Speaking on their decision to use Accoya for the project, creative director Tom Jones-Marquez said:
Being able to stand by our work is key for us and the stability and durability of Accoya allows us to do this more so, than with any other timber”.
Thank you for investing in Accoya wooden windows for your home. We know you want your windows to continue to look their best, and just a little bit of proper care and maintenance will help keep them looking even better for longer.
With regular inspection and care, you’ll enjoy a beautiful finish for decades to come.
Inspect your joinery regularly. Any damage in the paint should be addressed immediately to prevent moisture ingress and water entrapment under the coating. Like most things, wooden joinery can greatly benefit from regular inspection, care and maintenance – just like an annual service on a boiler or car. We strongly recommend annual inspection, cleaning of the frames and maintenance.
Please speak to your coatings supplier about supporting documentation such as care and full maintenance recommendations.
This video is based on best practice techniques and will help you keep your windows looking their best for even longer.
When it comes to uPVC vs wooden windows, this is not the first article written, nor will it be the last… But given most of us will have to replace a window or two in our lifetime, it’s important one can understand the important facts to ensure you can make best decision on what is a not insignificant expense… This article aims to highlight the pros and cons of both materials and weigh up what makes most sense. Enjoy!
The late 1980s saw the popularisation of uPVC window frames due to the perceived benefits of this modern material. Unlike conventional plastic, uPVC was more rigid, less bendable, and crucially quite stable, especially when compared to organic materials like wood. Coupled with the introduction of double glazing, uPVC windows seemed to represent a modern, high quality and low maintenance choice vs. the traditional and often expensive wooden window option.
uPVC is short for Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride and it is manufactured by running sodium chloride through electrolysis, producing chlorine gas. Natural gas or petroleum is then used for making ethylene, which puts together ethylene, chlorine, and liquid vinyl chlorine.
We have already referenced some of the properties of uPVC that made it seem such a compelling material for application in window frames and even doors when launched in the 1980s:
Cheap: There is not getting away from the fact that uPVC window frames are possible to mass produce and therefore drive down the cost of manufacturing. Compared with bespoke timber framed windows uPVC can seem like a significant cost saving, although it is necessary to look at the full life cost – something we will refer to again later in the article.
Low maintenance: uPVC was introduced into the market as a wonder product that required little to no maintenance, which is an attractive proposition when faced with the alternative of timber windows, particularly with the paintwork which is prone to flake off over time. uPVC window frames do have their own issues however which are important to reference here.
Durability: One of the key selling points of uPVC window frames is claimed durability – probably the most important factor when deciding what type of window frames you go with. Compared to soft wood timber frames uPVC undoubtedly has a clear advantage here, but as we know different types of wood have different properties and we must be careful not to lump them all together. What is the best way of establishing how durable a product really is? Well, looking to see what the manufacturer warranty or guarantee offered is a good place to start. You will struggle to find a uPVC window maker that offer a warranty of more than 10 years on the uPVC elements of the window. There are plenty examples of uPVC windows that have lasted longer than 10 years, but it gives you an insight into how long they expect their product to last. By contrast, the best performing wood brands such as Accoya wood have been offering warranties of up to 50 years on their product.
This is always going to be a subjective point, but this article would be incomplete if we didn’t mention it. It needs to be said that uPVC window frames do look a bit….plastic. There is reason why conservation areas across the UK often do not allow uPVC frames, and it’s because of how they look. Where you have Victorian, Edwardian or other period housing stock, uPVC does tend to look out of place. There have been attempts in recent years with innovation to make uPVC look more like wood, but it’s proven very hard to achieve the natural biophilic look and feel that is achieved with real wood.
It’s easy to be dismissive of uPVC window frames. They have only moderate durability, discolour to an unsavoury patchy yellow colour, and don’t always look the part, but on the other hand they do represent good value for money, especially if you’re only looking to live in the home for approximately 10 years. Having to replace your windows twice starts to become quite expensive, so you really need to decide how long you’re planning to stick around… Bear in mind that having windows that are in a good state of repair can materially affect your house price, so it might not be someone else’s problem after all…
Whilst it was the Romans that pioneered the use of glass for windows, wood has long been the preferred choice of material for window frames. The size of one’s window through history has often represented wealth and class, and as window making techniques evolved, so the size of windows has increased. In the seventeenth century the fashion became to have taller, rather than wide windows, and to facilitate this they were often divided into four. In the same century the sash window was invented with the top sash fixed and the bottom sash sliding upwards.
In term of the species of wood used, oak and pine were the two most common, with oak offering better durability than the softwood pine.
