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Windows and listed buildings. What does it mean for me?

windows for listed buildings

Table of Contents

Owning a listed building is a great privilege, but it comes with extra responsibility when it comes to home improvements and property maintenance. Replacing a historic window in a listed building will require listed building consent from your local planning authority.


You may have an original window that is beyond repair, or perhaps you are wishing to replace a window/ windows that have been installed at a later date and don’t match the property’s character. Either way, your local planning authority will need to be informed of any changes you wish to make. 


What you need to know:

  • For listed buildings, repair is almost always favoured over replacement – ensure you have exhausted these possibilities before replacing.


  • It is important that if you go with a replacement, it needs to match the form, detail and operation of the original. This includes the cill, hardware, head and jambs. (Confused? See our Jargon Busting Guide to Windows here!)


  • Under the Building Regulations, a new window is a ‘controlled fitting’ and would need to meet certain standards covering heat loss, safety, ventilation and spread of fire. 


  • A ‘certificate of compliance’ can be issued either by using an installer who is registered with a competent person scheme such as FENSA or by making an application to the relevant Building Control body. (So don’t worry – if you go with us we have you covered!)


Can I use uPVC for my listed building’s windows?

Double glazing has been revolutionary for improving energy efficiency in our homes but it can be incredibly difficult to get permission for installing it in listed buildings. 

This is understandable looking at the uPVC windows commonly seen at the start of the era of this material – thick, chunky frames, white plastic, and absolutely not in keeping with heritage or listed properties!

Understandably, window frames of this type will not be considered an acceptable change, but there are other types of uPVC that may be more likely to be approved.

Heritage Flush Sash or aluminium double-glazed windows (and doors) are becoming an increasingly popular option for heritage properties and can deliver the look of traditional but with the performance, security features and energy efficiency of a modern uPVC window

If your home has traditional steel frames that need replacing, aluminium frames could be a more energy-efficient and low-maintenance option than like-for-like. As with flush sash, these frames have been carefully developed in recent years to closely imitate the look of traditional steel, but without the maintenance issues commonly associated with frames of this material. 

Some useful links to help you with your renovation journey

As always, the team at Habify are on hand to answer any of your pre-sale questions.