Solid Oak Windows Experiences anyone?

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Location: Staffordshire,UK

Solid Oak Windows Experiences anyone?

Post: # 158910Post mew
Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:52 pm

Just bought a lovely old cottage in the village of Maer, Staffordshire. We're in the process of bringing it back to its former glory and want to replace its currentl old and past it oak windows with new double glazed argon filled solid oak windows.

We originally looked at the laminated oak option but found the price tag too hefty and personally I simply prefer the solid oak. My hubby however is concerned on the movement/leaking/airtightness of the solid oak as we will be investing heavily on insulation / dry lining the cottage to get it snug as a bug and he doesnt want the windows to leak air after theyve settled in and gone through a couple of seasons. The chap were looking at uses grade one european oak and is dry kilned.

I was just wondering if anyone has had any oak windows fitted recently and has ever come across a "leaky" (not leaking in water as im sure that wouldnt happen) but the drafty kind or whether the windows have been fine.

Ive had a look on the internet and cant really find much, which to my mind must be a good thing but if I can allay my hubby's concerns from first hand experiences this would be very much appreciated.

Thanks as always


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Re: Solid Oak Windows Experiences anyone?

Post: # 159005Post oldhaus
Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:06 am

Solid Oak will break your back to open. They will be WAY TO HEAVY. (sorry) Oak is great for furniture, but not for windows. Furniture makers live to try making them once, then they stop. Adding glass and glazing to an already heavy oak frame, makes them pretty, but heavy.
Wood windows are made of a stable, small grain white wood. Easy to paint, small grain for less change by moisture. Today they use laminates to eliminate waste.

Good luck, but consider finding used sashes, or ordering some from a millwright, you'll be much happier :)

Joel Huebner
Oldhaus Fibers & Rabbits
Amana, Iowa, USA

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Re: Solid Oak Windows Experiences anyone?

Post: # 159066Post red
Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:43 am

oak is good if you dont have proper lintels...

no personal experience. we went for scots pine windows when we put new in. try the period property forumthough.. useful answers there

and this blokehas some info. not used him though.

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Re: Solid Oak Windows Experiences anyone?

Post: # 159745Post mybarnconversion
Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:19 pm

Personally I'd compromise on a more appropriate sustainable hardwood rather than insisting on oak. I think the durability and likely lifespan is worth the extra cost.

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Re: Solid Oak Windows Experiences anyone?

Post: # 163724Post biffvernon
Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:04 pm

red wrote: this blokehas some info.
Thanks red, I'm 'this bloke:

I'm not touting for trade, but since I make oak windows for a living maybe a few observations might be useful.

Any natural material moves but oak doesn't move much - not as much as the thickness of a strip of draught excluder, so I don't think you need to worry too much. Of course if you really want to live in a Tupperware box...

I never use kiln dried oak for window making. Windows are hung up on the outside of houses and left there when it rains. Kiln drying makes no sense as it's moisture content would rapidly increase to what is compatible with the ambient humidity. I wouldn't even use kiln dried oak for interior joinery as it doesn't do the timber any good at all.

Laminated timber is an engineering solution to certain problems. If you want windows that look like they have been mass-produced in a factory rather than handmade by a craftsman it could be right for you.

Of course oak is heavier that pine or plastic. That's an advantage. The user does not notice this as hinges or sash balances take the strain. It's just a problem for the poor craftsman who lugs the stuff around his workshop. Oak was the material of choice for windows until it became more expensive than imported softwood. It's durability make it a more suitable material. 'White wood' is not durable. That's why folk treat it with poisons.

Compromise on 'a more appropriate sustainable hardwood' compromises the health of orangutans, gorillas and whatever else lived in the tropical rainforest that someone declared could be 'sustainably' felled and signed a document to say so. Don't go there. If you only use English oak you are limiting your contribution to the current mass extinction.

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