The argument rages on as to whether UPVC windows or replacement windows are environmentally friendly or not. The process that is required to make PVCs is highly toxic and this in turn leads to toxic by-products. On top of this, the point is made that the biggest problem with regard to UPVC windows is their disposal at the end of their useful life - which seems to range between 10 and 30 years. Some say that PVC is very easy to recycle but others counter by pointing out that in practice very few PVC windows are recycled because of the difficulty in separating the component parts. Neither can it be incinerated because of it's composition.
UPVC windows discolour! Some go yellow and while this is bad enough, others go a sort of pink! There are various reasons put forward for this discolouring problem, but without going into too much unnecessary detail as to the cause, the remedies are few. You can paint the windows, but isn't the lack of need for painting one of the main reasons you wanted UPVC windows in the first place?
Very bad weather or severe extremes of weather can cause cracking, expanding or warping to your double glazing, PVC windows.
PVC windows are not that flexible in design or in execution - this can hamper the creative artist in you when you are designing your rooms!
PVC windows are simply not as pleasant on the eye as traditional windows. Again this is a claim that is hotly disputed by the PVC fan club. In many case the argument is dependent on what type of building are the windows going into. If they are being inserted into a new build, modern structure that allows for the wide, bulkier window frame that PVC windows by necessity provide, then they will look well. However if you are putting them into your turn of the century (19th to the 20th century that is), attractive brick, terraced residence, maybe they won't fit in quite so brilliantly.
Once you have fitted UPVC windows, they cannot be easily taken apart if they are in need of repair. By this we do not mean simply changing a pane of glass, rather more structural repairs. This can make them more expensive to maintain, as against a traditional window, which a regular carpenter or handyman will have a go at.
So there you go - food for thought if you are thinking about dumping those timber windows on the woodpile and investing in some shiny, spanking new PVC ones.