Windows

When replacing, removing or installing windows there are several issues to be taken into consideration.

Your ‘property information’ is generally referred to in connection with mortgages, zones, overlays and easements affecting your property.  In turn this may affect your building plans, please check the following page for details on how to view this information:  Property Information.

The following is a brief guide to whether these issues may apply to your window:

If you have encountered suspected asbestos as a part of your renovation, please see the following section before work continues:  Encountering Asbestos.

Window Repairs and Replacements

You should not need a permit to keep your property maintained or repaired.

Even if you are replacing the entire window, it is still considered a ‘repair’ if it is a ‘like-to-like’ replacement, of the same size or similar style.

Further Information and Requirements:

  • For General Repairs and Maintenance - No building permit required

Block of Land is less than 500m2

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

Unless you can show that the work you want to do is a repair, you will need to apply for a planning permit.

Further Information and Requirements:

  • Planning Permit
  • For General Repairs and Maintenance - No building permit required

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.

Note:  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 that you will be allowed to remove or significantly change existing windows.

Further Information and Requirements:

Window Replacements with a larger or smaller window

Altering the size of a window will generally affect the building’s structure.

Structural alterations will always require a building permit.  

Further Information and Requirements:

Bay Window Installations

Installing a bay window involves structural alterations.

Structural alterations always require a building permit.

Further Information and Requirements:

Corner Window Installations

Installing a corner window requires structural alterations.

Any sort of structural alteration will require a building permit.

Further Information and Requirements:

Window Removals

Removing a window will generally affect the building’s structure, and structural alterations equal the need for a building permit. 

Further Information and Requirements:

Storm Window or Secondary Glazing Installations

Installing a ‘storm window’ or ‘secondary glazing’ should not require building-permit-required structural alterations, like removing a load bearing wall or underpinning.

It’s also probably a cheaper means of improving insulation than replacing all the windows with the latest quadruple-glazed, specially treated, limited-edition-tint glass.

Note:  A second window pane such as a ‘storm-window’ can be a good compromise with Heritage windows.

Further Information and Requirements:

  • For General Repairs and Maintenance - No building permit required

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

Fall Prevention:  If there’s a 4 metre 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, the critical height is anything up to 1.7 metres off the floor, and the window restriction/ screen installation may be permanent. For all other rooms the critical height is anything up to 86.5cm and the window restriction/screen can be movable.

Note: Early Learning Centres, Kindergarten, Pre-School and other such facilities for the under-5s extend the window safety requirements to single-storey and all windows that look out over a 2m or more height

Further Information and Requirements:

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Last updated: 11 October 2016