Living and working in the south-west means we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to coastal living, with dozens of beaches, walks, and spectacular sea views all within easy reach. Enviable as this is, the harsh weathers associated with a rugged coastline can be your windows worst enemy. So what should you be looking for when you need the very best in wood replacement windows?
Windows for the harshest of weather
Coastal living has a special appeal to many people. Giving uninterrupted views of sea and sky, you’re in touch with mother nature at her finest. And with almost 600 miles of north and south coast across Devon and Cornwall, thousands of homes in towns and villages along much of it, all savour its charm every day.
But it’s no secret that prolonged exposure to extreme weathering – the mix of direct sunlight, heavy rain, and strong winds – that’s so prevalent on the coast, can all have an impact on any timber window frames. And with many coastal homes being on higher ground, taking advantage of the views, it also means they can feel the full force of any extreme weathers more than most.
But it’s the added salt-infused, moist sea air or spray that can be the biggest problem. Together, all these elements can accelerate the swelling, rotting, weakening, and all-round erosion of traditional timber frames far quicker than they would inland. This makes the installation of high-quality and precision-fitted wood replacement windows essential to any coastal home.
To stand up against the harshest coastal weathers across the year, wooden double glazed windows need to be created from the best in durable and quality materials for maximum efficiency. But style, design, and functionality is also a big consideration, including the ironmongery and weather seals that go with them.
Wood frame durability
Using traditional timber, including oak or tropical hardwoods, is common for many window frames. But using them does mean you start a cycle of regular maintenance and upkeep. Because of natural timber’s permeable nature, stripping, filling, and repainting frames on an annual basis could be more frequent in coastal areas and will certainly become even more frequent as time goes on.
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Traditional timbers can be costly and unsustainable for replacement windows in coastal homes when a durable, stable, and completely weather-proof material is required. In these circumstances, Nathan McCarter Joinery uses Accoya® wood – a modified, sustainably-sourced softwood, purpose-made to withstand any harsh weathers it’s exposed to.
Accoya is highly stable and has a lifespan covering a guaranteed 50 years in window – or door – installations above ground. With the proven ability of not swelling, shrinking, or rotting over extended periods when exposed to harsh conditions, its Class 1-rated durability makes it the ideal material for the changeable conditions and climates surrounding coastal properties.
If a wood replacement window frame is appropriate for your home, rather than aluminium or uPVC which may not suit your property, Accoya certainly provides the long-term, low-maintenance reliability and performance you need. But your chosen style of window can also make a difference.
Types of casement windows
When looking into your requirements, we can look at what style of wooden windows will work best for your property type and its architecture. While you might have an idea or even a plan about this, we’ll use our experience and work with you to make sure you’re getting the wood replacement windows you like, as well as the windows that will work best for your home.
Traditional or high-performance casement windows are common styles we typically design, together with sliding sash windows. Using traditional tools and long-established skills, each frame is handcrafted and made to measure to your exact and precise requirements. Using these same skills for frames installed in exposed homes on the coast, it’s often stormproof casement windows which give you the best results in harsh, coastal conditions.
These outward-opening, robust windows are rebated, with the main casement sitting slightly above the frame. This effective design feature gives your window extra durability as it provides the weathertight protection it needs for your home. Added to that, the whole frame can be recessed back from the external wall so your frames, hinges, and window seals get even more protection from the elements.
Window hardware and ironmongery
It’s also important to remember that by having Accoya wood double glazed windows, your frames will last a lifetime. So it only seems right that the external hardware should do the same. Any handles, hinges, or other hardware not only need to be in full working order all the time, but they need to look good as well.
While this is relevant to windows installed anywhere, it’s even more important for coastal homes. You’ll be able to see the visible effects, including rust and corrosion, that salt in the atmosphere has on your window’s hardware the closer you are to the sea itself. But there can be salt in the air up to 10 miles away from the coast which can also have an effect over time.
This could have a real impact on any hinges or handles as the corrosion will greatly affect how they operate – and how they look. For all coastal properties that have our wood replacement windows installed, we use specialist, high-performance, and corrosion-resistant hardware that gives every window an aesthetically pleasing finish with the exceptional functionality it deserves.
Designed to not only withstand but actually thrive, in coastal environments, the hardware’s corrosion-resistance comes in the form of specially coated stainless steel. While resisting the acidity of the timber frames themselves, more importantly, they resist the sea salt air they’re exposed to as well as any harsh cleaning agents.
When we’re handcrafting our timber windows for any coastal properties, we work closely with our chosen south-west-based ironmongery supplier to ensure you have the quality and style of window hardware you need. With a full range, you’re guaranteed a durable, marine-grade finish and a lifetime of low maintenance.
Contact Nathan McCarter Joinery today
As creators of beautifully bespoke wood replacement windows with quality hardware, there’s craftsmanship, experience, and excellence in everything Nathan McCarter Joinery do. From concept to completion, full installation, aftercare, and beyond, our focus on service and quality guarantees you an exceptional finish to your home every time.
For more information and advice on our handcrafted window joinery services for your coastal home, or to arrange a visit to our Tavistock workshop, contact us on 01822 615010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.