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Up to Code: Window and Zoning Requirements in Greater Burlington, VT

Each town or municipality has specific codes and permits.

By Bryan Dube on

Related Topics: windows, FAQ

When planning updates for your home, checking with your hometown for code standards, applications and permits can be a last minute and frantic step in otherwise standard home improvements. Here at Acme Glass, our installation teams are all well versed in the permits, planning and processes in the towns we service in and around Chittenden County, VT. From Colchester to Shelburne, and Burlington to Richmond, our team has put together a short guide for any homeowner thinking about replacement windows, or other home updates that might require a zoning permit.


Every home in the Greater Burlington area of Vermont must satisfy local municipal requirements and codes:


Window Requirements

    • Buttoning up a home to best survive the winter is a serious business. Basic energy efficiency requirements in Burlington, VT require all exterior windows and doors to close and latch tightly. Proper weatherstripping acts as an additional barrier against the cold for residents, and contributes to household air leakage rate maximums.  
    • Air leakage is a tricky metric to measure, but professional contractors as well as installation experts for doors and windows should be equipped to evaluate your household’s energy efficiency if you’re making any updates or renovations to your home.
    • Windows in particular are a significant source of heat loss in a home. In Burlington, all exterior windows must be double glazed or have storm windows during the coldest months. Single glazed windows are responsible for 50% or more heat loss in homes. Double glazed windows also capture more heat from the winter sun, and reduce the moisture in your windows to prolong the life of your window.

Getting a Permit - Do I need one for my project?

 

Q: Do I need to apply for a zoning permit for a simple window replacement?

Yes. Depending on your hometown’s specific requirements, you will most likely need to apply for a zoning permit when making any installation or replacement changes to your home. Replacing windows, sills or jambs will all require a zoning permit.

Q: Do I need a zoning permit for bathroom updates, like installing a glass shower enclosure?

No. Bathroom updates do not require a zoning permit, merely a consideration of working hours to your neighbors.

Q: Do I need a permit for a porch enclosure?

Yes. Because this update concerns the exterior of your house, you will need to apply for a zoning permit. Porch enclosures can include glass railings, glass panels or windows, or screens.

Q: Will I need a permit for adding or replacing windows in my basement?

Yes. A zoning permit is required for any increases to habitable living space in your home. Adding windows that comply with egress standards to your basement will increase the square footage of bedroom space in your home, which can increase home value.


Here are some helpful zoning requirement links to towns where we can help you with your project:

Burlington, VT

Charlotte, VT

Colchester, VT

Essex, VT

Essex Junction, VT

Hinesburg, VT

Jericho, VT

Richmond, VT

Shelburne, VT

South Burlington, VT

Williston, VT

Winooski, VT

 If you still have questions, contact your local experts at Acme Glass - we’re here to help!

homeowners guide to replacement windows

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