The general rule of thumb is, the older a building, the more likely it is going to be listed.

All buildings built before 1700, which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most of those built between 1700 and 1840. Generally speaking, the listed buildings we usually work with were built between 1714 and 1910; these are Georgian (1714-1830), Victorian (1837-1901) and Edwardian (1901-1910) buildings, simply because our specialisms lie with timber casement and sash windows renovations and restorations.

There are approximately 460, 000 listed buildings in the UK however, ‘building’ is used with a wider meaning, including statues, walls, post boxes, telephone boxes and uninhabited structures. Clearly listed buildings help us acknowledge and understand our shared history, as period property specialists, this is something that we hold dearly.

If a building is listed it will have a grading, these vary in different areas of the UK, though the basic principles remain the same. The grading system for England and Wales has 3 categories:

  • Grade I  exceptional interest, sometimes considered internationally important – only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.
  • Grade II*  particularly important buildings of more than special interest – 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II.
  • Grade II  buildings are nationally important and of special interest – 92% of all listed buildings are in this class and it is the most likely grade of listing for a home-owner.

Listing isn’t a preservation order, like some may think. It is in fact an identification stage where buildings are made known to the public and celebrated as having exceptional architectural or historical significance, before any planning stage which may decide a building’s future. The intention is not to freeze a building in time; listed buildings can move on, with new casement and sash windows, including with double glazing in many cases, however consent must be applied for in order to make any changes to that building which might affect its significance. English Heritage approval is certainly required for Grade I and Grade II*

In order to proceed with work on a listed building or on a building in a conservation area, you must first apply for listed building consent from your local planning authority. If you are living in a conservation area and you need to discuss what changes you want to make to your house, the best person to speak to would be a conservation officer at your local council.

As a bespoke joinery company, we’re fortunate to work with a wide variety of buildings, many of which are listed buildings or in conservation areas.

To help readers’ progress, we have very strong relationships with many authorities and can help you. Alternatively, if you’d like to find out if a property is listed, you can search on The National Heritage List for England, which also contains information on registered battlefields, parks and landscapes, and historic wreck sites. You can also contact your local authority, who can tell you if the area you are interested in is a conservation area.

If you would like to discuss making changes to or refurbishing your listed building windows, or if you live in a conservation area and need some advice or a free survey, please call 0333 6000 196 or email

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