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Double glazing in a grade II listed house

(46 Posts)
Flymeaway4 Sat 15-Aug-20 23:54:30

Has anyone had any success with this and might be willing to share tips for getting it approved?

A few more specifics:
- we fall under Stroud District Council
- the house is a derelict, 18th century farmhouse
- the windows are rolled steel/Crittall type, although the date they were installed is under dispute. Council think 19th century, so still not original windows, but they want them restored and retained regardless. We think they are newer and therefore could be deemed inappropriate anyway

If anyone has had success with this and might be able to share contacts for a heritage specialist or anyone else who might help (possibly someone sympathetic to our cause?!), give any tips for how to get it through the planners or can provide any other info we’d be very grateful!

OP’s posts: |
GidgetGirl Sun 16-Aug-20 00:05:08

It’s very very tricky to gain permission to install double glazing in a listed property if the property retains historic windows (even if not original) which could be repaired. There is a possibility if the existing windows can be proven to be totally beyond repair.

To gain permission for this this and any other alterations, and to avoid huuuge legal headaches in the future, you’ll need a heritage consultant. Happy to give you some pointers if you send me a PM (I am one!).

Flymeaway4 Sun 16-Aug-20 17:44:05

@GidgetGirl I will, thanks for the offer!

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Salome61 Sun 16-Aug-20 23:24:08

I sold my listed building because I was refused very discreet secondary glazing in the bedrooms at the back of my house. The indoor temperature was really low even with the heating on full blast, we just used to wear our coat in the house and hug the log burner all winter. It was like living in a freezer.

Flymeaway4 Mon 17-Aug-20 11:38:48

@Salome61 that’s madness! How can they expect anyone to live like that, it’s unhealthy! I was about to say they have to move into the 21st century at some point, but sometimes I think they’ve yet to make it to the 20th!

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Mollscroll Mon 17-Aug-20 11:41:27

There was something on Grand Designs a few years back about a new sort of double glazing that was deemed suitable for some listed housing. Mainly it was to do with the look of the glass not being too reflective I think. Might be worth a google. Expensive I’d guess.

Bluntness100 Mon 17-Aug-20 11:43:42

Very unusual to be denied secondary glazing. Op the best bet is ask the planners what they recommend.

Bluntness100 Mon 17-Aug-20 11:46:28

Sorry I should add, they normally will come out and advise you. It’s the easiest way. They will also have contacts.

SoupDragon Mon 17-Aug-20 11:48:44


There was something on Grand Designs a few years back about a new sort of double glazing that was deemed suitable for some listed housing. Mainly it was to do with the look of the glass not being too reflective I think. Might be worth a google. Expensive I’d guess.

I remember this too. It was something like "heritage glass" and was also thinner than standard double glazing.

SoupDragon Mon 17-Aug-20 11:49:21

It might have been on one of the George Clark Restoration programmes though.

Arrowcat Mon 17-Aug-20 11:50:40

Scotland so slightly different but I just replaced the original windows with custom made double glazed. As long as they looked and operated the same it was fine. Even allowed pvc as the original were white wood. It was a bit more expensive as custom but nearly all of them have to be custom for old buildings anyway.
I did have to submit to the council to prove it was exactly like for like though.
Good luck.

gonewiththerain Mon 17-Aug-20 11:51:00

I put bespoke Yorkshire lights with double glazing in a 16 th century cottage. The existing windows were rotten and only 2 were possibly original.
One window I didn’t replace as it would have been a battle between building control and listed building so I put secondary glazing in.
Yorkshire lights are known for being very draughty

madcatladyforever Mon 17-Aug-20 11:51:21

i had a grade2 listed house at one time and my mum has one, we both got permission for removal secondary glazing inside and the houses were warm and toasty with the heating on.
Critall windows do double glazing so I don't see why they are not agreeable to that.

madcatladyforever Mon 17-Aug-20 11:51:36


Bluntness100 Mon 17-Aug-20 11:51:44

Here is the information from historic England on secondary glazing

Plenty of companies do it and you can google them.

AteAllTheAfterEights Mon 17-Aug-20 11:52:28

@Bluntness100 the OP doesn’t want secondary glazing though, they want double glazing.

