New research from the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) reveals signs that timber windows and doors are viewed positively by homeowners, but that misunderstandings over their performance persist.

The survey of 1,500 homeowners unearthed the main factors guiding product choice. It found that, aside from cost, for both windows and doors energy efficiency was the  main priority for homeowners when selecting products (50% for windows and 39% for doors).

When it came to windows, cost and energy efficiency weren’t the only significant factors for homeowners. Aesthetic appeal was most important to almost a third (32%), while the source and sustainability of timber was an important consideration for almost half (48%) of all homeowners, and almost three quarters (73%) of period property owners.

For doors, aesthetic appeal was also a prominent factor, a top priority for 32%, with product lifespan (31%) and security features (24%) also important.

Encouragingly, 59% of homeowners felt that timber windows offered a wider opportunity for design and style options than alternatives, and 56% thought timber windows were more sustainable.   

Helen Hewitt, CEO at the BWF, said: “The beautiful aesthetic of timber has always been its enduring appeal, whatever the property type. And with timber products being designed to be repaired rather than replaced, they are a naturally sustainable choice. It’s hugely encouraging that the benefits of timber are recognised by those who may be considering replacing windows or doors in their homes or buying properties in need of renovation.”

Despite positive perceptions, research also revealed a number of misconceptions over timber windows as compared to alternatives:

  • Fewer than half (40%) believed timber windows offer high energy efficiency performance
  • Only 35% thought timber windows have the same U-value performance
  • More than half (57%) believed timber windows cost more to purchase and install
  • 70% of homeowners believed timber windows have a shorter lifespan

Helen Hewitt, CEO at the BWF, said: “With the cost of living and energy crisis ongoing, it comes as no surprise that cost and energy efficiency are the primary concerns for homeowners when selecting windows for their property. But while it’s encouraging that timber is viewed positively by many against these criteria, there are still some outdated assumptions over how timber windows perform.”

Discussing misconceptions over timber windows, Helen said: “When it comes to cost, the improved durability of wood window frames means they can last longer – when maintained properly – and therefore actually provide better value over their lifetime than alternatives.  In terms of energy efficiency, timber has naturally insulating properties, meaning timber windows can offer improved thermal performance.

“We want to challenge these misconceptions and help show that whether a property is a new build, a period home or anything in-between, wood windows and doors are the natural choice and can add value for any homeowner.”