Do I need planning permission to change the windows in a Victorian house?

Want to change your windows in your Victorian house? You might need planning permission, says James Lee from MyGlazing.com, or at the very least have to conform to some restrictions.

Do I need planning permission to change windows in a Victorian house?

Need new windows in your period home? The first thing to check is the planning permission and what type of windows you can actually install in your Victorian property. A Victorian building could be within a conservation area and there may be local authority restrictions on installing modern, energy-efficient glazing.

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Your local council building control department may be fine about the kind of windows you want to replace so long as they look similar, but some councils insist on replica/identical materials being used. The type and style of window replacement could also come under scrutiny if your building is listed. The specifications do vary from council to council, so please check the Planning Portal at planningportal.co.uk.

When it comes to energy efficiency, there’s not a simple or easy answer: you have many options – double glazing, triple glazing, secondary glazing and/or installing low-emissivity glass, for example. Window film and coated glass can also improve energy efficiency and may be a less-expensive alternative.

If you have local authority restrictions on double or triple glazing, you could consider secondary glazing, which isn’t under any local authority directives. Double and triple glazing are more expensive because they involve replacing whole units, but they’re better at keeping heat in and improving thermal performance than secondary glazing.

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The best thing to do is to contact your three nearest glaziers who are members of the Glass and Glazing Federation (you can find on myglazing.com) and discuss your options with them. Get quotes and make the decision that’s best for you and your house.