New Custom Home: New or Wood? How long does paint last on wood?

Lori BDecember 23, 2009

I am having such a difficult time deciding on wood or wood-clad windows. We are most likely considering the Marvin product line either way. I am getting such conflicting answers on how long the paint will last on the wood windows. The window rep tells me every 2-3 years the wood windows will need to be painted. Is this correct?? Yet the builder says it is much longer.

We fear that we will be married to a color with the metal clad forever. Yet, we are not the type to want to paint every 2-3 years.

We are building a Spanish style home in Fort Worth, Texas. We are considering a sage green color for the windows with a yellowish-cream color of stucco (along with a tile roof). The main drawback for us with the wood-clad is being stuck with the sage green color forever, and what if it goes out of style in 10-15 years.

Any experience with wood windows in a similiar climate would help us. Our neighborhood does offer some shade. Our house will face north, and the sides of the house will not receive tons of direct sunlight.

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Windows on Washington Ltd

I think the Marvin rep is preparing for the rest and the truth probably lies somewhere between the two.

Have you considered the Integrity line from Marvin (Fiberglass) with their wood interior. You can keep the functionality of changing color, however, the paint will hold up better on the fiberglass window and the fiberglass window will probably last forever.

What type of tile roof were you considering?

Feel free to look me up for more information.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 9:27AM
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Lori B

Thanks for the response. I did look into the Integrity line. The Marvin rep did mention that the paint will bond to the fiberglass, but again he couldn't tell me the approx life of painting the Integrity line. That made me uncomfortable. In addition, the Integrity line does not offer brick mould, which we may want on the front of the house in particular.

For the roof, we are probably looking at Monier Life Tile, Tejas España. We have seen some houses where they mix different colors, so we have mostly dark orange, but then some light orange and even some green dappled through there. That's the look we like best.

My question with the windows is still how long the paint is expected to last (either wood or fiberglass). It's so odd how the responses from the Marvin rep to the painter are so vastly different!

I may contact some of our builder's references and ask them how their wood windows are holding up. (Since that's what our builder normally installs).

Thanks so much for your feedback and thoughts.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 10:35AM
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this is what oi would recommend, prime again after filling any nail holes with a QUALITY OIL PRIMER, Benjamin Moore, Pittsburg, Sherman Williams etc(no box or store brands)then top coat with 2 coats of a QUALITY LATEX top coat and i see no reason you will not get 12-15 years from the paint. The key is quality paint and plenty of it.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 1:10PM
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Select the metal clad wood window product for long lasting durability. The metal can always be repainted in the future (just like the fiberglass or wood). In CO, we can expect a quality exterior paint finish on wood to remain protective for approximately 2-8 years, depending on sun exposure. However, the sun exposure aspects are more intense at our mountain elevations than in TX.

Another very important consideration in the clad-wood vs. all-wood window discussion is the additional structural integrity offered in a properly designed clad-wood window. The extruded aluminum acts as a component to adding strength to the wood joints (particularly in the sash construction). Marvin is a very well designed product when the proper use of cladding is considered, as is Eagle and Kolbe.

Fiberglass window construction shouldn't even be considered, unless the discussion is in regards to energy efficiency; Plastics and fiberglass conduct much less, but are also not as durable as metals. Additionally, metals will paint just as easily as fiberglass or wood. Your concern about being stuck with a paint color, when choosing clad-wood windows, is unfounded. The only disadvantage to field-painting clad-wood windows is that the paint will degrade in the same time frame as painting an all-wood window, so you would lose the "low-maintenance" benefit of the clad-wood window after you have decided to change the color in the future.

Consider the added structural integrity offered by some clad-wood windows, and the fact that the all-wood windows are likely the same price as the clad-wood. If there is a difference in price, think of the cost savings each time you don't have to paint your clad-wood windows, until that time comes when you decide to change the color. Select the clad-wood windows, if repainting is your only concern.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2010 at 4:59PM
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Lori B

Thanks for the feedback. Getting confirmation that aluminum clad can be painted helped. It's not that we want to paint them, we were just hesitant to be stuck with the color forever, if it became out of style.

I am firmly decided to go with clad now. I was finally able to see a house with the sage green Marvin clad color that we were considering. It looked really great! Color choices was a major decision in the clad or wood choice for us.

Today, I met with an Eagle rep. They offer a lot more colors, and I like their two-tone and three-tone options available at the same price. I'm waiting for the quote from Eagle beforing making my final decision on brand. Eagle definetely has more color choices, but since I'm happy with a Marvin color, that won't be a major factor.

After a lot of driving around looking at houses, we also decided that paying for the brick mould option (at least for the front windows) is worth it for us. They give the houses a more vintage/classic look.

I noticed that my original posting had a typo in the subject posting...sorry! It should have been, "New Custom Home: Clad-Wood or Wood? How long does paint last on wood?"

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 12:27AM
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