Many listed property owners ask us “I own a listed property; I can’t change my windows, can I?” The simple answer to this is yes, it is possible to change the windows of your listed property. We have achieved listed building consent many times before, In fact, 80% of our planning applications for listed buildings have been approved to date. We can even do all our planning applications for our customers, so you don’t even have to lift a finger in relation to the planning process.
As all listed building owners will know only too well, when installing windows for listed buildings, there are regulations that you must adhere to, which if ignored may result in a hefty fine, or in some cases, a prison sentence. We can help you decipher the best windows for your renovation project. Plus, we’ll ensure that your improvements are approved by your local planning authority.
What is a listed building?
Buildings are listed in order to preserve their character. This can apply narrowly or extensively, depending on the property and it features. A listed building will have features that are considered to be of national importance and therefore worth protecting.
There are three categories of listing:
- Grade I. This is for buildings of outstanding national architectural or historical interest.
- Grade II*. This covers buildings that have particular significance of greater than just local interest.
- Grade II. This includes buildings of special historic or architectural interest.
Over 90% of listed buildings are Grade II.
What are the rules around changing the windows in a listed building?
This is a tricky question to answer as there are no fixed rules for changing or upgrading windows in a listed building. Approval is down to the wishes of the planning offer at your local planning authority. The general rule is that when replacing windows in a listed building, they must be as close to the original windows as possible. Because many listed buildings are incredibly old, it typically means that they requirement is single glazed windows with timber frames. Many planning officers will request renovation rather than replacement if it is possible. However, most owners will want to improve the performance and comfort of their property by installing double-glazing so this will need to be considered.
Many standard double-glazed windows will not get approved for installation in a listed property. For example, modern double-glazing typically boasts a plastic frame, not timber, and therefore, would not be considered a ‘like for like’ fit compared with the original window.
The best window option for listed buildings
Parsons Joinery are one of few companies approved to install a new kind of glass technology called Fineo. Fineo is designed with windows for listed buildings in mind and have been passed by local authorities for installation in listed buildings. We have not had a planning authority refuse this glazing option yet.
Fineo is vacuum insulated glass that is super slim, the width of single glazing in fact, so it can easily be retrofitted into existing timber frames. However, its vacuum cavity means that windows made from Fineo glass offer all the benefits of super-efficient modern windows while satisfying the criteria for installation in a listed building.
In short, our vacuum insulated glazing means that listed buildings can be made more energy efficient and comfortable for the occupants without sacrificing their traditional looks.
We are passionate about finding a window solution that satisfies both our customer and the planning department. Contact us today if you need some advice on windows for your listed property.