Listed buildings and architectural glazing

March 12th, 2018

Listed buildings and architectural glazing

As the owner of a listed building of whatever Grade, you will be completely aware of the challenges surrounding any sort of change.

Here at Hugo Carter we know the joys and frustrations that can be involved with developing a listed building more than anyone else and you will be pleased to learn that with our experience in these matters, we really can help.

So, let us begin with a few words about listed buildings, what they are and why they are such a wonderful part of our architectural and cultural heritage.


Listed Buildings, a few facts…

Listing celebrates and protects buildings of a significant architectural or historic nature, they do not have to be old buildings but all those constructed before 1700 and surviving in a recognisable original condition are automatically listed. Most buildings constructed between 1700 and 1840 are also listed and while anybody can apply for a ‘modern’ building to be listed, a general rule of thumb is that it should be more than 30 years old.

There are regulatory conditions set for each part of the United Kingdom, Historic England for example are currently prioritising post-modern buildings and post war public houses. The latter is a perfect example of the authority recognising dwindling numbers of such buildings and acting appropriately to preserve them for future generations. Obviously, not all will continue to operate as pubs but they will still retain the architectural features typical of this style of building.

There are three grades of listed buildings

Grade I – buildings of exceptional interest

Grade II – buildings of more than special but less than exceptional interest

Grade III – Buildings of special interest.

Listing does not mean that changes cannot be made, it simply identifies buildings where historical and architectural value should be very carefully considered before planning decisions are made.


Conservation Areas…

Buildings in a conservation area are not the same as listed buildings, however they are often subject to similar development and restrictions to change. We always advise talking to an expert before making any changes. Of course, we believe that the expert should be us and we are always happy to offer completely impartial, no-obligation advice.

We have written a separate blog about glazing options for Conservation Areas and you can see it here


A special word about windows…

Of course, here at Hugo Carter we have a specific interest in windows so let us take a look at what can be done in this area.


We are often asked the very simple question, Am I allowed to change the windows in my listed building?

As with many simple questions, the answer is far from straightforward.

Listing does not mean that you are not allowed to make changes, it does mean however and we must be very clear on this point, you need to apply for permission to make changes before any work can commence. We can help with the application process of course and while we hold no guaranteed influence we are able to ask the right questions and make salient points on your behalf.

Proceeding with work before permission has been granted is a criminal offence, you might be prosecuted and may be liable for all costs in returning the feature to its original condition.

It is true that Grade III buildings are considered as more likely to receive consent to make change but it is highly unlikely that permission will be given for windows that could be repaired rather than replaced. Our experienced technicians will be able to confirm whether your windows need to be replaced or can be repaired.

You can find out more about upgrading to double glazing in a conservation area or in a listed building here.

Repair or Replace…

The first step is to meet with one of our technicians, usually on site. We will then have a clearer idea of what permissions you require and how we can best help to guide you through the process.

We work directly with architects, local authorities, council planning departments and fellow construction experts to make sure that no detail is overlooked. There are many factors to consider and we use all of our experience and resources to make sure that you end up with the best possible results.

One guarantee that we always make is that we will never recommend replacement windows where a repair would be more appropriate, but for those windows that do require soundproof replacement windows, you can count on our skilled craftsmen to ensure a precise replica.

Our factory is fitted with state of the art machinery and our skilled craftsman are ready to build precise replicas of your existing windows to meet conservation requirements.

Owning or managing a listed building is a wonderful privilege and so is the opportunity to work on such magnificent buildings. Here at Hugo Carter we recognize not only our duty to our clients but also our responsibility to future generations, we love listed buildings.

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