Heritage Sash Windows

Anyone in the joinery industry will understand only too well, the complexity involved in successfully renovating a heritage sash window and the other skills involved in Heritage and Conservation Joinery. For those not in the know, Heritage Joinery refers to the joinery involved in listed buildings and Conservation Joinery to projects undertaken in conservation areas.

Not only is Heritage Joinery a difficult skill to master in itself, there is also an array of planning permissions needed and requirements that have to be fulfilled in order to get the project completed – knowing where to start can often seem like a minefield.

When dealing with an overstretched permissions department whose main field of expertise are not necessarily in this area, consistency can often be an issue. Local knowledge is essential as the changing fashions and architectural styles that have come into play over the previous decades vary not only from city to city, but also in neighbouring streets sometimes!

Our recommendation is that you involve the regulatory bodies as early on in the process as possible, as this stage of the planning can be lengthy. The more you can tell them about the project and the better your knowledge of it, the more likely you are to obtain the approval – as long as it meets the guidelines. Please bear in mind, the preference will always be to replace, like for like, and keep the original character intended for the building.

This, of course, is always up for interpretation and so if there are changes you’d want to make, sometimes with enough evidence and persuasion, this can be achieved. When ‘like for like’ is stated, it can mean there is opportunity to update the existing window with new technology, to make it more energy efficient and enhance longevity. Whilst you may not be able to add double glazing to a grade 1 listed country house, you could certainly plead a case for this in other types of builds, as long as the integrity is maintained. We offer a range of traditional style products, such as Brighton Fasteners, Hook Fasteners, Pulleys and Sash Cord which are perfect for specs where the character of the project needs to be strongly adhered to.

If you need further information on obtaining permission for a project you’re working on, take a look at these links which have further details on conservation builds and heritage projects. If you’re a member of the BWF, you’ll also find some useful factsheets on their website.

Have you had experience of a project like this recently? Let us know how you got on – your advice could help others!