Owning a listed building is almost like taking on the role of custodian and making sure that your little piece of history remains in excellent condition.
However, if you live in an historic building, there is no reason why you have to live with 18th Century-style draughts as well, and as the building ages and the repair work mounts up, it is important to know the right procedures for change so that you do not fall foul of the law.
There are three categories for listed buildings, Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II, with 92 per cent of listed properties falling into the latter category. Listing means that there is extra control over what can and cannot be done to a building’s interior and exterior.
You will need listed-building consent for all work to a listed building that involves alteration, extension or demolition where it affects the architectural or historic interest of the property, according to Historic England.
Therefore, if replacing timber windows or doors affects a building architecturally and was done without the proper consent, it could be a breach of listed building control and the owner may be vulnerable to enforcement action.
In fact, it can be a criminal offence to alter a listed building without the right consent, so it is important to always check what is required of you.
However, regular maintenance that does not affect the character of the property can generally be carried out without the need for listed building consent. Replacing timber windows on a strictly like-for-like basis may not require consent, but if the glazing changed from single to double or the size of the frame differs then consent may be needed.
It is always wise to check with your local council conservation officer before any works get underway. However, Grade II listed buildings are more likely to receive consent for works than the other two ratings.
At Scotts, we manufacture and supply bespoke timber windows that combine the charm and character of traditional windows with modern, compliant levels of insulation and security.
The traditional sliding sash window found in many listed buildings can be replaced by a faithful replica of the original, incorporating slender glazing bars, narrow meeting stiles and single glazing with a putty finish if specified. Complete with traditional weights and pulleys, Scotts sliding sash windows can even be upgraded to accommodate slim double-glazing units (consent dependant) with almost zero variation in appearance from the single glazed original.
Scotts can, of course, produce the full suite of external windows and doors for your listed building, including traditional casements, Yorkshire sliding sash, French doors, Juliet balcony doors, front entrance doors as well as internal doorsets and architraves.
If you think your home is listed but are not sure, you can turn to the National Heritage List for England for more information.