Double glazing has many advantages. But owners of listed buildings must tread carefully when considering replacing the windows in their property, especially if they contribute significantly to the character of the building. In this article we consider the issues and restrictions surrounding double glazing for listed buildings, and offer some options for double glazed windows that are in keeping with a period style.
Why shouldn’t you replace old, single glazed windows with double glazed ones? Planning authorities and heritage bodies are often concerned about double glazing for listed buildings:
- Windows are considered an important period feature in older buildings, so if your listed building is from an earlier era, any window repair or replacement must be treated with care. In period buildings, repair is favoured over replacement, and any replacement windows must be in keeping with the overall style of the property.
- While it’s important to protect your home from draughty conditions, many authorities favour the installation of secondary glazing in addition to the original panes alongside appropriate draught protection measures, rather than opting for energy efficient double glazing.
Compliance and approval: what to check before getting new windows
Owners of listed buildings must comply with all the relevant building regulations, and must obtain listed building consent from the local planning authority before making any changes to the property. Failure to do so is a criminal offence. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Contact the Conservation Officer within the local planning authority to discuss the proposed changes. They’ll be able to advise you on whether your plans require listed building consent, and offer ideas to help you make the changes you want to your listed building, within the constraints of the listing.
- Consider how your proposed changes will retain the character of the building (we have some suggestions below for adding period-sensitive double glazing to listed buildings).
- Submit an application for listed building consent.
- If permission is granted, choose a FENSA registered company that will comply with all building regulations.
If the windows in your listed building are fashioned from historic, handcrafted glass, you are unlikely to get approval to replace them with double glazed panes. But in many cases, double glazing for listed buildings can offer a fine alternative to the original, with styles that preserve the character of the property (or improve it) while maximising energy efficiency and reducing draughts.
- Hardwood sliding sash windows can be an authentic addition to a period property, with the timber frames available in a variety of finishes to suit your home.
- Locally made hardwood frames are crafted from ethically sourced wood and finished to your specifications in our very own joinery workshop.
- If replacement windows are not an option for you, we also offer a window repair service to help restore the windows in your listed building to their former glory.
For more information about suitable double glazing for listed buildings, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0800 132 510 today.