The popularity of wood windows has lasted into modern times, as these fixtures bring character and craftsmanship to a room unlike any other type of material. Wood grain adds natural beauty, and wood windows come with extensive customization options to complement any space.
As a homeowner, consider a few maintenance and performance factors before purchasing wood windows – and then decide if this traditional material is the right window type for your home. Take into account that modern engineering allows for modifications to achieve longer lifespans and lower maintenance than wood windows of the past!
Wood is extremely versatile, allowing for size, shape, and color customization that is often not available with other window materials. Homeowners will find that their window options expand significantly when choosing from wood collections.
Unlike many fabricated materials, wood can be painted or stained – opening up a vast range of color possibilities. Homeowners can stain their wood windows using translucent coats to highlight the natural grain. Or, choose a paint or solid stain to custom match your windows to your home interior or exterior. Whether you are replacing windows in an historic home or have a specific vision for a new construction, wood windows allow for color precision unlike any other material.
Custom-painted Marvin Elevate double-hung windows featured in a home office
Wood is able to be customized into any number of shapes and sizes to achieve the perfect look. This adaptability is one of the biggest advantages of wood windows, compared to more rigid, fabricated materials with a smaller range of options. Homeowners can use wood windows to bring natural light to tricky spaces or get creative with window designs.
Marvin’s Ultimate Picture Window paired with specialty shape wood windows
An entirely wood window – interior and exterior – accomplishes the most traditional look, ideal for historic homes. Most buyers, however, will prefer wood windows with exterior cladding in more durable materials such as fiberglass or aluminum. This option gives homeowners the best of both traditional and modern engineering, maintaining the beauty of a wood window but giving it extra protection against the elements.
This wood picture window from premier window manufacturer Marvin creates a nature-inspired living space, with the added benefit of exterior aluminum cladding. The extra protection is particularly helpful for climates that experience frequent inclement weather, or houses surrounded by woods that will experience high moisture levels.
Marvin Ultimate Picture window in living room
Fabricated window materials such as fiberglass or aluminum are common alternatives to wood due to their affordability and maintenance-free qualities. But the natural grain of a wood window is a distinct look that ultimately can’t be replicated. Wood continues to be the ideal choice for maintaining the character of historic homes, or bringing natural craftsmanship to modern spaces.
Kitchen featuring Marvin’s Ultimate Awning window
Wood does not conduct heat easily, making it a naturally energy efficient window material. While it does not outperform fiberglass in terms of insulation, wood is still a more energy efficient material than metals such as aluminum or steel that quickly absorb and release heat. And keep in mind that modern wood windows can be clad in energy efficient materials like fiberglass for the best of both worlds.
Marvin Elevate Double Hung windows with white interior finish and fiberglass cladding
Low maintenance is one of the main reasons fabricated materials have become popular choices for windows. Wood, like any natural material, requires extra care to look and perform its best. Before purchasing windows, consider the additional steps you will need to take to preserve a wood fixture – but also remember that exterior cladding options take care of the most labor intensive processes.
The ability to paint or and stain wood maximizes your customization options, but it also means that the color is not permanent. As with any surface that has been painted, a wood window will eventually need additional coats of paint as it ages – particularly if it has a wood exterior. If you choose a stain instead of paint, you won’t have to worry about peeling or flaking, but the color will fade especially if it is exposed to direct sunlight, requiring re-staining.
Since wood is absorbent, it can warp or expand as it experiences moisture and fluctuating temperatures. Homeowners will need to ensure their wood windows have a proper sealant when they go to refinish the wood. Wood’s natural absorption also means homeowners should regularly clean their windows to make sure dirt or moisture build-up doesn’t cause any long-term damage.
Aluminum and fiberglass have outdone any other window material in terms of durability, with lifespans up to 50 years. Wood windows inevitably weather over time, particularly if they are exposed to the outdoors. However, wood is still a naturally durable material, outperforming cheap materials such as vinyl. High-quality wood windows that are properly cared for have an average lifespan of around 20 years.
Marvin’s high-quality windows combine the traditional beauty of wood materials with the best of modern manufacturing. Wood windows from Marvin are works of stunning craftsmanship, ideal for both beauty and longevity. Explore extensive customization options, and two distinct wood window product lines from Marvin: Marvin Signature Ultimate Windows and Marvin Elevate.
Ultimate Windows from Marvin’s Signature Collection is their most expansive product line of wood windows. Every window style you can imagine is available in Marvin’s Ultimate line, from glider or casement windows to fixed, specialty shape picture windows. This collection features windows with a variety of wood interiors, and an extruded aluminum exterior for low maintenance and high durability.
The option of a wood exterior is exclusive to Marvin’s Signature single hung and double hung windows, for homeowners looking to achieve a fully historic aesthetic. Exterior wood types include high-quality Pine, Vertical Grain Douglas Fir, and Mahogany.
Traditional dining room featuring Marvin Ultimate Double Hung Insert G2
The Elevate collection from Marvin is designed to blend style and strength, featuring clad windows with a warm pine interior and pultruded fiberglass exterior. Marvin Ultrex® pultruded fiberglass exterior finish is applied through a patented process to provide a superior, consistent finish.
Elevate clad wood windows can be factory finished for a smooth look or left bare to accommodate a custom paint or stain. While not available in quite as many configurations as Marvin’s Ultimate windows, the Elevate Collection still offers many types of windows in this beautiful combination of modern and traditional craftsmanship.
Bedroom featuring Elevate Casement and Picture windows with white interior finish
Wood windows are timelessly beautiful – we’re not surprised if they’re an indispensable part of your vision for your home. And you have endless design options available through Marvin’s collection of wood windows, so we’re confident you’ll find just what you’re looking for. Browse our buyer guide for more details on Marvin windows, or talk to one of our Marvin experts today!