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Life in Plastic? Not so Fantastic! The Debate Surrounding Timber vs uPVC Windows

In honour of the release of the new Barbie movie, we caught up with one of our most esteemed clients, Barbara Millicent Roberts to discuss her recent experience working with the Blue Willow Heritage Team. Here’s what she had to say…

Project Dreamhouse

Hello, darlings! It's me, Barbie, and today I'm going to share a fabulous adventure I recently embarked upon: replacing my trusty uPVC windows with gorgeous timber alternatives. Join me as I walk you through the process, from start to finish, of transforming my dream house into a warm and inviting oasis. So, grab your tool belt and let's get started!

As a fashion-forward icon, I understand the importance of reinvention. While my uPVC windows have served me well over the years, Ken and I recently came to the realisation that life in plastic is not all that fantastic, and that we yearn for a touch of natural beauty as well as the warmth that timber windows can provide. It was time to embrace change and embark on an exciting renovation journey!

Research and Planning:

Before diving into any project, it is important to undertake proper research. Ken and I looked online, visited showrooms, and browsed design magazines to gather inspiration. We knew that it was important to consider all the factors, including styles, colours and finishes to ensure that the new timber windows would align with the overall aesthetics of The Dreamhouse.

Following initial research, we sought the advice of the team at Blue Willow Heritage, who visited our home last June. With over 10 rooms as well as a substantial garage, all of which were complete with uPVC windows, The Dreamhouse presented quite the challenge for the Blue Willow Team – oops! However, with their extensive experience of assisting with applications relating to window replacement, the team knew that they were well placed to help Ken and I with our proposal, and more importantly, were confident that they could successfully secure planning permission for us.

barbie dream house with slide

Why change?

When Blue Willow asked what drew me to uPVC windows initially, I gave them a response that is apparently heard often within the planning world – ‘I was told that they would be a cheap and easy option’. Now, in some respects, I was not wrong. According to Blue Willow, uPVC windows have, in recent years, become a popular choice amongst homeowners who are looking to replace their original windows with a low-cost, low-maintenance alternative. Some of the benefits of uPVC windows include:

1. Visual appeal: Visually, uPVC windows are considered to provide a more contemporary look, and have certainly advanced over the years, now being available in a range of unique styles.

2. Strength: Generally, uPVC windows are considered to be more robust than timber windows as they are non-corrosive and immune to fading by sun exposure. The average lifespan of uPVC is between 10 and 35 years depending on upkeep.

3. Efficiency: uPVC windows are considered to be more thermally efficient.

4. Cost: uPVC windows are significantly cheaper to install than timber windows. Statistics confirm that traditional timber windows cost between 35% and 50% more than their uPVC counterparts.

However, Blue Willow also informed me that studies show that uPVC windows don’t always last as long as timber windows, and it’s safe to say they certainly aren’t as good for protecting our beautiful planet. Some of the other benefits of traditional, timber windows include:

1. Visual appeal: Timber windows are aesthetically pleasing. Although uPVC windows come in a variety of colours and designs, compared to wooden windows, they lack character and the ability to be customised.

2. Insulation: Contrary to popular belief, timber windows are naturally very insulating and are available in a range of energy-efficient models with double-glazed panes.

3. Lifespan: If treated and properly maintained, timber windows may last far longer than their uPVC counterparts.

barbie pointing at her dreamhouse

Securing Permission

Having weighed up the benefits and drawbacks of each option and discussed the requirements and conditions of my home with Blue Willow, Ken and I decided that prioritising the natural beauty of timber windows was still the right decision for us. So, Blue Willow began working their magic to prepare a robust, Heritage Impact Assessment for the proposed works; this was to be submitted to the local authority for scrutinisation alongside plans and other necessary documentation All works had to be completed in accordance with the National Barbie Land Planning Policy Framework (NBPPF).

It will come as no surprise to hear that our application was approved! As the timber windows were installed, I marvelled at their beauty. The warmth and elegance they added to The Dreamhouse was beyond my expectations. The rich textures and organic feel of the timber perfectly complemented the interior decor, creating a cosy, and inviting atmosphere. Timber windows do require more maintenance, but the effort is so worth it. Regular inspections, cleaning, and treating the timber with protective finishes will keep them looking pristine for years to come. Besides, maintaining my dream house is a labour of love.

logo for the national barbie land planning policy framework

Lasting Thoughts

Darlings, the transformation from uPVC to timber windows has been an absolute delight. My dream house now radiates a natural charm and warmth that perfectly reflects my style. Choosing timber allowed me to combine sustainability with timeless elegance, and I couldn't be happier with the results. So, if you're ready to make a change and infuse your home with natural beauty, consider the journey from uPVC to timber windows. Trust me, it's a decision you won't regret.

Remember, dreams can become reality with a little determination and a touch of style. Until next time, stay fabulous!


barbie's iconic pink signature


*Disclaimer: As I’m sure you will have realised by now; this blog post is entirely fictional and just for fun. We are not Barbie girls, and unfortunately, we do not live in a Barbie world.

If, however, you find yourself looking to bring a bit of Barbie magic to your home, then get in touch with her trusted team at Blue Willow Heritage!

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