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7 Reasons to Install Wood Window Frames

Thursday October 20th, 2022
One of the most important details of the exterior and interior of your home is the window frames. Not only do they add beauty and aesthetic value, but they also serve a significant purpose. Quality window frames protect your house from drafts, create structural integrity, and insulate the home. You’ll want to choose a window frame material that maximizes these key elements, and one of the best materials you can choose is wood.

Benefits of Wood Window Frames

  1. Warm and Welcoming
  2. Unique Aesthetic
  3. Better Insulation
  4. Noise Resistant
  5. Long Lasting
  6. Lots of Customization Options
  7. Natural, Renewable Resource
In this modern era, homeowners want window frames that will last, add curb appeal to their home, and a have minimal environmental impact. Exterior wood window trim checks all these boxes and more. Wood is truly one of the best viable options for your home’s windows, both interior and exterior.

7 Reasons to Install Wood Window Frames

Whether you’re designing a new window for a new home or researching window replacement options for an existing one, a wood window frame may be exactly what you’re looking for. Here’s why:

1. Warm and Welcoming

Nothing beats the warm and welcoming nature of wood windows. They have a historic and comforting feel, yet they can also be modern and new.

Interestingly, most modern window frames, such as vinyl, are made to mimic the appearance of wood. Why? Because the look of natural wood has defined homes since the early days of architecture. In this way, wood defines a warm, stable, safe, welcoming, and secure home.

You may be thinking, “all that can come from a window frame?” Yes, it can! Although we may not realize it, every detail of a home, including the house windows, affects our relationship with the space and how comfortable or at home we feel.

Wood instantly creates a cozy, comfortable feeling, which is why most other window materials try to mimic the look of wood. Let’s face it, try as they might to create the natural wood look, imitation is never as good as the real thing. If you have the means to go with the real deal, exterior window wood trim can’t be beaten in terms of the beauty of your space. In your home’s case, that would be a warm and welcoming environment.

2. Unique Aesthetic

Along the lines of wooden windows creating a warm and welcoming feeling, they also add a unique aesthetic to the home's exterior. Exterior wood window trim creates a timeless and cozy aesthetic that cannot be mimicked by any other material. This is especially true today as modern homes opt for vinyl and metal frames. While those frames have their place, a resurgence of wood window designs is certainly in order.

Wood, in and of itself, is a beautiful and unique material. No two pieces of wood are the same, and different wood species offer distinct and interesting looks, such as marbling. Because of this, your wood window frames can be truly unique, depending on the wood species.

Plus, if you live in an old house, your replacement windows will certainly need to match the existing window style of the home. In this case, wood replacement windows will be the best option, as you can design them to perfectly match the exterior design style of an older home.

Wood windows add beautiful curb appeal, and can be designed, stained, and painted to match your home’s unique style.

3. Better Insulation

Besides aesthetic value, wood windows are an ideal choice because they are excellent insulators. Wood doesn’t conduct heat well, making it adept at controlling internal temperatures. This is because the wood grain has multiple air pockets, which act as natural insulators. If you’re ready to replace your old windows because they’ve been wreaking havoc on your energy bill, you’ll want to seriously consider wood replacement windows.

Exterior wood window trim and interior wood window frames are one of the most energy efficient option for the home. This means they will regulate home temperature better than any other material. In the warm months, the air conditioning won’t have to turn on as frequently because the wood window frames and double plane glass block the heat from entering your home. Similarly, in the cold months, your home stays comfortably warm. This ultimately leads to homeowners saving on their energy bills each month.

For a one-to-one comparison, wood is 400x better at insulating than steel, and about 1,800x better than aluminum. Vinyl is wood's closest competitor in terms of energy efficiency, but wood still comes out on top as the best insulator for house windows.
While wood window frames are costly up front, they will save you the most in the long run for their longevity, energy efficiency, and durability.

4. Noise Resistant

Wood's natural insulation properties also come with another perk: noise resistance. More than metal and vinyl, wood muffles and mutes outdoor sounds, creating a more peaceful and quiet indoor environment.

The quality of glass also affects noise transfer, so if you want decrease the amount of noise that enters your home, double or triple plane glass is recommended. If you live in the city, next to train tracks, or on a busy street, you may be growing tired of the noise pollution. While wood window frames won’t block noises out entirely, it beats both vinyl and metal in terms of limiting unwanted noise.  

