All about wood windows

Many people ask the question about the best new wooden windows for both modern and rustic homes. Despite your purpose, we at AK Windows are ready to assist you.

In any house, there are a few basic elements like walls, doors, and windows. Windows are an integral part of the architecture, since they are what lets air in, allows sunlight inside, and keeps cold air outside in winter. And if you were wise in selecting the windows’ style, they also make your home look much nicer.

One of the first things to think about is insulation. Have you felt chilly this winter? Perhaps the blame is on your windows, and you should consider finding a model with better insulation so that cold air cannot pass inside. This is one of the most common reasons to install new windows in a house or apartment. 

Windows can be made of many different materials, and you may have a hard time choosing what you want them to be made of. We recommend wood because this is a durable, strong material that is also a good insulator. Wood can be cut or turned into almost any shape, and if you take care of it, then it will literally last forever. However, you will still have a problem with choosing the right windows, because there are so many models and brands.

However, you can save yourself much of the trouble if you study the info we provided below. We have put together a shortlist of types andcore parts which can help you find the best ones for the money:


In the United States, this is so far the most common option. It is also the most basic.

  • Sash. This part of the window is a mobile or static frame that holds the glass
  • Jambs. The top and side parts of the frame
  • Glazing. This is the pane of glass in the window
  • Sash Lock. A mechanical lock that locks the top and bottom sashes
  • Casing. This kind has a trim that stands between the framing and the jams
  • Sill. The lower part of the window, which is usually set at an angle to shed off rainwater
  • Muntins. Thin strips of material between panes of glass.

Wood Windows: Basics


A wooden window will last literally forever, provided you take good care of it. Glazing will stay around for up to 20 years.

Is it possible to mount windows yourself?

A full-frame window should be mounted by a professional but any maintenance or lock replacement can be easily done by anyone.

How much energy will be saved?

Windows will be able to save from 7 to 24 percent of all your energy expenses. The same is true for cooling if you live in a very hot climate. The windows will be able to save you money for air conditioning.

What problems can appear?

Windows can have many different problems and that is why it is important to recognize them and buy replacements for compromised parts. The following problems commonly appear on wooden windows.

Rotting wood

In a wet climate the fungus may attack the wood, especially if it has not been treated by fungicides or paint. Small pockets with rotten wood can be removed and repaired, however, if the rot is extensive, it is way better to replace the whole frame.

Fogged Glass

The glass may become foggy for a variety of reasons, however, the most common one is glazing degradation. In that case, water may collect between the glass panes and block the view. This also spoils energy efficiency. In this case, it is best to replace the whole window.

Difficult to open

A window with sashes may become squeaky or hard to open, and this is usually easy to fix, however, some models from the 50s, 60s, and 70s may be beyond saving, and they will have to be replaced.

Not stylish or tired look

A window may only look old and not stylish – a professional may be able to not just restore it but to make it look brand new. An old window from the previous century can be remodeled and repainted so it will look restored and beautiful. Fitting them with water and air-tight protection will make them even more efficient.

wood windows

Replacement Options

Full Frame

The old window is totally removed from its nest, and a new one is inserted in its stead.

The pros of this operation are the best energy efficiency. If you can open the wall up, then you can upgrade the insulation and make sure there are no cracks.

The only con is the amount of work required to fully remove the old window, the trim, and the siding around it so mighty be a bit costly comaping to orher options.

Frame-and-Sash Insert

In this case, the original sill is kept, and only the frame with sashes is inserted.

The pros are ease of installation and the fact that it can be all done from the inside.

The cons are the price and the reduction of window opening size.

Sashes Only

This is the easiest option, where only the sashes are replaced.

The pros are the price and the fact that the window size is not affected. All the work can be done from the inside.

The cons – all the measurements must be very true, otherwise, the sashes will not fit. The frame you have must be sturdy and all the angles must be right.

Terms you have to know

Windows are rated by the amount of insulation they offer. A computer is used to figure out, how much of the heat the window will leak. This is done by the NFRC council.

