There are nearly 500,000 listed properties across England and Wales. Homeowners often find that the protected nature of a Grade II listed property can make it difficult to modernise. These restrictions are in place to protect the historic character of the building. Owning a listed building means owning part of the nation’s national heritage. This means that you have to apply for planning permission if you want to make any changes to your property. There are several ways that you can modernise your listed property. In addition, it is essential to note that you should always look for the right professionals to carry out work on your property.
If you want to make changes to the interior of the building, you will only need to apply for Listed Building Consent. This is usually done through an application with the council. On the other hand, if you are looking to renovate the exterior of the building, you will need to apply for planning permission. It is important to note that this often includes the surrounding garden space and trees. Make sure you check permissions before making any changes to your property as unauthorised work is considered a criminal offense.
Install Water-Cooled Air Conditioning
Temperature control is often an issue in listed buildings. They tend to be very cold during the winter months and exceptionally warm in the summer. Air conditioning is a logical solution, however, traditional air conditioning systems require an outside condenser which is usually fixed to an external wall of the property. This may cause some problems in terms of planning permission.
Water-cooled air conditioning, on the other hand, does not require an external condenser. They are suitable to install in restricted properties such as apartments and Grade II listed buildings. The condenser is plumbed into your mains water supply and uses water in a controlled manner to cool the air. In addition, engineers hide the condenser in a concealed space such as a cupboard. This means that you do not need to compromise on the visual aesthetic of your listed property.
Invest In Sustainable Energy
Solar panels are a great way to add renewable energy to your property, however, they do require listed building consent. It can be a challenge to obtain permission to install solar panels as they have quite a big visual impact on the exterior of the property. There is, however, an alternative option with solar roof slates. They are designed to look like ordinary roof slates and would therefore be completely invisible, allowing you to integrate renewable energy into your listed property without damaging the appearance or character of your home.
Improve Thermal Performance
Many listed buildings are a challenge to keep warm during the winter months. There are a few ways to increase the thermal performance of your listed property, without major renovations. Some other options such as installing double glazing will require planning permission but are worth considering. Some quick fixes include:
- Improve loft insulation
- Install insulating curtains or shutters
- Draught-proof any doors and windows
- Reduce chimney draughts with chimney balloons
Use TV Streaming Services
If you want to install TV services such as Sky, you will need to apply for planning permission due to the satellite being fixed to an external wall. Satellite dishes are often not permitted in listed buildings due to the nature of their installation. The good news is that you can now go wireless. Sky has released a new service, Sky Stream, which allows you to stream your favourite tv shows through Wi-Fi. The service does not require a satellite dish, making it ideal for listed properties.