This is a key benefit to a peaceful night's sleep and focusing throughout the day. That said, if you enjoy the subtle sounds of nature, such as birdsong, a cracked window will allow ambiant noise to flow freely into the space.

5. Long Lasting

With proper care and maintenance, interior and exterior wood windows can last decades, if not centuries. On average, exterior wood window trim lasts about 30 years, but can last much longer if given proper attention.

The first step to ensuring your wooden window frames last is to purchase high-quality wood from a reliable and trustworthy source, such as Rustica. Second, you’ll want to make sure your wood is treated, stained, and painted. This prevents the wood from warping, which can happen when raw or undertreated wood is exposed to moisture.

If properly stained and painted, the finish will prevent moisture from entering the wood grain, which houses the air pockets. Left untreated, water would fill and expand the grain, making it bigger and warped. As you can imagine, this isn’t what you want in a window frame. The good news is that it’s easy to stain and paint wood, and high-quality stains will repel and prevent moisture, keeping the wooden frame structurally sound for many years to come.

6. Lots of Customization Options

Not only is painting and staining wood windows necessary for longevity, but it also opens the possibility for personal touches. Wood window frames are highly customizable, as you can choose any color of paint you’d like, and there are a variety of stain options to choose from.

For example, if you’ve always dreamed of a white window with wood trim, you can easily achieve this look by painting the wooden frame white.  If you would like more of a natural wood look, you can opt for a high-quality stain that highlights the natural wood and texture. Not only can you choose the specific stain you would like, but you can also pick the wood species. Rustica offers different types of wood for your custom wood windows, including knotty alder, cedar, and red oak.

Knotty alder is a great choice for interior wood window frames, and it stains exceptionally well. As a lighter-colored wood, it can be stained to match a variety of wood types, including red mahogany, ebony, dark walnut, and American walnut. That said, a clear finish will bring out the unique knots that characterize knotty alder and highlight its natural beauty.

For exterior wood window frames, Rustica exclusively offers cedar, as it’s the best wood species for outdoor use. This is because cedar has natural insect-repelling properties due to its strong aroma. Cedar is also a strong and durable wood that is moisture resistant. These factors make cedar the best choice for exterior wood window frames. Plus, it requires the least amount of maintenance compared to other wood species.

Along with custom finishes and paints, wood window frames can easily be shaped to fit any window opening. Whether you need to replace a large picture window or you want to design a custom window shape, wood frames can easily bring your vision to life. Wood frames are the ideal choice for a custom windows with a distinct architectural style, as they are easier to shape than steel, aluminum, or vinyl.

7. Natural, Renewable Resource

With the growing climate crisis, more homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact.

Wood is the most ecofriendly window frame material compared to metal and vinyl. Metal is a finite resource, meaning there is only a limited amount available. Once aluminum and steel’s mineral stores are depleted, there won’t be any more to make those metals. Also, mining for minerals and rocks comes with its own environmental problems.

Vinyl is made from plastic. Plastic production is a key contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and the environmental cost required to make plastic is steep. Every aspect of plastic production creates greenhouse gas emissions, as plastic is made from oil, gas, and coal extracted from the earth through fracking. To build pipelines to extract these materials, natural ecosystems are disrupted and destroyed. Moreover, plastic is not a biodegradable material, and may take thousands of years to break down. This means landfills are filling at an exceptional rate.

All that to say, wood is a much better alternative to metal and vinyl window frames because it has less impact on the environment. It is also a natural, biodegradable resource, meaning it will break down and decompose relatively quickly. Even wood that’s been treated, stained, or painted will eventually break down if exposed to the elements and left untouched for many years—which is why wood window frame maintenance is important for longevity.

How to Clean Wood Windows

Regular maintenance is key to maintaining the integrity of your wood window trim. While both interior and exterior wooden frames require regular care, you’ll want to pay special attention to exterior frames, as they are exposed to the elements.

Windows on the south side of a home will experience the harshest conditions, whether that be wind, rain, or sun. And while every exterior window will need cleaned and checked every few months, south-facing windows are especially important.
Cleaning a wood window frame is an easy task with a few simple steps:
  1. Remove Dust
  2. Wash Frame
  3. Clean Glass
  4. Check for Damage
  5. Treat Wood Frame (if necessary)
Wood windows should be cleaned and checked at least twice a year. Six months checkups ensure that your wood window frames stay in prime condition, and can prevent costly repairs if any damage is found.