Wood is a natural product which affords both positive and negative attributes. Below is list of considerations to be made aware of before selecting timber window frames:
The very thing that makes wood so good to look at and to touch, is also part of its inherent limitation as a building material… Wood is a natural, organic material which over time and subject to certain conditions like rain will decay or rot. However, whereas all uPVC broadly has the same properties and performance, wood covers a huge spectrum of performance from the cheapest low performance softwood, all the way through more robust hardwoods, and to the pinnacle of high performance and durability – acetylated wood, otherwise known as Accoya. Like we discussed on uPVC, you really need to determine how long you expect to be living in your house… Cheaper softwood window frames might last 7-10 years, slightly worse than uPVC, whereas a hardwood window frame (such as iroko, sapele, or even oak) could be expected to last anywhere from 10-30 years. This would depend on the exposure of the window (to sun and rain), the climate, or even the quality of the wood, which can vary batch to batch. For the belt and braces approach, an Accoya window frame is warranted for 50 years, with an expected service life from between 77-90 years, according to a recent study by the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.
Replacing a window is an expensive exercise however when you look at it replacing the same window twice in a lifetime is not just doubly expensive, but also unnecessary. If you pick the right material, you can have the confidence that the window will be doing its job long after you’ve gone… Never has the adage ‘you get what you pay for’ been more true when applied to buying window frames, so make sure you spend the time to research what you need. Go and speak to your local joiner about what they would recommend, and don’t rush into buying a uPVC window just because it looks a bit cheaper – it’s probably a false economy…
The Accoya Project Collection provides an extensive look at some of the most inspirational uses of Accoya from around the Globe. From the stunning architectural design of Barangaroo House in Sydney, Australia to the glorious Banff Observation Deck in Canada.
You’ll find a range of projects showcasing the use of Accoya in Cladding, Decking and Windows & Doors.
Searching for external wooden joinery that’s less likely to warp, looks great and is kind to the environment? Read on!
If you’ve fallen for beautiful timber doors and windows and are determined to add them to your home, we don’t blame you; their timeless elegance will undoubtedly increase your property’s kerb appeal. But before you jump in and start choosing your windows and doors, it’s important to consider the durability, thermal performance and maintenance requirements of your chosen timber designs.
How do you source a timber that looks superb, but requires less maintenance than traditional species and will hardly move or warp? Read on and discover Accoya wood – an innovative product that’s a game-changer for external windows and doors.
It goes without saying that you want doors and windows that will stay in good condition for years, but how can you guarantee the timber you choose will hardly shrink, warp, or move? Step forward Accoya wood, a modified wood product that uses a non-toxic process to create a product that rivals the performance of the best hardwoods.
Not only can Accoya wood withstand the test of any climate, including the most extreme, it brings unprecedented reliability as it’s more stable than other timbers; it is checked and trusted not to move significantly as a result of changes in humidity.
Bonus tip: With Accoya wood’s 50-year warranty on above-ground timber (surpassing teak), you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your forever home will look good for decades.
Original single pane sash windows are notoriously rattly and draughty due to shrunken or swollen frames, and are inefficient at retaining your homes’ heat. ‘But they look so elegant,’ we hear you shout.
Well, don’t fret as Accoya wood’s naturally insulating frames help to lock in the warmth, ensuring your home stays cosy and your energy bills stay low.
Bonus tip: If you’re worried about excessive solar gain, consider fitting wooden shutters or louvres to shade the area. Accoya wood’s shutters and louvres are a good option to pair with Accoya windows, as they’re low maintenance so will retain their looks for longer.
Whether you’re going for traditional wooden sash windows frames, bay windows or architectural glazing, the aesthetic appeal of your frames is a key consideration. Accoya wood is easy to work with, so it’s ideal for both period or contemporary joinery, while bespoke sizes and designs offer plenty of creativity, allowing you to have a truly unique look.
Accoya wood’s style benefits don’t stop there. Its naturally light colour affords a wide range of translucent colour options, from light oak to the darkest ebony. The stability of Accoya wood means that black paints can be used with confidence on external applications.
Most of us want to make environmentally friendly choices wherever we can, and by opting for Accoya wood you’ll be doing just that. Its outstanding sustainability credentials start with the sourcing of the raw material that comes from fast-growing sustainable forests, which in turn help combat carbon emissions.
What’s more, Accoya wood is recyclable, so you won’t have to contribute to landfill or any other form of environmental damage. On top of this, Accoya Wood is non-toxic and won’t emit synthetic compounds or chemicals, making it safe and healthy for people, pets and the environment.
