Do Building Regulations prevent single glazed sash windows?

An interesting dynamic of British architecture is the challenge to embrace traditions we love and yet meet the requirements of modern styles and regulations. Achieving this can at times be problematic, with sash windows in particular being a recurring problem. Whilst the frames themselves perfectly meet all building regs, the traditional single glazed nature of them does not. As there is some conflicting information about the situation with sash windows in new homes going around, we thought you might appreciate some clarification.

In respect of new housing there is, under building regulations, an expectation for all windows to be double glazed. This is a matter few would argue with in a general sense, as the requirement relates to making homes energy efficient and keeping the occupants warm during those long winter months. There are, however, those who would rather have single glazing with the sash windows in their home. Whilst they respect the reasons why there are regulations in places to promote double glazing, the wish to preserve the traditional appearance of their windows is of more importance to many people.

Whilst building regulations do indicate that new builds should feature double glazing, this is not a requirement which has been applied retrospectively. What this means in respect of sash window restoration is that one does not have to replace single with double glazing. It might prove preferable or more advantageous to do so, but it is important to know that it really amounts to a personal choice.

Our sash window restoration work is carried out across Northumberland in accordance with building regulation requirements and the expressed wishes of you, the property owner. Whilst we can of course offer an opinion and advice about the best way to approach work on your existing sash windows, ultimately what we do must meet your wishes and expectations. We will always discuss with you what obligations and requirements are expected in terms of the current building regs, as well as ensuring that you are aware of all options available to you.