Timber window advice for listed building projects

Old buildings are often classified as objects of historical value. Over time, they need repairs, including sash windows repair. But restoration works are not easy. There are a number of restrictions according to which it’s prohibited to replace windows and perform other actions. Before proceeding with the restoration, it is necessary to agree on the changes with the city administration.

Chameleon Decorators will advise on what work can be done without contacting special services. You can independently or together with professionals update the components of glass units and repair the deformed parts. Perfect windows that fully fulfil their function will make your property price much higher.

The list of buildings that are not recommended to be restored without a special permission includes:

  • houses built after 1945 (if they are objects of cultural value);
  • buildings from 1700-1850;
  • perfectly preserved buildings built before 1700.

Houses are divided into several categories. The first includes St. Paul’s Cathedral. These are buildings that influence the cultural image of the city. Most buildings belong to the second category. Such areas are under state protection.

Restoring homes with overhauling heritage windows can pose a threat to their architectural value, as they will lose their original look. Without resorting to special services, only minor restorations are allowed, which will not diminish interest in the buildings.

Planning permission

Before starting the restoration, make sure it is allowed. You need to preserve the building for history, so having modern windows or refurbishing the facade will not be allowed. Environmental officials will review the restoration plan and confirm (or deny) the start of work.

If the changes are minor, you will be allowed to replace fittings and damaged elements of wooden windows. You will be offered special advice for listed building projects and will be helped to file an application to your local officials. In this case, you won’t need to reapply because of incorrectly filed documents.

Minor works can be carried out without an approval. These include improving the sealing of the glass unit (protection against drafts), painting the frame in the same colour. Difficulties may arise if it is necessary to completely replace a certain part to ensure the correct operation of a window. When replacing the glass with another piece of glass of the same thickness, the approval is not required either. If you are convinced that the restoration will not harm the exterior of the building, start working.

How should you approach a listed building renovation?

Drawing up a restoration project will help you find out the cost and time for carrying out works. You won’t need to replace a whole glass sheet. A new one is often very expensive. The simpler alternative will lower your costs. The part is cut to the required size and fixed in the frame using glue. From the outside, you will need a sealant: the joints will be processed with it, after which you will be able to continue to use this glass unit.

Having contacted the specialized company, you should study the Listed Windows Restoration works:

  • Removing the sashes without damaging the glass unit frame.
  • Cutting decaying wood or warped frame to an intact area.
  • If the wood cannot be repaired, it is replaced with a new piece, the joints are neatly connected.
  • If there are voids inside the frame, such areas are filled with epoxy.
  • Sash cords are replaced. When the pulleys are deformed, they should be restored. The sashes are balanced to open and close without difficulties and noise.
  • The window is sealed around the perimeter, insulation.
  • Sash removal systems are being installed.

Thanks to the renewal of glass units, you will be able to clean and maintain windows much easier. During strong winds and bad weather, they will not leak, rattle and cause discomfort during operation.

If windows cannot be restored, a major overhaul is necessary. It includes lubrication of fittings, sashes, painting with a special compound that will help avoid leakages. Buildings belonging to the second category cannot be repaired without a permission. Otherwise, you will have to stop working and bring the windows to their original state.

Fittings and other elements that cannot be restored require complete replacement. In this case, the operation of windows is impossible, the functionality will be impaired. You will receive permission and be able to bring the house into perfect condition.