We have a grade 2 house and we’re denied permission to replace like for like sash & case with slim double glazing and there is still some in tact historic glass present

Bluntness100 Mon 17-Aug-20 12:05:34

Yeah I get she wants double but it’s unlikely she will get that, secondary does the same thing and is generally recommended within parmeters in listed buildings.

orangenasturtium Mon 17-Aug-20 12:50:54

Council think 19th century, so still not original windows, but they want them restored and retained regardless. We think they are newer and therefore could be deemed inappropriate anyway

As I'm sure you realise, it is more complicated than that. Listing is not just about preserving perfect examples of period architecture, it is about preserving architectural history as well. I live in an area of what started out as elegant Georgian town houses that declined to a slum, was requisitioned by the War Office, then used as social housing bedsits, before being sold off and the area regenerated. That is all part of the history of the buildings so all the changes made at those different times have to be preserved too - the defunct, old LCC stamped (London County Council) drainpipes that lead to where kitchens and bathrooms used to be, the houses that have replacement Victorian or mid century architectural ironwork (railings, security grilles, window box holders, balconies), odd little extensions to house bathrooms, mismatching windows etc My DP lived in a thatched dower house that was thatched at the front but the other side of the roof had been replaced with corrugated iron as a cheap alternative. The corrugated iron had to stay as it was of architectural interest.

You should get permission for secondary glazing but you may have to keep the same style of window frame, even if it not original.

madcatladyforever Mon 17-Aug-20 14:56:33

Unfortunately I don't think you are going to have a choice. Secondary glazing is amazing, my mums is top quality, she gets no condensation and no draughts.
You really cannot just stick double glazing in a listed building, they are protected and everything that was in the building at the time of listing no matter when it was put in is listed also.
This is why my new house is modern - 1990s. It's cottage style but I can put in anything I want.
My old house had to have permission for absolutely everything and it cost me a small fortune.

formyboys Mon 17-Aug-20 14:58:36

Eh? You don't need permission for double grazing that sits inside the window and is therefore completely removable. You are not altering the fabric of the building!

Flymeaway4 Mon 17-Aug-20 15:04:53

@Mollscroll it’s the heritage glazing we want to put in, but so far they don’t like the idea

@Arrowcat it does seem to be different rules everywhere, which is a pity. We’ve not even asked for uPVC, we’re happy with wooden casements.

@gonewiththerain that’s interesting. I think we’ll need to prove they’re not original too.

I really don’t want secondary glazing, I just think it looks awful, so cumbersome and impractical and given we can’t do any wall insulation and I feel like we might battle for roof insulation too, we really need something to help make it more thermally efficient!

@orangenasturtium I do get that, but there is precedent in the town for allowing mid 20th century Crittall installed in older houses to be replaced with wooden casement heritage double glazing, due to the Crittall being ‘inapproriate’ (their words, not mine).

It’s just so frustrating that this building is falling down (literally!) and it’s us who will be spending £300k plus to save it, yet the one thing we really do want they may say no to and insist on something that looks so naff and just isn’t compatible with modern living anymore.

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AteAllTheAfterEights Mon 17-Aug-20 16:18:53

@Arrowcat can I ask where you are? We are grade b in Scotland and it was denied

Bluntness100 Mon 17-Aug-20 16:30:54

Op is the precedent in listed buildings like yours?

I don’t think you’ll be able to change the windows to what you want, the whole point of a listing is to preserve the fabric for historical interest. If you weren’t willing to do this you shouldn’t have bought it. And secondary glazing doesn’t look naff, it mimics the existing windows if done well and is very energy efficient.

Id think very long and hard about if you wish to continue with the project, or if it is better to cut your losses now.

I live in a listed building. I understand why it’s listed and am willing and wish to maintain it, shit windows and all. We change the things we can, decor, kitchen, bathroom etc, but we do not change the fabric of the building nor would we wish to. If you do wish to change it as you do, then it was a terrible idea to buy it in the first place.

Flymeaway4 Mon 17-Aug-20 17:34:18

I believe the precedent is set in buildings like ours, but I’ll admit I’m no expert. Same era, not farmhouses as such but 2 detached houses and a former coachhouse.

I do understand that to an extent, but there has got to be some give and take, especially given how far the house, including the windows, has now deteriorated and the sums needed to restore it all. We want a comfortable family home, they want the building saved, but it seems they’d rather let it crumble down than compromise.

That’s a ridiculous and ill-informed leap to make really, isn’t it? There any many reasons we bought the property, none of which you are privy to, but one was that we don’t want to live in an off the peg new build, we want a home with history and character and we do want to restore and maintain what we can of that. But that doesn’t mean we want that at the expense of our comfort and more modern standards of energy efficiency. We all need to do our bit for the environment nowadays and neither single glazing nor secondary glazing cut it anymore.

And clearly we disagree, they do look naff!

OP’s posts: |
ivfdreaming Mon 17-Aug-20 17:43:16

You might have more look with timber windows?

Upvc will look beyond naff

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