Period windows, the most common being single-glazed sash windows, remain popular today for their generous size, elegant proportions and clean lines, but they’re not usually known for their insulative value.

how to improve your period windowsOlder, single-glazed windows tend to allow for draughts. This you don’t want, but you’ll want to preserve the integrity of the windows and the aesthetic integrity of the building as a whole. It might be the windows don’t provide adequate insulation or perhaps they require maintenance work?

Our love affair with period properties and ‘characterful features’ shows no signs of abating, so if you’re planning to buy or have just bought a period property in Wimbledon or the surrounding areas and the windows could benefit from a little TLC, there are certain steps to take.

Repair or replace?

Everything possible should be done to preserve the original windows if they still exist within their frames. Traditional windows can usually be repaired, and this will ultimately cost you less than all-out replacement.

If you want to improve thermal efficiency, make the windows more draught-proof, reduce noise pollution and reduce your energy bills, the best approach is to install secondary glazing but keep the original window in place on the outside.

However, poorly-constructed and ill-fitted double glazing can look unsightly and not in-keeping with the style of the property, destroying its character. It’s important to find a glazier who specialises in producing bespoke double glazing for period properties. If done properly, all that should be seen is the original window on the outside. In most cases, it is better to add secondary glazing and keep the original window than to replace the old window entirely with new double-glazing.

How to upgrade existing windows

Old windows are susceptible to warping, swelling (if frames are made of timber) and sticking. It’s also common for window frames to become rotten and in need of replacement. If this is the case with your windows, again, don’t rush into replacing them. Look to upgrade and repair them if at all possible.

Secondary glazing will solve any issues to do with insulation or thermal efficiency, while if window frames need repairing they can be repaired. If the windows are otherwise in good condition, they can be draught-proofed.

Is planning permission required for window replacement?

If you do have to replace the windows, you’ll need to check where you stand before taking any action. For example, is the property in a Conservation Area? If it is, you may need to apply for permission. Is the property a listed building? If it is listed, you will have to apply for listed building consent from your local planning authority. This is necessary if in any way you intend to alter the appearance or character of the building.

What about the style and design?

A good starting point is to speak to your local conservation officer, especially if you need to replace one or all of the windows if they are beyond repair. It is important to evoke the style and design of the original windows in their replacement, fitting windows which complement the style of the building.

Are you looking to buy property in Wimbledon, Wimbledon Village of the surrounding areas? Our experienced estate agents can provide the guidance and support you need. Get in touch now 

About the author

Nicolas Holmes

Nick joined Robert Holmes to inject fresh ideas and help grow the New Homes department of Robert Holmes as well as helping to inject technology into the business and to grow its client base. Together with one of the Directors Nick is in charge of all Development opportunities that Robert Holmes deals with along with sales. Aged 40, he provides succession together with the two existing directors. Nick has always been focused on building client relationships and sales. He built up his own gallery in Chelsea, where he had a loyal following of customers and artists.

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