Timber Conservation Windows

There’s no truer saying than “An English man’s home is his castle”, and that’s literally true if your house lies within one of the designated English Conservation areas which are home to an estimated one million properties, dating back as far as before the 16th Century and all having special protection status

What is a Conservation area?

In 1967 10,000 Conservation areas were identified with unique and distinctive features, which mean that they are considered to be places of great interest to the architectural history of this country. As these designated areas need protecting to preserve the historic and architectural elements within them, Local Authorities were given extra controls over minor external alterations and demolitions.  

What does this mean to me as a homeowner within a Conservation area?

If you’re a homeowner living in a listed building or within a Conservation area subject to ‘Article 4 Directions’ wishing to undertake work on the outside of your property such as replacement windows, it’s important to note that as major repairs, overhauls or replacement of your windows could be considered detrimental to the historic value of your home, you may need planning permission from your Local Authority to replace or upgrade your windows. Therefore before commissioning the installation of Timber Conservation Windows be sure and check with your local council. A proposal detailing the scope of work will need to be submitted and you may be required to show your planning or conservation officer samples, technical specifications and brochures for your proposed Timber Conservation Windows from the start. Even the smallest of changes could have a significant impact on your property’s appearance. For example, the proportions and position of the sashes, arrangement of the opening lights, width of the profile of glazing, bar details and even the glass itself, so you must consider every details of your replacement Timber Conservation Windows carefully.

Why should I choose Timber Conservation Windows?

If you’re a homeowner living in a listed building or within a Conservation area subject to ‘Article 4 Directions’ wishing to undertake work on the outside of your property such as replacement windows, it’s important to note that as major repairs, overhauls or replacement of your windows could be considered detrimental to the historic value of your home, you may need planning permission from your Local Authority to replace or upgrade your windows. Therefore before commissioning the installation of Timber Conservation Windows be sure and check with your local council. A proposal detailing the scope of work will need to be submitted and you may be required to show your planning or conservation officer samples, technical specifications and brochures for your proposed Timber Conservation Windows from the start. Even the smallest of changes could have a significant impact on your property’s appearance. For example, the proportions and position of the sashes, arrangement of the opening lights, width of the profile of glazing, bar details and even the glass itself, so you must consider every details of your replacement Timber Conservation Windows carefully.

Why should I choose Timber Conservation Windows?

More often than not, timber windows will be found in historic properties. Therefore, for those homeowners looking to replace their current windows in a home within a Conservation area, Timber Conservation Window frames offer a more preferable traditional look than modern alternatives such as uPVC or Aluminium. In addition Timber Conservation Window frames have the versatility to complement virtually any style of property. 

What styles are Timber Conservation Windows available in? 

Timber Conservation Windows are most typically either Sash or Casement Windows as these were the window style as traditionally used in period properties:

The Timber Sash Window

Timber sash windows consist of glazed panels which open either horizontally or vertically, the term ‘sash’ referring to a single frame containing glazing. This style of window is a typical feature of Victorian and Georgian properties. The traditional sliding sash window incorporates a design of two sashes that slide up and down, one in the front and one behind, both in vertical groves and counterbalanced by corded weights which allows the opening movement, and it can be opened from the top or the bottom, or both. When deciding on the sash style of Timber Conservation Windows for your period property it’s important to ensure that the correct style for the age of your home is chosen, a good guideline is the number of panes within the glazed area as this is a good indicator of the era is resembles. For instance, Georgian house typically have six panes, whereas Victorian homes traditionally had only two panes.

Casement Windows

Casement windows became feature of home from the 18th century onwards and were particularly popular in Tudor homes where they were mostly multi-paned. In houses of the Stuart period Casement windows became taller and were typically divided into four by a single mullion. The casement window is attached to a frame by one or more hinges and is opened by cranking the windows outwards, away from the building. The most popular Timber Conservation Windows is the side hung Casement widow; this is hinged at the side to allow for easy opening. Other designs include the top hung and fixed casement windows.

The Fixed Timber Window

Often seen in period houses, this of window doesn’t open, it’s therefore a popular choice for a small window located next to a door or a feature window. These windows were usually located in areas where of a property where the window remained permanently closed for security reasons. Timber Conservation Windows can be designed in either the style of a sash window or a casement window whilst still being fixed, but this choice will largely depend on the other windows you have in your home to preserve the property’s traditional appearance.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Timber Conservation Windows?

Advantages of Timber Windows

  • They are the ideal choice for homes within a conservation area as we ensure that our Timber Conservation Windows closely match the character of the windows they are replacing and so enhance your property without compromising any planning regulations/guidelines.

  • Timber Conservation Windows have a long lifespan which can be up to 60 years when made to Wood Window Alliance standards. In comparison uPVC windows have a lifespan of around 30 years making Timber Conservation Windows a far better investment in terms of durability.                                                                                                                                                                                               

  • Timber Conservation Windows  are easily maintained and repaired without the need to replace the whole window. 

  • Timber Conservation Windows have a low thermal conductivity therefore they provide good insulation to retain warmth and help to reduce energy bills.

  • They are by their nature eco-friendly when using FSC certified timber.

 Disadvantages of Timber Windows

  • Timber Conservation Windows are known to be more susceptible to the outside environmental influences such as adverse weather and to where they are installed. So if your conservation area/property is located where there is salt in the air such as near to the sea, this can affect the timber frames. Also if not installed properly or maintained regularly, Timber Conservation Windows can suffer from draughts or rattles. 

  • Timber Conservation Windows are vulnerable to damage by insects such as termites. 

  • Timber Conservation Windows must be regularly and correctly maintained to protect the wood as they can rot if left untreated. 

  • Timber Conservation Windows are generally more expensive than their uPVC equivalent. 

Here at Welbeck Windows we have worked upon many projects to install sympathetic Timber Conservation Windows where the property has been within a Conservation area and subject to ‘Article 4 Directions’ with all that legislation entails. We have our own in house Architect who specialises in this process and can manage your project from start to finish for you making this hassle free also providing provide expert advice on the style that would best suit the character of your property. If you think you may be in a Conservation Area why not give us a call on 0203 583 3525 

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