Window Repairs in A Listed Building

Residing in a listed building can be both an opportunity and a happiness to the residents; whether it be for an enthusiasm for protecting constructed heritage or merely the enjoyment of living in beautiful surroundings. However, ownership and management of noted buildings features duties, some of which can feel unnecessarily constraining as evermore hi tech services and additions are established for our homes however might not necessarily be appropriate for listed buildings.

In no area of the house is this more true than with windows. The windows in noted structures can be something of a minefield, where frustrated home owners might feel they are required to pick between the structure preservation and performance. 

That’s why St Helen’s Glazing have decided to put together this short guide to restoration and replacement of windows in noted buildings, together with looking at other window options for the listed building owner to give you the details you need to make an informed choice about your windows.

Listing & Legislation

While 1882 saw the very first legislation protecting historical structures enter play in the UK, Scotland did not start noting structures in earnest till after 1945, with a vast variety of listed structures being noted by the 1970s. A noted building in the UK is a building which has been put on the Statutory List of Buildings of Unique Architectural or Historical Interest. There are simply under 500,000 buildings in the UK to which this applies. The relevant Scottish legislation is the Preparation (Noted Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

Although every council location will have various guidelines and guidelines concerning the specific treatment of listed buildings in their council location, usually noted building status indicates that the building may not be destroyed, extended or modified without unique approval from the local planning authority (who usually consult the pertinent central federal government company, particularly for substantial modifications to the more significant noted structures). 

Exemption is attended to some church structures in current use for praise, although in such cases the church organisation operates its own authorizations treatment.

In Scotland, there are 3 classifications of listing:

  • Category A: Buildings of nationwide or international importance, either architectural or historic, or great little-altered examples of some particular period, style or structure type;
  • Category B: Buildings of local or more than local importance, or significant examples of some specific period, design or building type which may have been changed;
  • Category C: Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or structure type, as initially constructed or reasonably altered; and basic standard buildings which group well with others in classifications A and B.

The degree to which you can amend or alter your noted structure will depend on your local preparation department and/or conservation office guidelines, along with the classification of listing that your building falls into.


According to Historic England, historical windows of interest must be kept wherever possible using mindful matching repair, with total replacement being an uncommon last hope.Generally, in relation to Classification B noted buildings, the following repair work can be performed. Nevertheless it is necessary to always check with your local authority preparation department before proceeding with any deal with a noted structure.

  • Existing windows can ordinarily be draught proofed, however understand draught proofing that includes invasive treatments such as routering out the frame to set up brushes;
  • Existing window frames can generally be repaired, depending on the nature and degree of the repair;
  • Replacement single glazing is frequently allowed, where glazing is of a comparable density to the existing glass.
  • Installation of internal ironmongery for security is typically allowed.


Replacement of original windows need to really be viewed as a last option, and naturally, conservation bodies are often eager to prevent unneeded replacement of original widows at all expenses. This is because of a number of elements:

  • Replacement complete new windows will need preparation permission;
  • If preparing permission is approved, the replacement windows will typically require to be on a like for like basis, which is extremely pricey and uses slim profile double glazing units, which have been called into question by popular figures in the fenestration market for being mis-sold and stopping working to meet European Union security requirements;
  • Opting for replacement windows develops waste and destroys developed heritage;
  • Replacement windows might trigger structural concerns to the residential or commercial property.

Replacing original windows in a noted structure will generally constantly require listed structure approval, and will need to be “like for like”.

Secondary Glazing

Secondary glazing is a fantastic choice for those who wish to, or have no option but to keep their initial windows. Historic England defines secondary glazing as therefore:Secondary glazing is a totally independent window system set up to the room side of existing windows. The original windows stay in position in their original unaltered kind … Fixed types of secondary glazing are created to be gotten rid of in warmer months when the thermal advantages are not needed.

The most important element of installing secondary glazing in a listed building (aside from clarifying with your regional preparation department whether you require planning consent) is to guarantee that your secondary glazing choice works with your existing aesthetics and environments while solving all of the issues that you experience with the windows in your house.

Residing in a listed building can imply that the interior of the structure is also safeguarded, and therefore any secondary glazing option you select not just requires to be discreet, however likewise works with any initial shutters and ironmongery. These visual factors to consider need to be balanced with efficiency.

Living or working in a noted building frequently features a barrage of unique issues connecting to the windows: freezing cold in the winter, roasting hot in the summertime, unpleasant draughts and even the concern that the sun’s glare will fade home furnishings, artworks and artifacts in your residential or commercial property. The preliminary low cost of glass secondary glazing can be quickly negated if you have numerous concerns that you wish to resolve: include safety glass, UV defense and boosted thermal performance to a standard glass secondary glazing product and all of an unexpected it looks much less expense efficient.

So if you have numerous concerns, ensure you think about secondary glazing that addresses all of those problems.

Emergency Glazier in St Helen's
Glazing in a Listed Building

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