Windows are some of the most prominent, public-facing features of any building, from period properties to modem office blocks. How they look often determines the look of the whole building, as well as its functionality – which means any changes have to be carefully considered. This is particularly true in blocks of flats, where differences of opinion between the various leaseholders, or between leaseholders and the landlord, can cause problems.
On top of the practical issues of deciding what alterations are necessary, how they should be carried out and what materials should be used – frames as well as the glass itself – legal issues often arise, making the process far more complicated than it might first appear.
And if it might seem like you need a degree in ‘window studies’ to manage a window replacement project in an ordinary block of flats, when it comes to listed buildings, things get even more complicated. This is because before work can begin, it is necessary to obtain listed building consent from the local planning department to ensure the special interests of the building as a heritage asset are taken into consideration.
Fortunately though, it is not necessary to advance to a PhD in window studies – instead, you can bring in an expert in the shape of a chartered surveyor, who can talce responsibility for the whole process.