Designed to regulate ventilation and light penetration while blocking inclement elements such as dirt, rain and discomforting glare, louvres are architectural components found on the windows and doors of buildings.
Louvred windows and doors come with horizontal slats attached to the frame members of the windows and doors. Adjusting the slats (by pulling on a cord) allows indoor climate control.
Incorporating louvres into the design of your house is an excellent way to boost its functionality, appearance and resale value. But which louvres are best for your home?
Wood and composite wood are two popular materials available for louvres. Before choosing between these two louvre construction materials, you should research to make the correct decision.
In the past, wood was the only material used for louvre construction. Real wood offers a uniquely beautiful natural appearance that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of any home. It is also an excellent thermal insulator that can save money on home heating and cooling costs.
On the downside, wood is susceptible to varying temperature and humidity levels and can warp, rot or crack when exposed to the elements. What's more, it requires a high level of maintenance to remain in tip-top shape throughout its life expectancy.
Despite the availability of alternative (non-wood) louvre systems, wood louvres still have a place in today's residential market. Homeowners who appreciate the authentic look of exotic wood species don't mind paying a premium price for wood louvred windows and doors.
Also referred to as wood-plastic louvres, composite wood louvre systems comprise interior-grade medium-density fibreboard (MDF) wrapped in a high-grade polymer.
An obvious advantage of these louvres over their traditional real-wood cousins is cost. Composite wood louvres cost only a fraction of the cost of installing wood louvres. Also, they offer more resistance to rain, water, direct sunlight and other harsh elements that cause wood to degrade quickly. Increased resistance to the elements translates to a reduced need for maintenance.
Wood-plastic louvres have their drawbacks too. For instance, they can only imitate but not match the authentic look of wood. Anyone with good knowledge of louvres can tell the difference between the real and the imitation.
Modern louvres come in all shapes and sizes to meet the varied requirements of different building owners. Knowing your options will increase your chance of choosing the right louvres for home construction or renovation.
Contact a louvre construction specialist today to get a cost estimate for your project.