England boasts a vast amount of listed buildings; properties that are protected against development that might harm their historical importance or aesthetic. With over 450,000 of these properties in the country, they are evidence of a rich history and show the development of society and architecture throughout the ages.
What Makes a Property a Listed Building
There are a few specifics that mean a building will gain listed status. For instance any property built before the 1700’s, and which still remains close to its original form and in good condition pretty much automatically qualifies.
Those erected post 1700, and pre-1840 fall into a similar category, though they are more closely scrutinised for their historical and cultural contribution and significance. Falling during the Georgian era, these properties were constructed by notable architects such as James Paine and Robert Taylor.
Buildings following this period, which fall into the Victorian era are far more common, with good examples of Victorian listed buildings being found in Greater Manchester which saw a boom in property development during this time.
Buildings after this period are a lot more closely regarded before they can become listed. They need to demonstrate a rarity, be it an example of a unique style of construction; a notable public place; demonstrable of a sensitivity to a streetscape.
All these factors must be considered by a the Secretary of State for Culture as advised by the English Heritage.
So what does this all mean?
Basically that you are bound by law to keep the aesthetic and architecture of the property as is. You cannot make drastic changes to the property and if you are to make any changes they need to be passed through your Local Planning Authority
Restoring A Listed Building’s Oak Windows
A great deal of listed buildings have oak windows which, over the ages, have become broken or damaged. Old architects didn’t have the modern technology or know-how to create oak windows which won’t swell or develop draughts and you will want to ensure that you aren’t suffering at the hands of time’s wrath.
In order to restore these windows to their former glory, you can make repairs, however this will still need to be passed by the LPA. This is a time consuming and expensive process and is best avoided in lieu of...
Replacing A Listed Building’s Oak Windows
This is the best option if those windows become bothersome or non-functional. Whilst oak windows will age well, the centuries can take their toll, especially if the craftsman who made them originally didn’t have the best tools or materials available.
With current technology and design, safeguarding against future decay has become a science, adding value to the property and ensuring a long-lasting protection. This isn’t, however, as straightforward as installing new frames.
In listed buildings you will have to create like for like replacement oak windows which copy the originals down to the type of timber used, the finish and their dimensions. This will need to all go through the LPA before any work can even begin. A long and often arduous process, we’ve gone through it a great deal and can advise our clients the best way to approach getting planning permission for replacing oak windows in their listed properties.
So if you’ve wound up on this blog because you’re looking for a solution or some advice on oak window restoration in period buildings, then get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to talk to you about your options!
Image by: Sam22