To discover more about Accoya, visit their Houzz profile here.
This story was written by the Houzz Sponsored Content team.
Windows are one of the most important features of a house, adding character to any property. Not only are they functional, but they can also further the cosmetic appeal of any property, modern or period, with almost infinite options of styles, designs and specifications
The sash window originated in the late 17th Century and is still a popular feature in Georgian and Victorian homes across the U.K. Despite the changing fashions of glazing configurations and component sizes, the original designs have pretty much remained unchanged. However, timber windows still have their problems.
Keeping up with the maintenance of a typical wooden sash has always been an unloved chore for the homeowner. Generally, with good all round upkeep, sash windows will certainly last for generations but unfortunately, some homeowners cannot afford the expense or time to maintain and re-coat frequently. Some just don’t want the hassle.
Not maintaining or keeping up with a regular redecoration program when required encourages traditional wood to rot. Furthermore, the shrinking and swelling of regular wood are also factors that reduce the lifespan of windows. Therefore when choosing windows, the choice of material is as important as the style. Typically, oak, idigbo, utile iroko, sapele and pine have been the mainstays of the window industry for century’s but things are changing.
Since the introduction of Accoya wood just over 12 years ago, there has been a huge transition away from tropical wood, not just for ethics but also for its outstanding and unsurpassable performance.
All Accoya is sourced from managed and replenished forestry winning awards all around the world for its environmental credentials.
Thanks to Accoya’s unparalleled stability, Accoya windows and doors open effortlessly all year round and will continue to do so for decades to come. This lack of movement not only enhances performance but also significantly prolongs the life of coatings, enabling Accoya windows to remain looking pristine for many, many years.
Accoya is a far better natural insulator than any other wood thereby keeping homes cosy and energy costs down. Vastly reduced maintenance costs combined with sustainability makes Accoya windows a solid long-term investment at little cost to the environment.
Accoya windows and doors are sold through small to medium sized joinery manufacturers around the UK and Ireland. Many hundreds of joinery companies now use Accoya and have been approved by us for their outstanding service and quality.
From any of these approved joinery companies it possible to source numerous window and door applications including bi-fold doors, sliding doors, french doors, sliding sash windows, conservatories, orangeries, casement windows, front doors plus much, much more.
Many of these companies are listed in our Where To Buy section on our website.
Simply type in your location, choose the application and select either national companies or ones local to you.
We hope you enjoy your new Accoya windows!
If you want to make your house ‘winter ready’, an important step is to invest in a well insulated, beautiful front door.
This may not apply to new-build homes, given the stricter requirements for more energy-efficient construction of new homes, but this story does apply to existing homes.
You could choose to use special insulation materials and draft excluders, but even then you will be surprised how much heat can be lost from around the edges. That is why, in some cases, installing a new front door is a wise choice.
And you don’t need to compromise on material either. A stunning front door that doesn’t swell or jam is possible with Accoya and worth the investment.
Accoya replaces Iroko door
Shutters for renovation
Old Rectory replacement
Devon, United Kingdom
If asked what they consider to be the best timber for external wood doors and windows, the majority of British homeowners would possibly say oak. The much-loved native British tree is well-known for creating a hard, sturdy and long-lasting timber. And when freshly machined and coated, there is certainly no doubt that it is a really beautiful wood.
For centuries, oak has been used as a building material and there are countless old buildings across the UK where interior oak beams have survived hundreds of years. However, despite all of this, oak is not actually the best material to use for external windows and doors, or any other outside joinery.
Although solid oak has a very good rot resistance, it is notorious for movement and it can be very difficult to maintain that beautiful golden colour over time. Tannins within the timber cause discolouration, and movement within the wood means that it needs re-sealing and coating frequently.
So many homeowners ask if there is a timber that looks as good as oak and doesn’t need as much maintenance when used for external windows and doors? Yes there is and it’s called Accoya.
Accoya is a modified wood product, which uses a non-toxic formula to create a product which rivals the performance of the best hardwoods, while being highly sustainable and ethically sourced at the same time.
One of many the advantages of Accoya is that it is much less prone to shrinking and swelling with changes in humidity than other types of wood, and therefore doesn’t suffer from the movement issues of oak.
And because it is a much more stable timber, it requires far less maintenance than other timbers and does not need to be re-coated as often.
Though Accoya is naturally a lighter colour than oak and has a different grain pattern it can be stained to match the colour of oak such that from any distance it is hard to tell the difference.
