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I have a period home, can I really choose new windows?

With period properties, emphasis is usually put on repairing your old windows rather than replacing them with new ones. However, there are several scenarios in which window replacement is the best possible option. The trick is in choosing a new window that maintains the charm and character of a period property.

There are many issues blighting older timber frame windows, including rotten frames, sticking sashes and condensation filled panes. Despite these problems, owners worry that replacing the original windows may affect the market value and appearance of their property. New, authentic designs make that anxiety a thing of the past.

There are some 500,000 properties in the UK that are listed buildings. If your period home isn’t on the National Heritage List for England (NHLE), then window replacement could be a great option for your property.

What are the benefits of window replacement?

Replacing the windows of your period property isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, just as it isn’t a quick fire solution for more contemporary homes. Window replacement is an investment, not just financially but for the future. Understanding the benefits that new windows can harness for your home and your family is an important first step.

The following is taken from Country Life’s Replacing Windows on Period Properties, and provides a useful insight into what window replacement could mean for your home:

“New windows can transform the appearance, security and comfort of your home and, if accomplished with sensitivity and understanding, can represent a significant improvement which tends to increase the value of a property. Before embarking upon such a project, as with any other significant alteration to your property, it is important to reflect on the reasons for making the change and what you hope to achieve from your investment.”

There are several reasons window replacement works for period home owners. These include enhancing energy efficiency, making maintenance easier, and ensuring a consistent aesthetic for your whole property.

How can I choose the right replacement windows for my period home?

Our window replacement experts are always happy to give their specialist advice to those switching old windows for new ones. This includes offering a plethora of window designs for period and modern homes alike. But what steps can you take to ensure you choose the correct window design for your home? Here are just some of the points to consider when finding a style that suits your period property:

  • Get to know the different window styles and materials available from suppliers, paying special attention to the most familiar styles used on period homes, for inspiration.
  • Take a closer look at what your neighbours have done and which window style they have chosen, if they have a similar property type.
  • Be sure not to forget about the extra features that will make your new windows extra special and suitable. Your choice of window handle could have more of an impact than you think.
  • Don’t be afraid to chat to a professional (like us) to identify styles that would be the most fitting for your specific property.

Can I replace the windows of my listed building?

While planning consent is not usually needed to undertake window replacement, consent and building regulations approval will be required if your building is listed or in a conservation area. Your window replacement options will be limited if you are looking to upgrade your listed building, and your choice of windows will be rightly scrutinised to ensure they don’t have a negative effect on the property’s character.

Working with, not against, your local authority is an important factor if the windows of your listed building cannot be repaired and need replacement. Your local authority will advise you on the most suitable window options for your specific property, solutions that will retain the beauty and heritage of the building.