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By Larry David

If you're faced with the question of hard wood windows or soft wood windows which will last longer and why, know that the challenge is not a hard one. Each wood type has its own set of attributes. What appeals to one individual may not appeal to someone else. But what most are after is longevity, so which is going to last the test of time?

Soft woods is a good place to start when deciding what material is best for windows. Soft woods include hemlock, cedar, pine, spruce, and yew. These woods tend to be easy to form into custom designs. But because they are softer, they do require maintenance on a regular basis. This means making sure they stay painted and doing what is needed to keep them in great condition.

If soft wood windows are maintained on a regular schedule, which means keeping the paintwork in good condition so that the weather does not compromise them, they can last a long time. It is not out of the question for a pine window to last 150 years or more. Many of the older homes built in the 1800s with windows still intact are soft wood that has been taken care of.

If you are able to ensure that softer wood stays dry and is protected from the elements, then there is no reason why you cannot opt for something such as spruce or hemlock. If you feel you cannot promise this, then the best way to protect your investment is through a hard wood.

When considering hard woods, it is easy to see that the durability is there. Those homeowners choosing the harder wood are those that may not be able to keep up with the maintenance. For example, an individual with multiple homes may have a hard time keeping up with the maintenance. And then there are those that are simply too busy to be able to deal with careful maintenance or have the budgets to pay for it.

You should keep in mind, however, that hard woods do not allow for flexibility in design. When it comes to windows, however, this is usually something that is not an issue for some people. For other people, it is an issue because only simple window designs can be made.

So although the harder woods can have a very long life, soft wood can too. For example, a window made out of oak is going to last longer than one made out of pine. The oak can usually go maintenance-free for a time, whether painted or not.

So when faced with the decision of hard wood windows or soft wood windows which will last longer and why? You know the truth. Due to the natural composition of the wood, you have choices. Hard woods cannot be altered very much, while soft can be.

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