An additional benefit of Accoya is that it has significantly better insulation properties than oak, so using Accoya means much warmer rooms, with lower heating bills as well.
On top of all this, Accoya will actually last much longer than oak windows and doors. The results of standard long term tests on the rot resistance of different types of wood show that Accoya outlasts oak and other popular timbers for outdoor use as well.
So, if you want long lasting high performance windows and doors that have the appearance of oak without its problems, then Accoya is undoubtedly the best solution for homeowners.
Click here to find your nearest Accoya supplier.
All photos included are of Accoya wood from Reddish Joinery
Restoration of Minnesota State Capitol
Minnesota, United States of America
London, United Kingdom
Teeside, United Kingdom
US German Embassy
Washington DC, United States of America
Designed and manufactured by Bath Bespoke, Accoya was selected for the windows and French windows and doors throughout this stunning country home on the outskirts of Bath.
All the windows and doors were completely bespoke and crafted using traditional methods by the team at Bath Bespoke. Working closely with their clients and their selected architects, Bath Bespoke combined a mixture of styles – some sleek, contemporary elements and some period style mouldings to complement the exposed stone throughout the property.
Accoya was chosen as the ideal wood for the project thanks to its seamless quality finish and its ability not to shrink or swell during seasonal weather changes, meaning Accoya doors and windows open and close effortlessly all year round.
Speaking on their decision to use Accoya for the project, creative director Tom Jones-Marquez said:
Being able to stand by our work is key for us and the stability and durability of Accoya allows us to do this more so, than with any other timber”.
As a journalist who can spot a snake-oil salesman at a thousand paces, not least because the people who peddle the too-good-to-be-true tend to be slithery, it’s very rare for me to come across a so-called wonder product that lives up to its claims.
And it’s even rarer when such a product has the potential to dramatically reduce the amount of plastic that’s choking our seas, clogging our landfill, and ruining the planet.
But it would be pious and disingenuous of me to pretend I discovered the product because I was setting out to save the Earth.
No, all I wanted to do was replace two wooden windows to keep my wife quiet.
They’d been rotting away gently when I first bought the house 32 years ago, and I’ve been fending off almost weekly attempts by every double-glazing salesman in the universe to persuade me to replace them.
The problem has been what to replace them with. I loathe uPVC windows with a vengeance. I would rather die than have them in my home, modest little house though it is.
Not only are uPVC windows unforgivably ugly, but they have ruined just about every streetscape in most parts of the UK.
The people who designed the original windows for the houses around here, whether they were Victorian, Edwardian or Thirties’ semis, knew what they were doing.
The windows were wooden, and they were always simply but beautifully proportioned. Whether a window opened or not, the frames appeared to be the same width, something that any half-decent joiner could achieve with his eyes shut.
And yet, when the uPVC revolution swept in, the sense of proportion was swept away and the frames of windows that opened became twice as wide.
That resulted in the window panes being different sizes instead of uniform, a triumph of function over design that has ruined the character of swathes of our urban streetscapes.
Few if any uPVC window makers appreciate that and would either have the skills or take the trouble to make their creations optically appealing, so I knew my windows would have to be wooden.
Apart from people who are forced by the authorities to have wooden windows because they live in listed buildings or within conservation areas, those of us who want wooden windows for their own sake are sometimes seen as a tiny and eccentric minority.
Why, ask the uPVC brigade, would you want wooden windows that will warp and stick and rot, when you could have plastic windows that will last for 30 years and never need any maintenance?
The answer is that wooden windows, if properly made, do not have to warp and stick or rot, whereas uPVC windows look ugly from Day One and will become progressively uglier for the next 30 years as they discolour and degenerate in defiance of the salesmen’s long-ago claims.
Look at any reputable joiner’s website and you’ll see that wooden windows have moved on a great deal in recent years, with state-of-the-art draught-proofing, rattle-proof sashes, and factory-finished paintwork that will last for years.
But there is wood, and wood. Do you go for the cheapest softwood, an exotic hardwood, or engineered wood, a type of sandwich of woods that’s less likely to warp or twist?
While I was trying to tell the wood from the trees, several of the joiners I asked for quotes offered to make my windows from Accoya at extra cost.
I’d heard of Iroko, Meranti and Sapele, but certainly not Accoya. I fondly imagined that an Accoya was a little tree somewhere, and I wondered whether having my windows made from it would further endanger the species.
Googling my way to the Accoya website, I discovered that it’s not a tree at all, and neither could it ever be endangered.
