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PVC-U in conservation areas – not as unlikely as you might think

Published: 31st January 2017

If you read the industry press or listen to the “experts” it would be easy to conclude that PVC-U isn’t accepted in conservation areas. Replacement windows in these areas mean timber and nothing else. It’s a source of outrage for many.

But look behind the headlines and you’ll find a very different story. Our vertical slider has been causing quite a revolution.

The Spectus vertical slider was designed with authenticity in mind. It has equal top and bottom sightlines. It has an optional deep bottom rail, moulded or through horn detailing and Georgian bars. Quite simply, it looks the part.

It’s one of the reasons more and more planners have been engaging with the concept of PVC-U. And it’s why Spectus vertical sliders have been installed in numerous conservation areas and listed buildings.

Let’s look at two examples.

  1. PVC-U vertical sliders in a Grade II cottage

Church Cottage in West Sussex is a Grade II listed building dating from the 17th century. The original timber windows had become too rotten and needed to be replaced.

The owner wanted to use PVC-U vertical sliders because they would be half the price of the timber equivalent with no compromise on aesthetics. She assumed she would have a fight on her hands, but nothing could be further from the truth. She applied for and gained planning permission, but in fact, it wasn’t required. The council felt the windows were in keeping with the traditional period design.

The end result is a building with a new lease of life and lower fuel bills – all thanks to PVC-U vertical sliders.


2. PVC-U vertical sliders for a 19th century school in a conservation area

Wimborne Junior School in Portsmouth is in a conservation area renowned for its strictness. So when the school needed to replace several hundred original timber windows, you might think it would have to use timber replacements. But you’d be wrong. Even on such a large-scale project, PVC-U was accepted. The reason? They helped to preserve the original appearance of the building while also being low maintenance and high performance.

The moral of this story is: don’t believe everything you read. Not all planners are anti-PVC-U. The Spectus vertical slider has got everything you need to make a strong case. And the fact it’s being welcomed in conservation areas and Grade II listed buildings up and down the country proves it.