DH and I are buying a Victorian lower ground garden flat in a lovely conservation area. Building, however, is not listed.
To get to the garden of the flat (which is not communal), you currently need to go out of the front door and down a path at the side of the flat - not ideal. Bedrooms are at the back facing the garden and have original sash windows (which need refurbishing). We are considering replacing one with a French door to give a direct route into the garden from within the flat but I'm concerned that a. We'd be removing a beautiful window (would want replica matching French door, not cheap upvc) and b. Would we need to have the frame reinforced?
Anyways, whilst mulling this over, I started to think if we could do this in one place, hey, we could also replace one of the sashes in the living room bay window at the front with a similar thing, giving us direct access to a south facing patio which would have the side benefit of bringing in more light. Currently, the only way to get to this patio is to either climb out of the window OR clamber down through the front garden. This makes a sunny little patio area pretty useless at the mo.
So ... I have no idea whether any of this would make sense, how much it would cost and again, if we'd need to reinforce the frames.
Thanks howtorebuild, do you mean store the window in case we changed our minds and wanted to revert back at some stage? Hadn't thought of that, I guess we could but it's quite a big window and not a massive flat (we are downsizing from a big 3 bed new build type house).
Am keen to just enjoy our new home so quite agree about getting something sympathetically made, I really was wondering though if any one had any experience of doing anything similar because there are a few things I want to do Nd not unlimited funds so need to budget and probably prioritise ...
If you live in a conservation area, I think you might need planning permission to do this, even at the back. Contact the council to find out.
If your flat is leasehold you may also need the freeholders consent. Check the terms of the lease, your solicitor will be able to advise. Normally you will not be allowed to make structural changes without consent.