Timber suppliers, in Brisbane and across Australia, are somewhat disappointed at industry figures showing that aluminium windows are approximately three times as common as timber windows in Australia, with similar sales figures for aluminium sliding doors. We believe this is mainly due to the fact that aluminium is cheaper than timber.
However, homeowners should be cognizant of the old adage that “you get what you pay for.” While aluminium may be cheaper, price is not the only factor that determines whether or not a product is a “good buy” or provides value compared to price. Here are some reasons why timber windows and doors provide better value for the money you pay.
Check out any timber frame compared to an aluminium frame. This can be done in person at someone’s home or you can find pictures in magazines or on the Internet. The aluminium frame will always detract from the aesthetics of the home while the timber will always add to them.
Windows and sliding doors are designed to allow sunlight in and provide a view of nature. When conceived and executed correctly, they can integrate your garden with your home.
Aluminium doors are ordinary. While an aluminium window or sliding door can be an improvement over some older design elements, it is actually the glass, the sunlight and the outdoor surroundings that are providing the aesthetic improvements.
Think of how a solid timber frame for a window or door looks. It can be left natural or stained. The natural look and the grain always make a home look better. If you look at pictures of expensive homes and mansions, it is no accident that you will almost always see natural timber frames on the doors and windows. That is because timber looks a lot better than aluminium and always will.
Timber is a sustainable source. As long as land isn’t overextended, trees can be cut and replanted for as long as necessary. While transport and labour of timber does create a small carbon footprint, the production of aluminium creates eight times as high a volume of greenhouse gases as production of timber does.
In addition, aluminium creates 300 times the amount of waste water as timber production. When aluminium is fabricated, the smelting process uses deadly, toxic chemicals that contaminate the surrounding land. Meanwhile, a timber plantation just grows trees, which breathe carbon dioxide in and produce oxygen when they “exhale.”
Timber doors and windows also provide superior sealing and insulation, reducing the use of electricity and/or gas for heating and cooling. Whichever way you “cut” it, timber is far more environment-friendly than aluminium.
Aluminium is said to be “maintenance-free,” but is that a positive factor or a negative one? Aluminium doors and windows don’t require maintenance, but they can still become corroded over time. Once aluminium has suffered any surface degradation, it can’t be restored to its original state or appearance.
Meanwhile, your timber frames can be easily maintained as long as it is done on a regular basis. It only takes a mild amount of attention to keep a timber surface looking as great as it did the day it was installed. Most importantly, though, if your timber surface does become degraded, you can usually restore it to its original state instead of replacing it as you would have to do with aluminium.
Timber costs more, but the cost is more than offset by three factors: longevity, energy savings and added value. Once you install timber, the chances are that you will never have to replace it, as long as it has been properly sealed and finished.
Timber also saves a lot of energy due to its sealing and insulating properties. Over a lifetime, timber doors and windows can pay for themselves when compared to aluminium.
When it is time to sell your home, it will fetch a higher market price with timber doors and windows than it would with aluminium.
Call (07) 3888 1293 to learn more.