  1. Energy Star. This is a criterion for window performance, which is used over the whole USA.
  2. U-Factor. This factor decides how good a window is at stopping heat leaks. The factor is measured as a number between 0.1 and 0.2. The smaller this factor is, the better the window is at stopping the heat.
  3. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). This is a scale for glazing, and it is measured as a number between 0 and 1. The smaller this number is, the better the glass is at stopping solar rays. If you live in a hot place, then go for a window with an SHGC of below 0.4
  4. Visible Transmittance (VT): This is a factor that shows how much of the visible spectrum is allowed through the window. A glass pane with a VT of 0.6 does not reduce light very much. Panes with a VT of below 0.6 will slightly darken the space inside, but will also reduce glare.
There are other labels, like Airtight and Condensation resistant, and you should consider these too when looking for a window.
wood windows


Cost: Off the Shelf


This is the best option for people with a small budget or for newly constructed buildings, where the window can be selected to fit the opening just right.

This can be bought in many styles but most of the models are plain double windows.

The windows are most often featured with simple metal cranks, double panes with not very good insulation, and unprimed wood. 

Cost: Made-to-Order


This is the best choice for people who want big windows with personalized designs. The catalogs have lots of different styles, and you can choose the type of crank and finish on this one. There are lots of different muntins available, and you can even add glazing that will save energy.

The panes can be triple, all with glazing, and the wood is pine in most cases. However, many models can have other types of wood, like alder and firs.

Cost: Custom


This is the best option for one who has lots of money to spend and wants to make a fully original style. This also is a great option to replicate historically accurate windows.

The styles for this one are very varied, and you can literally select any style you want. Multiple crank styles and different kinds of glazing are also available. Different sorts of wood, including exotic hardwoods, are also available, and you can get a window with any kind of wooden frame.

However, such a window will take at least six weeks to build and will be the most expensive option.

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    About Glazing

    Attention must be paid to glazing since today there are kinds of glazing that can make even single pane glass a very good insulator. Double and triple-pane glass can be very efficient, and also, this glass will never fog up. It is also much easier to wash.


    This glass is very efficient at keeping heat inside, and it can be made even more efficient by adding a layer of inert gas between the layers. Also, heat-reflecting glazing can be added.


    This glass is the best insulator, but it will make light dimmer and add a lot to the price.


    This coating will prevent any dirt from sticking to the window on the outside. The inner surface will still have to be cleaned manually.


    This glass has a layer of hard polymer between the panes. It is very hard to break, and it also helps reduce sound. This window is the best for withstanding hurricane damage.

    Muntin Choices

    True Divided Light

    This is a very robust and reliable type of window, but it is, unfortunately, a good heat conductor, and that makes it inefficient. A separate pane of glass fixed to the outside will make it more effective at resisting the cold.

    Simulated Divided Light

    In this case, the muntins are stuck to both the inside and outside surfaces of the pane. The pane is double layered making it much more insulating.

    Grille in Glass

    Between the panes, you will find a sturdy aluminum grid which works for improving the window’s sturdiness. However, it also conducts heat making the window worse at insulating. Cleaning these windows is pretty easy, and the color of the grid can be selected.

    Removable Grille

    The inside surface of the window is covered by a wooden grille. This wooden structure is held on by metal or polymer parts which clip to the sash. This makes the grid easy to take off for cleaning or repair. 

    wood windows

    What are clad windows?

    The best and most common way to make sure a window stays up for a while is to paint the wood. This is the best way to protect it from water and fungus. The outside can be clad with a variety of substances, including metals and different plastics. This cladding makes it unnecessary to take an extensive care of the wood as it is already protected well.

    Alternatives to Wood: Aluminum

    Replacing wood with this metal makes the structure more durable, and it does not need to be maintained at all. However, aluminum is a very good heat conductor, which makes it worse for energy efficiency.

    Alternatives to Wood: Vinyl

    This is the cheapest option. It does not need any maintenance and protection but you will only be able to buy it in white and light grey colors as dark-colored vinyl will absorb heat and break. However, a lot of manufacturers now offer a variety of colors by applying paint on top of vinyl. This material is also a good insulator. In very cold temperatures vinyl becomes very brittle and prone to cracking.

    Alternatives to Wood: Fiberglass

    This material remains sturdy in cold weather. It is a much better material for frame construction, surpassing even wood in this matter. You can buy it in all colors, and it is possible to paint over it if it loses color.

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