UK Readers: Replacing The Windows Of A Listed Building

Window replacement is something that needs to be considered extremely carefully in relation to any type of building. This is even more so the case when it comes to a listed building. If you do not consider your window replacement with great care you can actually end up causing more harm to the building than good. After all, listed buildings play an extremely pivotal role when it comes to cultural heritage in the United Kingdom and they can’t exactly be replaced if something goes wrong. If you find yourself restoring a listed building in the UK, use the advice provided in this article before you go ahead and have the windows replaced.

For readers in the United States wondering what a listed building is? A building is “listed” when it is of special architectural or historic interest considered to be of national importance and therefore worth protecting. As the term implies, a listed building is actually added to a list: the National Heritage List for England.


Firstly, it is important to acknowledge the fact that a window replacement should be a last resort. You should never merely seek a window replacement for a listed building because you want to improve or alter the appearance. With these types of buildings, work is only done because the quality is currently lacking and could be damaging or dangerous. If that is the case, then go ahead with your replacement. But why not consider whether you could simply opt for a repair instead? Although, if you suspect a repair is only going to give you a bit of time before the problem appears again, you may as well decide to begin with an entirely new replacement.

The reason why a window replacement is considered the last resort is quite simple; you don’t want to compromise the character and the authenticity of the listed building in question. Therefore you need to make sure the windows you select will reproduce the effect the old windows have and that they will match your wood doors. You certainly can’t expect to replace timber windows with PVCu plastic ones. You want the antique and genuine qualities of the windows to live on.

This is why it is so important to make sure you select professionals for the job with extreme care. You can’t put this task into the hands of any old joiner, or contractor as we say in the states. Try to make sure the company has a wealth of experience and is recommended to ensure that a proportion of their experience has come from listed buildings. You certainly don’t want to be someone’s practice project. It is also advised that you take a look on their website in order to view the work they have done so far. This is likely to be in a page labeled either “case studies” or “portfolio.” Here you can see images of the work they have done and this will give you an indication regarding the level of quality they provide. Reading reviews that have been left by previous customers always proves to be helpful as well.

Last but not least, don’t forget that you may need to seek consent. In relation to the majority of listed buildings you will need a declaration that it is okay for the windows to be replaced. Where you get this from all depends on the building in question and more importantly where it is situated. Nonetheless, this is something worth looking into further to ensure you don’t land yourself in hot water.

*This is a collaborative post.

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