Replacing windows in conservation areas can be very good business and Quickslide’s Ade provides a guide.
There are around 10,000 conservation areas in England that require additional planning controls and restrict the amount of work you can do without planning permission. Many builders shy away from working on such projects as being ‘more trouble than they’re worth’. But, by giving them a little more thought and planning, they can be very profitable because, generally, anyone that has such a property tends to understand that they need a little more TLC than an estate home that was built just a decade ago. Windows and doors play a significant role in defining the style and character in older buildings and can be a sticking point with the owner and the local authority.
To be honest, it is unlikely that you will get away with installing even the best PVCu and aluminium replacement vertical sliders in ‘Listed’ Buildings – that is those that appear in the National Heritage List for England of special architectural or historic interest. These are for firms that specialise in such properties so let’s move on to what we can all do.
Even in generally less restricted Conservation areas the type, material and design elements of products to be installed will need to be approved by the local authority. To replace the windows and doors, you must follow specific rules. As well as the usual Planning Permission, conservation areas are also covered by an ‘Article 4 directive’, which will differ from council to council. The owner of the property is likely to know if their building is covered under Article 4, but the council will be able to advise. But beware, it is not worth ‘trying to get away with it’!
In any proposals that you put forward for your customer, you will need to take the local area and its heritage into consideration. The authority will be wanting to look at a high-quality design that shows that it will preserve the aspects of the property and its surroundings. Find out early on what you can and can’t do because if you’re knocked back Appeals can take several months to be decided. Get it right first time!
Window Designs for Conservation Areas
The latest Vertical Sliding Sash Windows and Flush Sash styles, when purchased from a quality fabricator, should be acceptable for any project in a conservation area. We recommend contacting your supplier for brochures and specification literature and perhaps even samples to submit to the council when applying for permission.
Generally, we believe that a VS is best with a woodgrain effect for it to retain the charm of the building though in an off white or traditional colour such as a cream or even very pale green. There are a number of heritage features that should be considered, including run-through sash horns, mechanical joints, deep bottom rails, heritage hardware and astragal bars. Flush Sash Windows in woodgrain with ETL joints (External Timber Look) have external contours to emulate the traditional sashes found on heritage timber windows.
As always, get the backing of a top rate window and door fabricator to help you through what can seem to be a maze. But in the end, it will be rewarding both professionally and financially to complete such work.
For further information on Quickslide visit https://www.quickslide.co.uk/