Windows

If you want to replace, remove or install windows, there may be different permit requirements depending on your situation.

Window Repairs and Replacements

No building permit is required for general repairs and maintenance. Even if you are replacing the entire window, it is still considered a repair if it is a ‘like-for-like’ replacement of the same size or similar style.

But altering the size of a window will generally affect the building’s structure, and structural alterations will always require a building permit.

Window Removals

Removing a window will generally affect the building’s structure, and structural alterations require a building permit

Bay Window Installations

Installing a bay window involves structural alterations, and structural alterations always require a building permit. 

Corner Window Installations

Installing a corner window requires structural alterations. Any sort of structural alteration will require a building permit.

Storm Window or Secondary Glazing Installations

Installing a ‘storm window’ or ‘secondary glazing’ should not need structural alterations that would require a building permit.

A second window pane such as a ‘storm window’ can be a good compromise with heritage windows.

Window Installations in Multi-Storey or 'Severely Sloping' Building Walls

To prevent falls, if there is a 4m or more drop outside your window and it’s low enough to fall out of, regulations for new windows require you to restrict the window opening or install a screen.

For bedrooms, a window up to 1.7m off the floor requires a permanent window restriction and/or screen installation. For all other rooms, a window up to 86.5cm off the floor requires a removable window restriction/screen.

For early learning centres, kindergartens, preschools and other facilities where there are children aged under 5, window safety requirements also apply to single-storey buildings and all windows that look out over a height of 2 or more metres.

Block of Land Less than 500m2

You will always need a planning permit for construction, extensions and alterations to a building where the land block is less than 500m2 in size.

For general repairs and maintenance, no building permit required. Unless you can show the work you want to do is a repair, you will need to apply for a planning permit.

Under Heritage Overlay

You will need a planning permit to do work on structures under the Heritage Overlay. You won’t be able to apply under the VicSmart system, so expect waiting for a response on your permit application to take up to a month.

The shape, size, placement and colouring of windows is often a big part of the heritage appearance of a building, so it is highly unlikely you will be allowed to remove or significantly change existing windows.

 Further Information and Requirements

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Last updated: 01 June 2021