UPVC Windows in Conservation Areas
Energy efficiency versus historical accuracy – that is the trade-off that many think they must make when living in conservation areas. However, it is possible to have energy efficient and modern windows in homes that must meet strict historic architectural standards. Let’s discuss the benefits of doing so and how you can get UPVC windows installed in conservation areas.
The Benefits of UPVC Windows
UPVC windows themselves have many benefits. They’re more energy efficient than the traditional single pane glass windows you have. They may have window tinting films that let natural light in but protect your privacy or prevent hot summer light enter the home. The UPVC windows are more durable than traditional frames, and they’re less prone to warpage. They certainly can’t rot. You’ll have less maintenance. The challenge is getting UPVC windows approved by the conservation authorities. This is possible when you follow the rules and use the right pitch for the project.
The Rules Regarding Conservation Areas
There are more than seven thousand conservation areas in the UK. These conservation areas impose restrictions that affect home renovations and even repairs. They are enforced by fines that can be levied for doing unauthorized work, even if it is eventually approved. This means you need to apply for planning permission before you have any home improvement project done. This includes replacing your old windows with UPVC windows. In a worst case scenario, if you replace the windows without permission, you’ll have to pay the fine and pay to have the new windows removed.
Why You Want to Have UPVC Windows Installed
You can have UPVC windows designed that reflect the original window design, whether you want faux wavy glass or an intricate window frame. For example, UPVC windows are a direct replacement for many timber sash windows. All you have to do is mimic the original appearance closely enough to be nearly indistinguishable. You’ll need to match the position of the window in the opening, match the profile of rails and glazing and have materials that look the same as the original. UPVC window frames can be made to match bright white or any other color of frames. You can match the proportions of almost any sashes and the overall dimensions.
The UPVC frame is almost indistinguishable from natural wood, but it won’t rot or require repainting. That low maintenance finish actually makes it easier to keep your home’s outward appearance in alignment with aesthetic guidelines. At the same time, it improves your home’s security and energy efficiency, and it is cost-effective. After all, there is a fair chance there are mass produced windows that would already slide into your window frame while matching the historic look. Choose a window company that understands the design requirements to ensure the new windows are a match.
This means that while UPVC is a modern material, you can get it approved under the National Planning Policy Framework when you frame the issue as being a direct aesthetic match for the historic windows. This will increase the odds the planning board will approve your request. You should also discuss how the updates benefit the property, such as making it more energy efficient and meeting modern environmental regulations.