Listed properties can be some of the most beautiful and wistful to own. They have their own story to tell, all encased in a unique structure that councils are keen to see preserved. However, in an effort to protect over half a million listed buildings, there are strict building regulations. These regulations can make obtaining listed building consent tricky with hoops, paperwork and time necessary. These can affect homeowners of all kinds with even the rich and famous Jimmy Page embroiled in a legal battle with Robbie Williams that took five years to complete. These can have huge ramifications so be sure to understand what you can do before breaking ground. Some of the most popular home additions, or alterations, are replacing doors and windows with more thermally efficient models or adding a conservatory on to a listed building. These additions offer the maximum benefit with less interference to your life and home.
What is a Listed Property?
If you’re unsure on whether your building is listed it is best to check with the National Heritage List for England (NHLE). Their database is accessible online and grades for buildings are broken down into three categories. Namely;
Grade 1: Exceptional interest
Grade 2: Particularly important
Grade 2: Of special interest
These grades can refer to everything from the inside to the outside of the structure and is commonly referred to as the ‘curtilage’. If your home is listed you will have to consult your local planning authority before undertaking any development. These specialists will look at every aspect of your home extension in an in-depth assessment to ensure the historical structure is protected.
Consulting an architect or surveyor should be one of the first steps you take. Their insight into the legalities of altering buildings is incredible and can help you understand what and how you can add much-needed space, light and warmth to your home.
Assessing Your Options
An assessment by your local heritage committee will often look to protect any existing walls and any other key features like cornices or accents. Be sure to look at the key features and think about ways they can be protected or incorporated into your addition. Glass extensions and lean-to conservatories are a great way to show off original stone walls while adding extra room. Timber-framed conservatories fit perfectly with a timber-framed home and can add real value to your home. Some of the easiest ways to nod to the original structure are to source traditional materials such as wood or stone or match the colour of the original structure in your extension or conservatory’s framework. Luckily, modern conservatory specialists like Stormclad have a wide range of colours to match any and all styles and colours.
Whatever the key features of your home, there is a multitude of ways to incorporate them into your design so don’t be disheartened.
Plan for the Future
If you’ve decided to commit to expanding your home, then you should do it right. Make your materials work for you with thermally efficient windows, doors and seals. These upgrades will lead to less loss of heat and a saving in energy every month. Changing seals, windows and doors are also relatively low impact and not likely to alter the look and feel of your home.
Another consideration when planning for a home extension is ventilation and light. Many old buildings have small windows so upgrading your home with new, large windows, a lean-to extension or conservatory can create an idyllic sun trap that your whole family will love.
Whether you’re looking at adding an opulent conservatory or orangery to your period home or just upgrading your windows and doors to modern standards, Stormclad is perfectly placed to help you navigate the murky waters of listed property extensions. Don’t be afraid to create your dream home, contact us today for a free consultation and our expert team will help you protect the past while building for the future.