Listed building - photo by Karen Blakeman

For those of you lucky enough to live in old fashioned housing, in more rural parts of the UK, you are more than likely to be living in a listed building.

This is generally a great thing for home owners, as they are regarded as culturally important and are very attractive, perhaps more so than more modern designs, but residents of these types of properties can experience heating issues. They are usually down to drafts and poor insulation measures in the old doors, windows and walls.

Grade I and grade II listed buildings can be more difficult to alter and upgrade, but luckily that only covers approximately 8% of homes in the UK today. Most listed homes in the UK are only grade II listed, which means there are things that their home owners can do to improve insulation and heat loss problems. We’ve looked into some of those options available.

It is also worth noting that, while all of these things can definitely be done to grade II homes, some of them can also be done to higher grade listed buildings, depending on their nature, location and the impact the improvements will have on the overall outside appearance of the house.

Central heating

Photo by Nuala

If your grade II listed home is heated by old fuel-based systems, you can upgrade it to a modern central heating system without consent from the council.

This can be a big money-saving option as old oil heaters can be very expensive to maintain. The only thing you aren’t able to do is redirect the chimney flues, which is not likely to be an issue anyway.


Most listed buildings will have single glazing windows. This can be a big inconvenience to you and your family members, as this will be a big factor regarding heat loss. Thankfully, there are many ways to avoid this common problem. The listed requirements mean that you can’t alter the appearance of a grade II listed building from the outside, but there are however solutions available that you can use for the insides of your windows. Anglian Home Improvements, for example, offer secondary glazing and upvc windows for your new home that can be attached to the inside of a listed window that provides almost all of the insulation benefits of regular and permanent double glazing.

These secondary glazing layers can be fitted easily and swiftly by home improvement experts. They also come with sliders attached to them, so your windows can be opened with no trouble, and you won’t lose the antique appearance of your home from the outside.


Roof of listed building - Photo by Elliott Brown

If your roof definitely needs replacing as it is beyond repair, you are within your right to do so. While your local council may require you to notify them of changes, you should be fine as long as you stick to the same sort of design. This is also usually on behalf of the other residents in similar houses nearby, to keep the whole neighbourhood looking traditional.

David loves spending time decorating his home and fixing things that aren’t even broken.

Useful links: