Here’s a little secret: all Pella windows are custom windows. From the size and shape to the details of the hardware, every one of your choices goes into the factory and a window crafted to your exact specifications comes out.
One of the many benefits of wood windows, in particular, is that they offer more customization opportunities. This provides you with a blank canvas to create the windows you want.
Different Types of Wood Window Frames
First, you must select the canvas. Pella wood windows are available in a variety of wood species, each providing its own unique colors, grain patterns and benefits. Additional wood species are available as custom solutions in Pella® Reserve™ and Architect Series® product lines, but most other wood windows come in one of three different kinds of wood.
Pine is the standard type of wood on all product lines. While it’s the most economical wood of the three, it’s actually one of the best woods for window frames. Pine is a softwood commonly used in home construction. The softness makes the wood incredibly absorbent for paints and stains.
Pine has a distinct yellow color with frequent dark knots. The grains are straight, looking like long, dark lines throughout the wood. The look of pine lends itself to a casual, rustic style more than woods that feature a more consistent appearance.
Douglas Fir Windows
Another softwood, Douglas Fir has more strength than pine and most other similar wood species. That makes it a favorite for lumber in the construction industry. The strength of Douglas Fir helps make the window frames more durable, resisting little dings and dents that can accumulate over time.
Douglas Fir wood frames — only available in the Pella Reserve and Architect Series lines of windows — have a generally straight grain with some waviness. The grain has a darker, reddish color that contrasts with the lighter wood that can range from reddish yellow to reddish-brown.
Mahogany is a premium species of wood available on our premium windows, Architect Series and Pella Reserve. Mahogany is a hardwood, so it’s strong and durable enough to be used for decks and flooring. That also makes it one of the best woods for exterior window frames, as it is more resistant to the effects of the weather.
Mahogany’s signature deep reddish-brown color and consistent grain pattern are two more reasons for its premium price point. It is straight-grained with few gaps or knots. With a natural stain, Mahogany provides a more even, elegant and polished look.
Wood Window Colors and Finishes
In their natural states, Mahogany, Douglas Fir and pine all offer unique colors that may match the existing woodwork or complement your home’s interior design. But you can also add any color you choose to that canvas with pre-finished and custom options.
Painted Wood Windows
Pre-finished, painted wood windows come off the line in four classic interior colors that match the most common interior finishes: White, Bright White, Linen White and Artisan Greige (in Pella Reserve and Architect Series windows only). On the outside, you have many more options to complement your home’s exterior or boost your curb appeal with a unique color palette.
Stained Wood Windows
Painting wood windows covers up one of the most appealing parts of their aesthetic: the unique grain pattern. Staining your windows can preserve, and often enhance, that natural beauty. Stick with a natural stain if you like the pine, Mahogany or Douglas Fir wood just the way it is but want a high-end look. Or choose one of numerous other stain colors ranging from light to dark, all the way up to the latest craze, black window frames.
Unfinished Wood Windows
For any other paint colors, your options are endless. You can order a window unfinished and paint it just the way you want it. The construction-grade unfinished wood windows you might see at a big box store leave a lot of work if you want to customize the color. For a more ready-made canvas, Pella offers pre-finished windows that are primed and ready to paint in the custom wood window color of your choosing.
Wood is a natural insulator, so all-wood window frames are energy efficient. With proper maintenance and care, they can maintain that performance — and look great — for years. While pine, Douglas Fir and Mahogany are durable woods, they can’t stand up to the elements as well as fiberglass and vinyl in some climates.
Aluminum cladding helps protect wood windows against the effects of the weather. A layer of aluminum covers the frame on the exterior so you can enjoy beautiful wood windows inside your home and have an additional layer of protection on the outside. Aluminum-clad wood windows have the added benefit of less maintenance, because the cladding helps keep the color from fading.
Wood Window Grilles
Window grilles add character to your home, inside and out. You can choose from a standard collection that’s matched to an architectural era like the overlapping borders of Prairie style or the small squares seen in Victorian homes. Wood window grille patterns can also be completely customized to pluck a style from a more obscure era or design one unique to your home. In addition to the pattern, you can choose from four different types of wood window grids:
- Integral Light Technology® (ILT) grilles are bonded to both sides of the window pane. Foam spacers between the grilles cast a shadow that makes each small, divided section look as if it is its own, separate window.
- Simulated-divided-light window grilles are similarly bonded to both sides of the glass, but don’t have the spacers that create the more authentic divided light shadows of ILT grilles.
- Removable window grilles attach to the inside of your window with latches. Detachable on the inside and nonexistent on the outside, these wood window grids make cleaning your windows easier.
- Between-the-glass grilles are sealed inside the window panes, providing another easy-care option. Of the different types of grilles, these are the only ones made out of aluminum instead of wood.
Wood Window Hardware
Handles are a nice finishing touch to your custom-made wood windows. There are a number of options, so you can match your home’s architectural style or your own personal style.
Wood window hardware comes in a variety of finishes. Whether it’s brass, bronze, nickel or chrome, you can easily match your window hardware to the other finishes found throughout your home. The hardware designs offer options too: ornate and curved for a classic touch, sleek and angular for modern sophistication or charming and distressed for a rustic, farmhouse look. Depending on the type of window you choose, the hardware might be a fold-away crank or sash lift and sash lock combination.
Designing Your Custom Wood Windows
With so many different customizations, it can be difficult to pin down the exact mix of features you’re looking for. To find your style, draw inspiration from the other finishes in your home. Do you love the look of your hardwood floors? Think the kitchen cabinets are in desperate need of a makeover? Questions like those will help you figure out what you like and what you don’t.
Other homes are also a useful source of inspiration. Take notice of the charm and character in other houses you visit, explore wood window projects near you or look to these awe-inspiring designs for ideas.
Once you have the look and the feel you’re trying to get, talk to an expert to start customizing the best wood windows for your home.