You think you want to add copper window boxes to your home, but you need to know the pros and cons. Here is a quick rundown of when and why you should choose to do so. The obvious appeal of copper window boxes is their beauty. A copper box has that timeless look that's classy and expensive. Copper looks like this because it is beautiful when it is brand new, all bright and shiny and it is also beautiful when it is aged and patinated (that classic green look). It reminds people of the Statue of Liberty and other glorious monuments. The typical cost of a copper window box can be up to three times higher than other metals, woods, and composite materials.
Copper flower boxes instantly add a degree of class to any structure as both a mark of style and status. Copper is a long lived material that can last upwards of 60-100 years, often with little maintenance. Copper is a durable material in that it does well even when exposed to water and the exterior elements. It comes in various gauges and thicknesses and not all copper will match. A flower box is typically made from approximately 22 gauge thickness, the same as a copper roof which makes it more durable. Be careful to ensure that what you are buying is real copper, and if you are unsure, ask your manufacturer for a small sample piece of their material.
Window boxes made from copper will attract a lot of attention from admiring people walking or driving by, from HOAs, and even historical societies. But it can also attract the negative attention of less favorable persons and can be susceptible to theft. So if you want to go with copper you will need to take steps to secure the boxes firmly in place so they are harder to steal. This shouldn’t be a big concern or deterrent because in most cases a copper box is placed inside a wrought iron window box cage or decorative steel frame and can be fastened to it to make it harder to steal. The fasteners can even be covered by the soil to make them inaccessible to unsuspecting thieves.
Since copper is a soft metal and cannot be mounted directly to the wall by itself you can secure it while maintaining the look and concealing the securing features by using the decorative cage. It is an expensive metal to work with so most manufacturers are going to have a limited selection on size and design to select from, and you are likely to only find smaller window box sizes not larger planter sizes. Again, check with the manufacturer to see if they offer any custom sizing.
By now you have probably decided whether or not copper boxes are in your budget, however if you still want the look of copper but are put off by the cost or other reasons listed above, then here are some potential alternatives. You could select a copper colored aluminum liner or window box product instead, and it will be significantly cheaper than a real copper box and still look good. However it will have a shorter lifespan; aluminum won’t rust, but can corrode over time and an aluminum box can be expected to last only 5-10 years. It will also be lighter in weight than the real copper but will not develop the beautiful patina that real copper will.
Another option is a PVC liner that you can paint to resemble copper. Some manufactures offer PVC liners painted with a copper paint solution. The liner itself should be the most economical option and has the added bonus of being able to change its appearance over time, in other words it could always be sanded and repainted if you wanted to go for a different look in the future. There are copper tone paints that will have a similar look to the copper colored aluminum with a set shade whether that is a newer shiny looking copper or a duller more aged looking copper. Then there are paints that have real copper in them and therefore will allow the box to patina but these are much more expensive paints to use. PVC is a no rot material that, if it avoids outside physical damage, should have a lifespan at least as long as the real copper. PVC is also food safe, so if you want to grow more than just flowers, you could do so in this type of box.