Do You Need a Permit to Replace Windows?

stamp on paper

No matter how big the scale of your renovation is, if you are contemplating any alteration to your home, you have to get the information about all the permits involved. When it comes to replacing windows, specifically, you might think permits are not needed due to how minimal replacing a window initially presents. But are there situations when a permit is required?

If you are working with an experienced window installation contractor, they should know everything there is about window replacement and installation. This, in turn, means they should be able to discuss with you all aspects of the project, starting with window replacement permits.

But sometimes, it is not all that easy. Although getting a permit is not a very time-consuming procedure, it can still delay the project. More than that, the window installers’ name will be on record, and the company will be responsible if anything goes wrong, especially in terms of insurance claims.

Check the Facts About Window Replacement Permits Yourself!

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Some window installers may assure you that the changes to the windows are not significant and a window installation permit is not needed. You might run into this situation if the company you are planning to hire is trying to cut corners. This should immediately strike you as a warning sign—who knows where else your contractor chooses to fall short!

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As a result, you, as a homeowner, are ultimately responsible for doing your homework, conducting research as to whether a window replacement permit is necessary. If you fail to do so, you might be fined, denied an insurance claim, or have problems selling your house in the future.

Although permits for replacing or installing windows have requirements that change from city to city in, according to most municipalities in Ontario, the following cases necessitate you get a permit:

Altering the Size of the Window

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If you are planning to change the width or height of a window in any amount, you will have to get a replacement permit prior to any changes. And it definitely makes sense; for example, expanding the window’s width often requires cutting the adjoining studs, which may affect the structural integrity of the wall.

Moreover, you should keep in mind the window lintel beam when considering expanding its size. What this beam does is carrying and evenly distributing the wall weight above the window so that it remains intact.

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So, obviously, in the event the size of the window is at all altered, the lintel beam would have to be accordingly adjusted to frame the new window. Done incorrectly, this crucial step might have serious repercussions, from cracks in the wall to wall collapse.

In addition, if you happen to live in a heritage building, window replacement permits are a must here, even for the slightest window size alteration. In this particular scenario, the property’s preservation and cultural value are at the heart of the conservation efforts. Therefore, expanding or reducing the size of a heritage window is strictly regulated and necessitates an official permit.

Installing a New Window

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You will need a permit if you are planning to install a new window. New window installation is actually a more serious project than it seems. By requiring permits for new window installation, the municipality wants to make sure that it will not affect the integrity of the wall.

Installing an Egress Window

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Installing an egress window is always a procedure that is strictly regulated by the Building Code. The main reason being that egress windows are not solely installed for aesthetic purposes—safety is also a major concern here. For this reason, a window installation permit is necessary so that your egress window does not pose a life hazard in the future.

Getting a Permit? Do Not Order the Windows Before Approval!

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Some contractors may assure you that documentation for the window replacement permit is on its way and will try to convince you to place an order on windows before getting the actual document, simply to ‘ to save time.’ It might be a tempting offer, but an honest window contractor would recommend you wait until your permit is fully processed.

Overlooking this step might result in damages and will probably end up costing you money, time, and effort later on. Upon the arrival of official documentation from your city, you can then proceed and order the windows for installation or replacement.

Changing the Windows? Good Time to Verify Your Windows Are up to Code.

custom home with amazing windows by milano windows & doors

Although municipal building codes do not change too frequently, if your house is at least 30 years old, and some custom alterations had been previously made, have a professional window installer inspect your windows to make sure they are up to current code. After all, windows are not only a design feature but a safety one, too. It is also essential that you do your research and make sure that you are aware of the requirements for window replacement permits.

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