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Window Replacement

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Is a Permit Required for a Window Replacement?

Yes. Within the City of Santa Barbara, all forms of window replacements require a building permit including “retrofit windows” and “new construction flanged windows”. (These are also the same rules that apply to exterior doors).

If you’re getting ready to install replacement windows you might be wondering if you need to obtain a permit or not. Window installation seems like a simple job, so you might think a permit is unnecessary. The fact is your windows are important components in your home’s building envelope and affect many aspects of your home’s safety, integrity, and comfort. Obtaining a building permit ensures your home stays structurally sound and will prevent you from inadvertently creating a construction hazard that could harm yourself or your family.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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How to Apply for a Window Permit

1
Look Up Your Property Information

Look up your property information online by using the City’s online mapping tool: MAPS. Find the zoning district and if the property includes a historic resource. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Permit Counter at 630 Garden Street for assistance

2
Contact the City’s Architectural Historian

If your building is more than 50 years old, an evaluation by the City’s Architectural Historian will be required. See the Historic Preservation webpage for contact information

3
Determine if Design Review is Required

Review the criteria above to determine if design review is required. If yes, and the window does not qualify for staff-level administrative approval, submit a Planning (PLN) Application

4
Submit a Building Permit Application

If your window replacement is exempt from design review, or if it has already received design review approval, submit a Building Permit (BLD) Application

5
After the Building Permit is Issued

If all requirements are met, a permit will be issued, and you can begin work. Call for Inspection to finish the permit process.