Before you make an investment in new windows, it is important to know that not all replacement windows are allowed in certain cities. Please do your own research in your particular city to find out the requirements. We have made some points below for you to ask the city. We hope that you find these points helpful in making an informed decision before purchasing your windows. If you want to find out more information, get in touch with Top of the Trades today.
Do you have HOA requirements your windows must meet?
- This is important because some will require color matching.
- It can get down to the type of style you’re allowed to use and they can even dictate which manufacturers you can choose from.
Do you live in a historical neighborhood and/or home?
- You have to check with the city because they may require that your home meets their historical requirements.
- There are usually six different levels of historical requirements windows might have to meet, just check with your city to be sure.
Does your city require an egress code for bedroom windows?
- Many homes might not have windows large enough to meet egress which is 5.7 ft.² of an opening with the sill height of no higher than 44 inches from the ground.
- Many cities allow you to use retrofit if you go “like for like” meaning that you can replace it because your window is going to be retrofit without modification to the opening and so they do not require you to bring it up to code.
- Some cities will require this code even for retrofit windows, the city will make you use either a casement window or you may have to lower your sill to equal 44 inches off the ground.
- Bedrooms that have doors leading to the outside do not need to have windows that meet egress.
Do you live close to the coastline?
- If you are within two blocks from the coastline you must get coastal approval, this could be extremely expensive because they usually will need elevation plans and you will have to go through an architectural review.
Do you know the cities requirements?
- Some cities are extremely strict. Some cities do not allow vinyl products or even retro fins. The 2 cities that have rules like this are Santa Monica and Palos Verdes Estates.
Fire Zone Areas
Do you live in a fire zone area?
- Cities that are prone to fires will require all glass to be tempered on the outside, which could be something you would want even if they do not require it.