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Sash windows in conservation area...

(10 Posts)
itllallbefine Wed 16-Dec-15 16:01:01

Hi mumsnetters,

I recently purchased an upper flat in a conservation area. The front of the property faces a main road which can be quite noisy. There are 3 large windows to the front which are all original sash windows with working shutters etc. However - although they look lovely they are draughty and let in a lot of noise. I initially looked into secondary glazing but I felt this looked a bit ugly and it also would prevent use of the shutters. I then spoke to a local joiner who said that the best thing to do was to draught proof the windows and replace the glass with so called "acoustic" glass. He provided a reasonable quote for this when compared to what they wanted for secondary glazing. He additionally claimed that replacing the windows with new double glazed ones was not a good idea as it would devalue the property (replacing the original windows would be a turn off for anyone who liked the period features) and that since it is in a conservation area, the thickness of the double glazing would be so thin that it wouldn't be worth it.

I suppose he would say that - but is he right ? Does anyone have any experience of a similar type of work, what difference does acoustic glazing make when it can only be single glazed ? Is there a decent reduction in noise from draught proofing and acoustic glass (even if it is only single glazed) - is the joiner correct about the double glazing etc ?

many thanks..

Moving15 Wed 16-Dec-15 18:15:41

Have you considered wooden shutters? Not plantation shutters but panelled wood like the original ones in Georgian and early Victorian houses? They are supposed to be very effective at sound and draught proofing. They are expensive but no where near as expensive as wooden sash windows that will satisfy the conservation officer.

exexpat Wed 16-Dec-15 18:23:00

You can get replacement hardwood sashes which are double glazed, draught-proofed etc - the plastic kind would probably devalue the property or not be allowed, but wooden ones (which look just like the originals) are an asset. Not cheap, though: around £1.5k per sash.

DoreenLethal Wed 16-Dec-15 18:37:38

We had the same problem. Our neighbours got new handmade double glazed windows at £1k per window; plus fitting. We got someone to take out the windows, put in sealers and mend them, plus repainted and it cost us £500 per window. Now, we are the only ones in the row with the original glass and frames, and yet we have no noise or gales blowing through. We had ours done this time last year.

The sealers are on each window, cut in and brush against the other window to completely seal it off. We could not believe the difference in the noise and the heat that we now have around the house.

AgathaF Wed 16-Dec-15 18:44:14

We're in the process of buying a victorian property in a conversation area, so that's interesting information Doreen. I have memories of single glazed windows in our house as a child, with ice on them during the coldest weeks in winter, so I was hoping that replacement double glazed sashes in a similar design would be allowed in a conversation area, but it's really difficult to get information from the council over this.

wonkylegs Wed 16-Dec-15 19:24:29

We live in a conservation area and had new replacement double glazed hardwood sash windows made - they match the previous ones exactly and we've had loads of compliments, you can't tell they are replacements until you get close and see that they are double glazed. They are lovely and warm and now all open. They weren't cheap though around £1k per window (they are huge windows though) but as we are staying here for years and they have added value to the house ( as part of a full refurbishment)

wonkylegs Wed 16-Dec-15 19:29:31

Whether or not you need permission in a conservation area depends on whether your article 4 rights have been removed and there is a clause relating to the windows.
We have no restrictions on replacing windows in our conservation area (except on specific listed buildings) but we wanted to be sympathetic.
You should be able to find details on the conservation area restrictions on your council planning portal - each council is a slightly different set up so I can't give you specific instructions on where to find it but it's likely to be somewhere on the council website even if it takes a bit of searching.

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Wed 16-Dec-15 19:39:29

Just wanted to say that we had seven replacement hardwood sash windows made for the lower two floors (front elevation that faced an A road) at our last house. It was a non-listed Georgian house in an AONB with no front garden and, being particularly wide, two of the reception rooms, the breakfast kitchen, the ensuite, four bedrooms and the office all fronted directly onto the pavement.

We particularly specified acoustic glass and paid around 10k to a local joiner good job we weren't getting all 21 done, but I was very disappointed (not with the quality of work which was great) but with the lack of difference the acoustic glazing made to the road noise. I wish we'd saved our money and gone for secondary glazing - and/or the originals refurbed and draught-proofed hmm

itllallbefine Wed 16-Dec-15 21:40:44

Thanks for all the feedback.

@raphaella - was the acoustic glass used in double glazed units ? To be clear the proposal here is to use a single pane of acoustic glass. I would not expect double glazing to be at all cheap - was quoted about 1.3k per window for secondary glazing, the windows are HUGE.

Heartened to hear that draught proofing and renovation of the original windows was so effective though, this does tally with what the joiner was saying.

Re the shutters - we still use what i believe are the original wooden shutters, they make little difference to the noise at least but they have a lot of gaps in them and the wood is slightly warped etc. One of the reasons i rejected secondary glazing as an option is that we would lose use of the shutters, and would incur additional cost buying blinds (east facing) and curtains for 3 very large windows.

itllallbefine Wed 16-Dec-15 21:43:33

just to be clear - he's proposing to replace the single pane of glass with a single acoustic pane.

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