When it comes to replacing your windows, the conservation area manager, by law, protects the architecture for changes seen as ‘undesirable’. For one, many do not like to see windows, which are too modernised or stand out as a sore eye against the historical property. If you want to upgrade to PVCu windows, you have to contact your conservation officers to see if they will accept this proposal. Many area managers see PVCu windows as an unsuitable home improvement therefore it will take a lot of persuasion and presentation as to why you would like them. However, if you do succeed in having contemporary windows installed they must be lead-free and provide great energy efficiency – in other words their benefits need to outweigh the negatives. If you’re looking for a successful window proposal, timber windows and/or a steel window, which represent the style period that your home reflects – should be the best option. 


Looking to replace your front door? There are multiple factors you need to bare in mind before you make a definite decision with a door replacement. Firstly, you may want to check if your preferred door style is historic or has some type of authenticity to it. If you’re looking to have a PVCu door however, there is a possibility that this proposal will be rejected due to its contemporary appearance.


You also need to do a background check on the history of the door’s ‘furniture’ this includes its handles, knocker and letterbox – you’re checking for the age of the features and it historic value. If your house is listed you will need to achieve ’listed building consent’ in order to remove the originally implemented door for a new one of your choice. Sometimes the legislations with front doors are carried over to the desire to change your internal doors – this is because Georgian and Victorian homes primarily consist of panelled doors to keep a set style throughout the house. 


If you live in a simple conservation area, for example not an article 4 conservation area, then a conservatory should sit in permitted home improvement rights. However, your conservatory must meet a certain criteria in order to be approved, for instance your extension must not exceed a 4m height. Another important factor to note is that your conservatory should be restricted to 50 cubic metres if your home was been built in 1948 or earlier – if you were looking for a larger conservatory however your request would fall down to your conservation area manager.


A timber conservatory makes room for more lenience, however if you specifically want a PVCu extension then this could provoke issues, as many people frown upon PVCu due to it’s modern appearance de ranking the historical value of a home. If you are looking for a conservatory to match your ideas then do make sure you contact your local, planning authority to take up your proposal legally. Rules and regulations may differentiate depending on the conservation area you live therefore always make sure you speak to them before following this guide. 


Overall if you are looking to invest in new, home improvements for your home and you live in a conservation area there will no doubt be problems. However, there is still a possibility that you can get your home looking how you would like through use of complying with the special rules you may have – for instance buying a door with historic reference. Dependent on the conservation area you live in your conservation officers and landowner may differ in what they allow, which is why you should always get their advice instead of replying on online reports. This guide is a brief towards how modern day conservation areas handle the proposal of home improvements however our knowledge is limited as the laws may differ where you live.

A Guide to Home Improvements for Homes in Conservation Areas  

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Living in an area of conservation can be highly rewarding, with the financial and tranquil benefits at hand 24/7. The environment you live in is adamant on the protection of nature and the historical architecture, so how well will the land owner take to allowing home improvements?  The primary factor to consider when contemplating any home improvement, which modernises your property, would be the environmental impact it will have. Due to a conservation area solely, prioritising the wellbeing of its surroundings, you will need to greatly consider the energy efficiency of the home improvements you wish to invest in.


There are over 10,000 conservation areas in the UK and each of these exist to preserve history and environmental welfare, which is why home improvements need to be considerate or approved before they are initiated. It would be up to your local planning authority and the lenience of your conservation officers to if your plans would be able to be put into action. The team at Elite Windows have put together a guide towards how you should handle your desired home improvements and what your best options would be.



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