Soundproof Windows for Conservation Areas
Soundproof windows use the natural resonance of noise disturbances against themselves. By using different thicknesses of glass and specialised frame design, our windows disturb the flow of sound, preventing it from entering your home.
But don’t worry. At The Soundproof Windows we specialise in noise reduction timber windows for conservation areas.
Helping you secure planning permission, and customising products to fit with the regulations affecting your property, we are here to return peace and quiet to your home, without compromising on the visual appeal of your building.
What is a Conservation Area?
Designed to protect the architectural and historical heritage of British design, conservation areas exist to keep the country looking unique and interesting. Introduced in the 1960s, conservation areas now cover most of London’s streets and 10,000 locations around the UK, and ride on the principles that any changes to properties in these areas should either preserve or enhance the local neighbourhood.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a conservation area and are looking to make alterations to your property, you may need to get planning permission from your local authority before you proceed. You should also get in touch with the Building Control Service to inform them of your plans.
With years of experience installing windows in conservation areas, our expertise and our products are geared towards getting your planning permission approved.
Do I need planning permission to change my windows and doors?
When it comes to replacing windows or doors in a conservation area, your property will fall into one of four categories, which one it fits into will determine whether or not you need to get planning permission.
Whilst the advice below is generally correct, we always advise that you check with your local planning authority (LPA) before purchasing products or beginning any work.
Properties which are not in conservation areas.
As long as your replacement windows and doors are up to current building regulations, it is unlikely that you will require planning permission. Some local authorities won’t allow the installation of uPVC windows in certain areas, even if it’s not a conservation area.
Houses that are in conservation areas, but are not listed.
In most instances you will be able to replace your windows or doors with like-for-like replacements without the need for planning permission under ‘permitted development’. This means that you will need to replace timber windows with timber windows, or box sash with box sash.
The exception to the rule is properties that fall under ‘Article 4 Direction’. In these properties the LPA may have specific requirements regarding window and door installation.
Flats or commercial properties that are not listed.
As opposed to houses, flats and offices are not covered by permitted development, which means that these properties generally require planning permission. The good news is that this mostly doesn’t include windows and doors, as long as they’re like-for-likes as explained above. Article 4 Direction may still apply to the property, so do check with the LPA first.
In listed buildings you will always need planning permission to change the windows and doors, and getting permission can be tricky. In many cases permission is only granted if you cannot economically repair your windows, you can source specific glazing (i.e. hand-drawn glass), and the new windows or doors are made from identical materials.
When it comes to securing planning permission, alterations in design will be under close scrutiny from authorities. Conservation officers will be looking for a high-quality design scheme that will not disturb the aesthetic of the local area. So when applying for permission to alter windows in a conservation area, you should focus on a positive improvement to the area and your property.
Installing high quality, like-for-like windows, which improve the thermal efficiency and reduce noise pollution are practically guaranteed to gain approval.
As each conservation area is distinctive, every design project will need to be approached differently. Here’s where our expertise come in.
All of our products are made to order, meaning that we can design, manufacture and install windows that will conform to your local standards. Whether these are like-for-like replacements, or slimline double glazing solutions, our windows are specially designed to keep noise out and your home looking unique.
Conservation Area Window Design
Though each area will be different, the following are some of the design elements common to conservation area windows.
Concealing most of the external frame behind the facade of your property.
Heritage Glazing Bars
In keeping with the properties in your area, we have a range of heritage glazing bars to choose from.
Sash lifts, heritage fitch fasteners, dee handles and more.
Window Options for Conservation Areas
When it comes to replacing windows in conservation areas in order to improve soundproofing, you have a couple of options to choose from, each coming with their pros and cons.
If budget is an issue, or you can’t change the outward appearance of your property, installing secondary glazing within your existing frames can dramatically improve both insulation and soundproofing.
However, there are a few issues when it comes to installing secondary glazing. For one, you will lose any internal cill space that you had, and can lose even more room if the cill needs to be extended. Additionally, conservation officers may deny their installation as, even though they’re installed inside the property, they can change the overall aesthetic.
Like-for-Like Replacement Windows
The most sure-fire way to get approval is to get custom-made replacements that have the same aesthetic appeal as your current windows. Depending upon the rules that govern your local area, you may be required to have the windows made from the same materials and will certainly need to replicate their overall shape, size, colour and finish.
It goes without saying that having bespoke windows manufactured for your property, especially if they improve thermal efficiency and reduce noise pollution, will add genuine value to your home – both in terms of resale, and quality of living.
However, when it comes to listed buildings, you may need to source rare or expensive materials such as hand-drawn glass, for this reason they can be expensive and may not actually improve thermal efficiency or soundproofing.
SPECIALIST SOUNDPROOF WINDOWS & DOORS FOR CONSERVATION AREAS
We know how important your home is to you. That’s why we pride ourselves on offering advice that helps you make intelligent, informed decisions concerning changes to your property. Want to ask us any questions?