If you live in a beautiful traditional town or village, you’ve likely purchased a property there because you fell in love with the local aesthetic. What keeps these places so stunning and whimsical is that there are conditions in place to ensure that any new builds in the area, or changes to existing properties in the area, are in keeping with that aesthetic that is so beloved by the people who love their area. Which can lead to issues when you’re wanting to make amendments to your own home.
If you’ve moved into an older home vs a newer build, there isn’t always the guarantee of the comforts of double glazing, for example, so you might be considering swapping out the old windows for newer ones. Whether that’s to make your home more energy efficient or whether it’s simply an aesthetic need.
It can feel like conservation areas restrictions will put a red light on any adaption you might like to make to your home, but that’s simply not the case.
Here’s how to get roof windows installed if you live in a conservation area…
In Conservation Areas
Luckily, the best window suppliers in the market have experience in dealing with these types of issues and have come up with window solutions for conservation areas, known as conservation windows.
Living in a conservation area, the main purpose of the strict rules and regulations is to protect how the building looks from the outside, on the street. If one building is out of keeping with the aesthetic, it runs the risk of devaluing the surrounding properties, which is why the conservation windows have been specifically adapted and designed to take this into account.
These windows oftentimes feature a black metal glazing bar across the window pane, which helps to mimic the design of old Victorian windows and to help them blend into the roof more seamlessly than more modern looking windows.
The next step is to get finding out whether you’re going to need planning permission from the local authorities in your area to start getting the work done.
How to Get Planning Permission Approved
Most smaller renovations to your home (including roof windows) do not require that your local council give you the go ahead so long as:
- Any windows installed must protrude no more than 150 millimetres above the existing roof plane
- No alteration can be higher than the highest part of the roof or stand out above the roof ridge
- Side-facing windows are to consist of obscure glazing for privacy purposes and should not be openable unless 1.7m above the floor
In some cases, properties can be subjected to what is known as an Article 4 direction, which means that special restrictions have been put on the property that removes the usual permitted development rights. And if work is done to a property that flouts this restriction, the local authorities might be able to demand that you return the property to its original state before the renovations, which will inevitably cost you time and money.
If you’re making the decision to have windows added to an existing roof as a structural or thermal amendment, this is considered as “material” and is subject to building regulations – and it’s understandable if the list above made you scratch your head and wonder whether the work is worth the hassle!
Hire a Professional to Install
To be able to get around having to request permission from your local authority to have roof windows installed, you should get in touch with a licensed professional. While the local authorities get the final say on what work they will approve and what is out of the bounds of regulation, a professional can help you to provide the best approach or solution before you even approach the authorities for permission.
They’ll be able to tell you not only what type of window would best suit your property, but also what will be within regulation, which can save you a lot of time and energy when it comes to adding windows to your roof. And better still, once the work is complete, your registered installer will provide you with a certificate to show you who did the work to prove that it was done within regulation.
If you need any further information on having roof windows installed in a conservation area, our specialist team can help you – get in touch on 01786 357 252.