.

UPVC Prices range from £450 – £800 for a 600 x 900 mm frame.

Prices range from £600 – £1,000 for a 1200 x 1200 mm frame.

* depends upon style, number of opening vents and colour

Common myths about wood vs. UPVC windows.

There are many myths or misconceptions surrounding the decision of wood vs. UPVC windows. 

Here are a few that First Home Improvements thought should be exposed:


UPVC windows are always required if you want double glazing.


Both wood and UPVC windows are available in energy-efficient, insulating models with double-glazed panes.


It’s challenging to reduce bills since wood windows aren’t energy efficient.


Regardless of the material used for the frames, well-designed windows offer comparable thermal efficiency across the board.


UPVC windows will survive longer than wood windows, which decay fast.


Once you maintain and repaint wood windows, their lifespan starts all over again, suggesting that well-maintained, good quality timber windows can actually last longer than UPVC windows do.

Where to get your Wood or UPVC windows?

The fact of the matter is that both wood and UPVC windows are excellent choices as widow fittings for your home, with their biggest differences being about your personal preferences and budget. If you are interested in a quote or more information about what First Home Improvements offers, please visit our windows service page or contact us today.

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