One of the biggest problems faced by almost any sash window company that are producing external joinery is the quality of wood and timber the day using. Green wood is ok but it needs seasoning and not quite ready for the job. In this article we’re going to go through and take a good look at all of the possible benefits of using high quality timber and wood from there we can then see which ones between softwood and hardwood make the most sense for sash windows and external joinery in general.
One of the best woods that can be used for external joinery if considering softwood is Pine, or BC Pine. These timbers are hard wearing and if treated can last a long time if exposed to the elements. This is most definitely a favourite choice for anyone that’s making sash windows and wants to specify softwood. The cost of this timber is relatively low to the performance and it’s extremely easy and fast growing so very sustainable.
Sapele the hardwood of choice for sash windows
Many older style joinery shops and sash window manufacturers use sapele as the go to wood for external joinery it’s been one of the most used hardwoods for external joinery over the last 20 years. This timber originated from Africa and is very dense as well as hard-wearing. “Having this kind of quality timber on your external joinery is a real bonus and it actually can even help increase the value of your property” according to Managing Director Christopher Richard from London Sash Window Repairs Ltd. One of the great things about manufacturing with sapele is how dense the material went there for when cut leaves a really crisp finish. “This is ideal for sash windows that have intricate mouldings and you really want to have that quality finish and what better timber to use when considering sustainable forestry” He goes on to say. That pretty much confirms the governments stance on wood sustainability too.
Meranti for the sash window manufacture process.
Meranti is a relatively new timber on the block, when considering external Joinery. This timber is much the same as sapele and also classed as a similar mahogany. The cost is almost identical to Sapele. Personally, I would suggest a using Sapele, as it’s definitely stood the test of time. That said, many high end sash window manufacturers are using this material to create quality windows.
When selecting sustainable timber to manufacture sash windows it’s important to consider that you won’t always find the ideal piece of wood because as we use the timber, stocks diminish and you might not actually be able to source the required products. But that said, if you ensure that you are using pine that’s been well treated either pressure treated or chemically then things will be fine. You could use a high quality hardwood such a Sapele and you can’t really go far wrong.
A lot of the length joinery will last is actually dictated by the paint used. If you’re using a high quality paint that won’t break down easily then the quality of timber becomes less important. This is good because it allows us to use more sustainable timber like softwood Pine, rather than Hardwood to take much longer to grow. So, what this really means is the quality of paint is backing up the lack of quality in the timber itself. Almost any Wood centre will let you know that softwood will be durable but won’t last anywhere near as long as hardwood. So it’s important to make sure that you’re using the right quality treatment before you actually paint the windows.
One of the biggest problems with Pine is the grain density. If you look at the number of growth rings in modern Pine, Scandinavian pine or Redwood as it’s often referred to as you’ll see that they just are really that many growth Rings per inch. This is a bit of a problem in the sense that using timber that effectively quite not dense can act almost as a sponge and absorb water. Obviously, this isn’t good for external joinery. But with that said, it’s pretty if it’s painted well can properly last.
Sash windows made from sustainable timber.
One of the biggest things with sash windows is to ensure that the timber using is well treated then covered properly. If you’re using a high quality paint system then it’s actually possible that the timber you’re using doesn’t have to be the highest or best quality, what’s most important is that you ensure that you using the correct procedure to ensure that the timber is well treated and therefore remains well protected. If you keep your timber well protected then you can almost be sure that it will last and it will be ideal for sash windows. This obviously ends up helping the sustainability with sash windows considerably.