Our customers often have questions regarding types of wood, and regularly ask us ‘should I choose hardwood or softwood sash windows’? The short answer is that it comes down to personal preference – both types of wood have their plus points and will make durable, hardy and very beautiful windows.
In general, we use kiln dried redwood when we make our windows. This is a softwood that is easy to work with and that we have found to be a durable, long-lasting material. That’s not to say we can’t use other materials and you can decide on the material that is right for your property when you are having new sash or casement windows made.
Softwood vs hardwood windows – which option should I choose?
When you are deciding between hardwood and softwood windows, essentially the choice is yours. However, we would generally recommend softwood windows for the following reasons:
- Softwood is an easier material to work with when crafting windows and doors. This is very important when making sash windows in particular, where designs can be intricate, especially if period features are being restored or imitated.
- Softwood is more environmentally friendly. Softwood trees take less time to grow and, due to being less dense, the wood will dry out more quickly. This means that less energy is required to transport and process softwood, and the trees can be regrown much more quickly. It’s by far the most sustainable option.
- Softwood tends to be cheaper. Again, the fact that hardwood takes longer to grow, cut and process also makes it more expensive. Softwood will be a lower-cost option for your windows.
Some people do still choose to have hardwood windows – these are some of the reasons why:
- The new windows are being matched to existing hardwood frames. If you aren’t changing the windows in the whole of the property, you will want to match new windows to the ones that are already there.
- Some people prefer the appearance of the woodgrain. However, woodgrain tends to be less important for sash windows, as the wood is usually painted.
- Hardwood is durable and fire resistant – you can expect it to last for many years as the density is higher. This is why hardwood is usually used for floorboards and decking, and is a popular option for cladding and furniture.
Softwood: this comes from evergreen trees that are usually coniferous and have needles and cones. The wood itself is much less dense than hardwood, coming from fast-growing trees.
Some of the most popular types of softwood are:
- Douglas fir
Hardwood: this type of wood comes from deciduous trees and broadleaf evergreen trees that flower. The trees are slow growing and the wood has a dense structure.
Whilst softwood is generally softer and easier to work with when manufacturing windows, this isn’t always the case. Yew is hard for a softwood, and balsa is soft for a hardwood. It can be difficult to understand the properties of different types of wood and choose the one that will be best. If you would like any help, we regularly advise our customers on the best kinds of wood for their windows. Please just ask – call 020 3930 1457 or email .
Redwood windows – our most popular option
Our timber of choice is redwood, specifically Scandinavian kiln-dried redwood.
We choose to use redwood that has been kiln dried because this process will reduce the moisture content to make sure the wood is not going to warp. Kiln drying is faster than letting the wood dry out naturally, and it means that moisture removal can be fully controlled.
Bespoke hardwood or softwood sash windows – the choice is yours!
We make all sash windows by hand in our very own Wandsworth Sash Windows workshop. We use Scandinavian kiln-dried redwood as standard, but we can use any type of timber you like, as every element of your new windows will be made by hand, by our skilled carpenters.
If you would like any help or advice when choosing the most suitable timber for your new sash or casement windows, we are more than happy to help. We can talk you through the options and make sure you choose the right timber for your property. If you have existing windows and would like us to match your new windows to them, or you would like a new sash for an existing box frame, then we can also offer our expertise.
We make all windows and doors ourselves in our workshop and you are welcome to come and see your products being manufactured in the timber of your choice.
Please get in touch to discuss your sash windows, casement windows, and the best types of wood for you. Call 020 3582 762, email "> or fill in our contact form and we will get back to you ASAP.