Replacing windows in conservation properties
‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’, or so the proverb says, and it’s true; where we choose to make a house our home is incredibly important.
Our home is where our happiest times are spent. For some, their heart is in the country and for others, feeling connected to the past or living in an area full of local history or natural beauty is a home buying dream.
In Britain, we’re so fortunate to be surrounded by so many points of interest, of local and national significance. Did you know that in England alone, there are more than 10,000 conservation areas now designated due to their special architectural and historic interest, according to Historic England? That’s some one million properties that have special protection status.
From Bourneville, set close to the heart of the industrial revolution and home to the Cadbury family for more than 137 years, to Beaulieu, a beautiful village on the boundary of the New Forest, we have such a rich heritage and such protective measures ensure that the charm of the past remains very much in the present. There’s no wonder then that these are highly coveted locations and living in a conservation area means that we all have a part to play to protect the character of the properties within it.
Help is at hand
If you’re left feeling confused about your conservation home and the options available to you, rest assured you’re not alone. You may not know how to go about conserving or swapping your windows, but there’s plenty of help available.
Here are our top tips for navigating the whole process:
- If you live in a listed building or in a conservation area subject to ‘Article 4 Directions’, you may need planning permission to replace or upgrade windows and doors. Be sure and check with your local council before you start
- You will need to submit a proposal detailing the scope of work. It’s best to work closely with your planning or conservation officer, showing them samples, technical specifications and brochures from the start.
- Even small changes can have a significant impact on the appearance of your property for example the position, the proportions of the sashes, arrangement of the opening lights, thickness of the profile of glazing, bar details and even the glass itself, so be sure to consider every detail carefully.
- If you’re looking to upgrade from single to double glazed windows, in some areas you may be required to keep the original look with a like for like replacement, particularly in a terraced house that relies on a consistent look. A well designed double glazed replacement such as a flush sash casement window will provide an acceptable compromise between authenticity and modern energy performance.
- Sometimes a specific colour may be specified in an area so at least with timber, you can be sure to find the finish to ‘fit in’. There’s more than standard white finishes to be had with popular greys and conservation green – think shades of sage for a beautifully harmonious look. Dual colour paint finishes can help you meet the needs of conservation requirements on the exterior, while also reflecting your interior décor.
- And for a really authentic touch, details such as a monkey tail handle, concealed vents and invisible hinges can make all the difference to fitting with the style of your surroundings and make for the perfect final flourish to your home renovation.
The most important piece of advice is to do your research! The Historic England website is another helpful resource worth visiting for further advice, as is the Wood Window Alliance website so there’s plenty of information at hand.
Made to measure, made to last
No matter how much personality your property has – doesn’t every home have its own quirks? – JELD-WEN timber windows are made to measure so any bespoke size or shape can be catered for. Phew!
The result? Complete peace of mind that you have preserved the period features of your property whilst ensuring your investment makes your home your castle for many years to come.