Whether out of planning necessity or out of a genuine love for the UK’s architectural past, period home owners will often need to take a number of steps to ensure that their home is conserved in a way that befits its heritage.
To support them in this process there are a number of organisations they can turn to find the advice and guidance they need. Below we look at some of the best.
While timber window and door restoration may not necessarily require planning permission, your local authority may be able to point you in the direction of relevant conservation organisations. They may also be able to provide you with literature that provides guidance on the changes that can and can’t be made to timber windows within your area.
Each local authority will have a dedicated Conservation Officer who is on hand to answer any queries relating to conservation matters. Local authority sites will also often have conservation pages on their main website that will help to steer them in the right direction.
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) is involved in many aspects of preservation of old buildings of architectural interest, but its chief concern is with ‘the nature of their “restoration” or “repair”.
SPAB is the largest, oldest and most technically expert national pressure group fighting to save old buildings from decay, demolition and damage.
To this end SPAB offers the SPAB Technical Advice Line on 0207 456 0916 (Monday – Friday, 09:30 – 12:30) to provide free conservation advice to homeowners, as well as a number of training courses and publications for those who care for pre-1919 properties.
English Heritage offers a dedicated advice page on its website covering a number of heritage preservation topics such as the maintenance and repair of heritage homes as well as offering a twice yearly Conservation Bulletin outlining ‘new thinking and innovative case studies on a wide range of heritage issues’.
The Listed Property Owners Club
Owning a listed building can be a source of pride for many homeowners, but living in a listed building is no light undertaking. With listed building consent to navigate and original features to maintain, The Listed Property Owners Club offers a resource that homeowners can draw from. Among the benefits of joining the club include a telephone advice line that is free for members. The club also offers a downloadable Guide on Listed Buildings, and registration to the website is free.
Period focused societies
If you are keen to find conservation advice that is particular to your home’s period then the following groups and societies could prove invaluable.
The Victorian Society: Offers a range of publications and advice articles relating to the conservation of Victorian and Edwardian homes.
The Georgian Group: Providing conservation advice to homeowners is included as part of the group’s education programme. The Group also offers a reference library containing 4000 books and journals on a range of relevant subjects including architectural history, which is free to Georgian Group members.
Sash Window Professionals
While seeking out advice from the above sources should help you to feel more confident about restoring your property, it is also important to get advice from professionals working with period homes.
The Sash Window Workshop has extensive experience in restoring, draught proofing, and replacing timber windows and doors in period properties, and we are able to tailor each window and door to your exact requirements.