Do You Need a Building Permit to Replace Windows
Do You Need a Building Permit to Replace Windows?

If you have ever done a construction project, you know you need more than just the materials and the right person for the job, though that is part of it! Federal, state, and local codes often require the inclusion of building permit to facilitate all safety protocol is followed. Before you go about getting a permit, we’ll make sure you understand everything about the window replacement process, with the help of EnerPro Window Replacement of Denver, my local window replacement company in Denver.

Why Should I Replace My Windows?

There are multiple reasons to replace windows, from changing the look of your home, investing in a property to sell, and improving the energy efficiency of your home. The decisions vary, but nonetheless doing so can have tremendous impact on your home.

A home with older crank windows or single pane variants can lose a tremendous amount of heat or cooling to the outside. This can be through leakage from poor sealing or just through the glass itself slowly losing energy to the outside. Many newer windows are designed to save energy and are regulated by the EPA to achieve a certain standard. They do this with superior insulation via proper sealing and extra panes of glass, along with other methods like a gas sandwiched between the panes.

On average, you can except certain windows to give a return of investment (ROI) of 85 percent. This means that an investment of $10,000 will increase your home’s value by $8500. Keep in mind that this price doesn’t necessarily reflect any major aesthetic changes to your home. However, a major change to the look of your home can create a jump in your home’s value past what experts and numbers can fully show, as value is not just based on market forces but at least a bit subjective.

Do I Need a Permit to Replace My Windows?

Honestly, it can depend. A simple replacement without any alteration to the structure doesn’t necessarily need one, while a permit will be needed to create a new opening or heavily modifying an old one. You have to ask yourself whether or not the project will be a safety issue.

If a window installation affects some other part of the home, such as the roofline, moving of a major appliance, reintegrating electrical wiring, or moving a sink, then you’ll probably need a permit for it. The reason for this is to ensure that safety protocol is strictly enforced.

Permits are to ensure that your home is safe to inhabit. Different permits might be needed depending on the work you are doing, with common ones related to roofing, electrical, plumbing, and general. Other than their general overview of what they focus on, permits for construction can differ greatly depending on your location. There are typically three tiers of permits: Federal, state, and local. In places where codes contradict, usually the more stringent enforcement wins.

Do I Need a Contractor to Replace My Windows?

A general contractor might not be a bad idea, but a more specific window installer would be a better bet. A contractor has the advantage of being able to pull up and sign off on all the permits themselves, while a window installer knows the best way to install a window.

The best way to find a good contractor is usually looking online. There are many web resources to take advantage of, from the Better Business Bureau website to social media platforms. Before you invest your money and time into a window installer, you should see how the competition fares. You’re going to want to compare bids from at least three different contractors – see what materials they prefer and how much they charge.

If you want to install a window yourself, expect to pull the permits yourself and invest in all the materials necessary for the job. While this can be tremendous work, it can also save you a great deal of money on labor. Just be sure you know what you are doing beforehand. Expect to invest in insulation, cedar shims, silicone, paint, screws, a windowsill, and of course the window itself. Some tools you’ll probably need are a screw gun, circular saw, pry bar, hammer, and finish nailer, among others.


Investing in a set of new windows for your home has multiple advantages, but you might need a building permit depending on the scope of the project. Finding the right installer involves a little bit of information, which the web more than provides.