From period properties to modern blocks, many buildings are defined by their windows. The smallest changes have a fundamental affect on their appearance and functionality, which is why replacing windows is an important major works project in any block. For an older period building, town and country planning controls and Listed Building restrictions may dictate that replacement windows must replicate the originals, even when modern alternatives might transform its functionality (allowing reversible cleaning for example).
In the context of residential blocks, the key legal question is who is responsible for maintenance and replacement of the windows themselves. In some cases it is unclear where ownership of the windows lies and legal interpretation is required. Things are complicated further by the fact that the Landlord is responsible for scaffolding and windows in communal areas even when the Leaseholder has responsibility for the windows themselves. Earl Kendrick are experts in all the legal as well as technical aspects of repairing or replacing windows in residential blocks and can manage the whole process from obtaining consent to the replacement itself.
Implementing window replacement projects can have a huge impact on the ongoing maintenance costs of a building. At Earl Kendrick, we have worked with many buildings where the initial costs of installing new windows is offset by savings in the ongoing maintenance (repair and redecoration), even in the short term. We can provide design advice on the options for the new windows, obtain statutory consents and calculate a lifecycle cost for the project, balancing initial costs with long-term maintenance along with secondary considerations, including the effect of the project on the rest of the building. The key is to avoid surprises, to manage expectations and to integrate everyone’s requirements. The project is completed to fulfil expectations and with a clear plan in place for future maintenance.