If your house is listed or located in a conservation area with restrictions on permitted work, you’ll likely need to seek approval to replace or repair your windows.

Carrying out unauthorised work could result in prosecution.

What are the criteria for a listed building?

In order to be categorised as a listed building, your property must:

  • Have been built before 1700 and remains in near-original condition.
  • Have been built between 1700 & 1850.
  • Have been built after 1945, but is of prominent architectural interest.

You must apply for listed building consent if:

  • You want to replace a window with one of a different style.
  • The material of the new window is different.
  • You are changing from single to double glazing.
  • You plan to completely re-glaze the windows and lose the original glass.

Conservation Area Window Rules

What is a Conservation Area?

A conservation area is a region of architectural or historical interest. In the UK, many buildings in our towns, villages and cities feature historic windows. Poor-quality replacements can destroy these traditional features, damaging the character of our stunning landscapes.

In conservation areas, a building’s character must be preserved. Planning permission is not required for the replacement of windows in single houses, except when “Article 4 Directions” apply.

What Are Article 4 Directions?

Imposed by the local authority, Article 4 Directions restrict the amount of permitted development rights you have as a homeowner, anywhere in the authority’s area. They are used to control works that could threaten the character of an area or building of importance.

If your home is situated in a conservation area where these regulations are in place, you’ll need to seek planning permission for any changes to windows. This includes upgrading their appearance.

Should I Repair or Replace My Windows?

Listed Building Window Repairs

When it comes to listed buildings, windows should only be replaced if they are beyond repair.

The majority of minor repairs can be completed without permission. This includes painting frames and sealing draughts, along with restoring timber frames if no parts require major work. In most cases, you can also fit new glazing, as long as it’s of a similar thickness to the original glass.

Traditional timber sash windows are a common feature in listed buildings. Whether rainwater has penetrated the old frames or the sashes have become difficult to manoeuvre, repairing the windows without compromising your home’s historical integrity and going against the rules of the planning system is crucial.

At Benchmark Windows, we’re pleased to offer our customers access to a broad selection of timber windows, tailored to suit a range of distinctive styles. Our Historic range is a specialist solution for listed buildings, emulating the stunning, wavy reflection of hand-blown glass.

To view our timber window options in person, visit our stylish West Sussex showroom. Our knowledgeable, experienced team will be happy to discuss your requirements in further detail. Alternatively, to discover more about our bespoke timber windows, give us a call on 01403 732822.

How Do I Know If I Need to Carry Out Listed Building Window Refurbishment?

To prevent minor repairs from turning into bigger problems, it’s important to tackle issues as soon as they arise. A few warning signs to look out for include:

1. Structural Damage

If the window appears to have deteriorated, or won’t open or close correctly, a repair is likely necessary to avoid further damage occurring to the frame.

2. Wet Rot

Wet rot can cause a number of problems. It’s important to check your windows regularly for flaking paint, gaps in the joints, dirty wooden surfaces and water on sills.

3. Pointing Failure

Occupants of listed homes should check their pointing regularly. Pointing failure allows draughts to enter the property, costing you a significant amount of money in energy bills. Look out for cracks, loose or missing pointing to avoid the issue worsening.

How Long Will It Take to Conduct Listed Building Window Restoration?

Replacing windows in listed homes requires a significant amount of work. Repairing your existing windows is a much more affordable option that takes significantly less time. However, in circumstances where windows must be replaced, the time required will vary depending on the scope of work involved and the complexity of the project.

Before starting work on a listed building, a thorough examination must take place to determine the specific requirements for the task at hand. This phase can take some time, especially for larger buildings.

Listed homes and properties situated in conservation areas will also often require custom-made windows to maintain historical accuracy and architectural integrity. This will involve working with specialist manufacturers who can replicate the original design and materials.

Given those variables, it’s difficult to predict how long it will take to carry out a window replacement on a listed building. Smaller projects with fewer windows may take several weeks to a few months, while larger, complex projects could take several months to a year.

To obtain a more accurate estimate, please get in touch with our team of window specialists, who will be happy to assess your specific requirements and provide a rough timeline. Call us today on 01403 732822 and one of our friendly advisors will be happy to help.

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