Do You Need a Permit to Replace Windows?

Do You Need a Permit to Replace Windows?
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3 months ago
Reviewed by Bryan Baeumler

When it comes to replacing windows in homes, it’s not always as straightforward as you may think. The process involves not only appointing a contractor, finding the right materials, and considering your budget - something that people often don’t think about is permits.

There are a few different situations in which you would need a permit to replace your windows.

Why Should You Replace Your Windows?

More often than not, it will be a subtle, gradual decline over the years that will see us replacing windows within our homes. However, there may be other reasons as to why you should replace your windows sooner rather than later.

Let's take a look at some of the most common reasons homeowners need to have their windows replaced.

Weather Damage

Climate plays a huge role in the lifespan of your windows. Wear and tear as a result of the elements take their time to leave their mark, whereas a fierce storm could result in immediate damage. The latter often leaves you with the inability for minor repairs, but complete replacement can also be costly.

Home Makeover or Renovations

Windows, now more than ever, play a major role in the overall design of a home. Matching the windows to the upgraded interior and exterior features of a home is crucial to the final result.

Renovations and makeovers offer the perfect opportunity to change things up a bit. Make windows larger, improve natural lighting, increase the airflow throughout your home, or even add an entirely new window altogether.

UV Damage

Are you seeing noticeable fading on your furniture and carpets? If so, this could be the result of direct sun exposure. Such damage can be avoided by upgrading your windows to those that offer UV protection. This involves the glass being treated with a microscopic film that prevents UV rays from getting through.


Could there be a more persuading reason to upgrade your vinyl windows than a better night's sleep? The installation of modern double or triple-pane windows will see your home taking on a new level of quietness thanks to the additional insulation provided.

Energy Efficiency

In this day and age, it's not only our responsibility to do our bit for the environment, but also our budgets. The installation of energy-efficient windows will see a drastic reduction in your energy costs throughout both winter and summer. On average, energy-efficient windows can save you up to 30% on your heating and cooling costs.

Window Replacement Permits: Everything You Need to Know

You’ve decided it’s finally time for a kitchen revamp and your dream kitchen with natural light streaming through is in sight. Or possibly, it’s a basement makeover that’s in the cards. Are you going to be expanding your window openings? Will there be a structural change to the surrounding walls? 

If you have answered yes to these questions, then the need for a building permit is a necessity. If new openings are being created or the size of your window is expanding, a permit will be required.

If any of the following changes are being made, then a permit will most likely be required:

  • The size of the window opening is changing

  • The height of the window is being increased or decreased

  • The window is being relocated

  • You are adding a new window

  • There will be any structural changes to the surrounding walls

When Is a Permit Not Required?

If you are simply upgrading your old windows for new ones of the same size, there won't be a need to apply for a permit. It is also not necessary to apply for a permit if you're making minor repairs to your existing windows, such as replacing glass or adding/removing screens.

It’s also important to note that even if a permit isn't required, there may still be code restrictions that need to be adhered to. For example, if you live in a conservation area or your home is listed, you will need to check with your local authority as to what changes are allowed.

The application process for a window replacement permit will differ depending on where you live. It's always best to check with your local building department or city hall to find out the specific requirements and fees for your area.

Why Permits Are Important 

If you are looking to replace or install new windows in Ontario or in the surrounding area, the rules are fairly consistent. If you don’t abide by them, the repercussions can be quite severe. 

As the homeowner, it’s important to note that you are the one responsible for making sure that you follow municipal rules on any work being done on your property. If you don’t, it can result in significant delays and even cost you far more than what you had expected.

There are fees applicable when applying for a permit, and they are usually calculated based on the type and the size of the building where the work is taking place. Those fees will also vary depending on your location.

Bay window price

Upgrade Your Windows with Canadian Choice Windows and Doors

If you are looking to upgrade your windows and ensure that you are following the right procedures, give Canadian Choice Windows and Doors a call. We specialize in the installation of high-quality windows and doors. All of our window products are backed by a comprehensive warranty for your peace of mind.

Our team of experts will be more than happy to discuss your window replacement project with you and help you navigate the permit process if required. Get in touch with us today to get a free quote.

Julia Gurevich
Julia Gurevich

Julia Gurevich is a versatile content writer with a passion for delivering captivating narratives through a diverse and attentive approach. Her eye for detail helps her craft content that resonates with audiences across varied home improvement industries, capturing the perfect balance between information and entertainment. As a content coordinator, Julia takes pride in delivering content that leaves a lasting impact through her ability to navigate seamless content strategies and collaborative projects between teams. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Toronto’s cultural landscape, visiting local parks, and getting to know members of the community through events and activities.

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Reviewed by Bryan Baeumler

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