Accoya, I learned, starts off as fairly ordinary softwood but is transformed by a patented process into a material that won’t warp, twist, split, shrink or expand and, most importantly, is guaranteed not to rot for at least 50 years.
That makes it the perfect material for making windows, doors, soffits and fascias – all products that have been almost universally made from uPVC for decades.
More importantly, for me at least, it means I can have wooden windows with all the elegance of traditional-style sashes and properly-proportioned panes, but with a longevity twice that of most uPVC windows.
They will be as draught-free and trouble-free as a uPVC pretender, but without the clunky, clumsy and downright ugly design that so many millions of householders thought they had to settle for.
I’ve had discussions with uPVC window makers who’ve looked at me in incomprehension and disbelief when I’ve asked why they don’t make their window frames the same width whether they open or not, and I’ve seen literally millions of houses that have been ruined by having such ill-designed monstrosities inflicted upon them.
Accoya could bring about the demise of the uPVC window industry singlehandedly as householders wise up and realise they can have elegance as well as functionality and durability – once, that is, people get to hear of it outside the narrow circles of the joinery industry and the architecture profession.
At the moment, any of us wanting to replace a rotten wooden fascia or soffit board would think twice about using anything other than uPVC, as that’s almost all that’s available, and everyone else seems to use it.
But the same fascia or soffit made of Accoya will last twice as long and look so much better.
If we could go into our local B&Q or Wickes and buy lengths of fascia or soffit in Accoya, we’d be much more likely to use it, whereas if we ask our local builder or guttering specialist, they’ll try to talk us into using uPVC.
It’s the same with windows. If we householders need to replace our windows, just about every result on Google will be for uPVC, almost as if the algorithm assumes that no-one in their right mind would want anything else.
The only way we’re likely to hear about Accoya is if we search for specialist joinery companies that make wooden windows.
They might mention Accoya as an extra-cost option, as might our architect if the project is big enough to merit one, but the purveyors of plastic wouldn’t tell us about Accoya even if they knew.
How many people would continue to buy plastic windows if they knew that the damage to the planet caused by the UPVC manufacturing process is actually greater than the amount of energy the plastic windows will save over the decades?
What if they knew that windows made of Accoya should last at least twice as long as uPVC, and that they wouldn’t warp or stick or rot or have any of the drawbacks that uPVC pushers have been relying on for decades to put people off wooden windows?
Don’t get me on to doors, whatever you do. Millions of front doors that were designed to suit houses perfectly have been replaced with uPVC embarrassments that are completely out of character with the building and seem to be competing in an Ugliness Olympics with the uPVC designers jostling like limbo dancers to achieve new lows in aesthetics.
Yes, uPVC doors can last, allegedly, for 30 years, but if they’re unspeakably unsightly from Day One, why would you want them to?
An Accoya door and frame, in contrast, should last for twice that and won’t suffer from any of the problems that dog traditional wooden doors.
Thanks to the likes of David Attenborough, we’ve only just woken up to the damage that plastic is doing to the sea, the land and our environment – a problem that can only be solved by producing less of it.
Imagine, if you will (and I find this hard to do myself, as I’d rather not think of even one uPVC window at a time, never mind millions), what a dramatic difference it would make to our production and consumption of plastic if we all replaced our worn-out windows with beautiful wooden versions instead of ugly plastic.
If we all chose to have those windows made from exotic hardwoods, it would replace one problem with another by causing deforestation, but by using Accoya instead, we’d be able to cut out the plastic without devastating the rainforests.
Accoya is made from very ordinary softwood which is plentiful, easily grown, and never likely to run out.
The makers, a company called Accsys, take that basic softwood and subject it to a process known as acetylation, which involves changing the chemical composition of the wood so that it no longer absorbs or reacts to moisture.
The result is Accoya, a type of modified wood that has all of the upside of natural wood with none of the downside.
It means doors and windows made of it will open freely all year round, French windows won’t warp or bow, and any paint finish you put on them will last twice as long.
Accoya is chemically inert, meaning it’s non-toxic, and it can be worked with as easily as any other kind of wood.
The joy of it, planet apart, is that house-proud people can finally have wooden windows again that suit the character of their homes, add elegance to the neighbourhood, and will last well beyond half a century.
At 58, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll still be around to see my Accoya sash windows wear out, but I shall at least have died knowing that my little house had the most beautiful windows in the street, that future generations will still be admiring them, and that I’d avoided inflicting decades of ill-designed and indefensible ugliness on the streetscape by choosing plastic windows that squandered the Earth’s resources in the manufacturing process yet had been sold, unbelievably, as an environmentally-friendly product.