While regular maintenance might seem like a drawback, it will keep your wood windows looking charming and new. If damage isn’t addressed right away, or your windows are neglected for too long, you could face steep repair costs. For this reason, regular maintenance will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.

Follow these instructions to keep your wood window frames in tip top shape:

1. Remove Dust

The first step is to remove loose dust with a clean, dry cloth. The acidity in soot and dirt can damage the wood finish over an extended period of time. A proper dusting beforehand will make washing the frame much easier.

2. Wash Frame

Next, you’ll want to get a bucket of warm soapy water. You can use a mild detergent or a specific wood cleaning soap. If you notice that your window frames are caked with grime/dirt, you can add a teaspoon of baking soda to the soapy water.

If you have white window frames, you can add a bit of diluted bleach to the solution. However, bleach should never be added if your window frame has been treated with a stain, varnish, oil, or wax because it will cause discoloration.  

Using a cloth, soft-bristled brush, or scouring pad, gently clean the window frame. You don’t want to soak the wood or apply too much water, so make sure to wring out your cloth or sponge before applying it to the wood. If water is dripping from the cloth or brush and running down the frame, you’re applying too much. Never hose down or pressure wash wood window frames.

After cleaning all the dirt and grime, wipe down the frame with a clean, dry cloth to remove any excess liquid.

3. Clean Glass

After thoroughly cleaning the frame, you’ll want to clean the glass as well. You can use any glass cleaning solution, along with a clean microfiber cloth or paper towel. To avoid streaks, you can polish the glass with a dry polishing cloth once the glass has dried.

4. Check for Damage

Now that your window frame is free from dirt and debris, you can properly inspect it for any damage. This is important to do after cleaning, as damage may be hiding under the dirt and grime.

Check for any signs of peeling paint or finish, cracking, mold or mildew, weatherstripping damage, and torn or loose caulking. You’ll also want to check for any moisture between the glass. If you notice fogginess or moisture in the glass, the window seal is broken or cracked, and moisture has found its way in between the glass panes.

If moisture between the glass is present, we suggest contacting a professional to see if they can re-seal the window and/or replace the glass pane, if needed.

5. Treat Wood Frame (If Necessary)

If you find wood damage, you’ll want to treat it immediately. This will prevent the damage from worsening, which could lead to steeper repair costs.

If there are any cracks, you’ll want to clean them out and fill them with exterior wood filler. Once the filler has dried, sand the spot down, and refinish the entire window frame. This will seal the filler and strengthen the frame.

If there is any loose or cracked caulking, you’ll want to trim the old caulking and re-seal with exterior, heavy-duty caulk. If you notice any paint or finish peeling up, that’s a sign to refinish and repaint the entire window frame, depending on the extent of the damage. Peeling paint will allow moisture and sunlight to hit the wood directly. Sunlight will dry out the wood and cause it to crack, while moisture will get stuck under the paint and cause the wood to start rotting.

It’s recommended to refinish and repaint your wood window frames every two to three years. This will keep them in excellent condition and ensure their longevity for years to come. With regular maintenance, wood window frames can last much longer than the average 30 years.

Are Wooden Windows Worth It?

After learning the maintenance required for wood windows, you may wonder if they’re even worth the investment. In short, wood windows are more than worth it. They make up for their maintenance requirements through their beautiful and unique aesthetic. Nothing can match the quality, warmth, and welcoming feeling of authentic wood window frames.

Wood window frames are also worth it for their durability, strength, and longevity. They are also the best window frame material for customizing your preferred color and texture. Wood is a natural, renewable resource.

At the end of the day, seeing your home with high-quality, custom wood windows will make the cost and maintenance more than worth it.

Choose Your Custom Wood Window Frame with Rustica

Rustica is the world’s most trusted source for designer doors, hardware, and window frames. With our help, you can design custom wood window frames that fit your exact specifications to create the window frame of your dreams. We also pride ourselves on our solid wood doors, high-quality hardware, and barn door accessories.

If you’re ready to design your custom wood window frame, don’t hesitate to peruse our catalog or contact our customer support team. We’re more than happy to assist you in designing a wood window frame, no matter the window type or window opening size!
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