Windows and doors building permit

You need a permit if you are replacing exterior doors or windows. This includes garage doors.

If your project includes other renovations, such as a kitchen or bath remodel, use the residential renovation or addition permit type.

If the project is a replacement in-kind, it is exempt from design review if it meets design review exemption #32. If you are replacing an existing wood window or door with a new window or door made of wood with aluminum or fiberglass exterior cladding, it is exempt if there is no change in:

  • The size or location of the window or door
  • The operation of the window or door
  • The recess of the window or door from the exterior wall surface
  • The divided lite pattern (if any), provided that any new divided lites are either true divided lites or 3-dimensional simulated divided lites

All other projects may require design review approval first.

Replacement or new windows in sleeping rooms need to meet the minimum requirements for emergency egress:

  • 20” clear opening width
  • 24” clear opening height
  • 5.7 sf clear net opening area
  • Max sill height of 44” above the finished floor
  • Clear opening area may be reduced to 5.0 sf if opening on grade floor
  • Exception: sash replacement only, in an existing opening that does not reduce the opening. See CRC section R310 for more information.


  • Replace in-kind
  • Change in size or type

Requirements and attachments

When you apply online, you can upload documents with your application. Make sure to upload all of the required documents. If your application is not complete, this will extend the time it takes to issue your permit.

  • Title page with project address, contacts, scope, date and blank area for reviewer notes (Example: 11x17 | Example: 24x36)
  • Floor Plans of All Floors where windows are being replaced including interior walls and fixture locations
  • Window Schedule and indicate which windows meet egress requirements for sleeping rooms
  • Photos of existing windows
  • Manufacture Cut Sheets, Window Order Details, or Fabrication Drawings

Learn about required documents for all building permits.

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