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Windows Buying Guide (page 5 of 7)

Learn the pros and cons of different types of windows, the various styles and latest trends.

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Wood Takes the High Road

Compared to other choices, all-wood windows aren't as durable, are susceptible to rot and insect attack, plus they require vigilant maintenance. In addition, they cost more. Still, wood has that je ne sais quoi - few building materials that can compare with its natural beauty and warmth. For discriminating homeowners, wood remains a top choice.

Wood is a fine insulator, and modern weather-stripping techniques and hardware components make drafty wood windows a thing of the past. Wood accepts paint and stain readily, and its workability makes wood ideal for custom applications. When renovating a historic home and matching the style of older, existing windows, wood is the ideal choice.

Unfortunately, wood doesn't stand up to harsh weather without constant maintenance. You'll need to inspect your wood windows every year for signs of wear and deterioration, and be prepared to repair any cracks or failures in paint and caulk.

If environmental responsibility is important, look for windows made from wood harvested by suppliers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Many major window manufacturers now offer this option.