The surest way to ruin your expectations and waste a lot of money is trying to cut corners when it comes to your home renovation projects. Naturally, repairs or window replacement is not something any of us want to spend money on.

But if you’re already at a point where you can’t avoid the problem anymore, resist the temptation to go for the band-aid solution. “I know a guy” scenarios may be good for some situations in life, but the structural safety of your home is not one of them.

Regardless of whether you’re getting new vinyl windows, repairing your roof, or redoing your walls, all companies and subsequently their workers have to work to a certain standard. Canadian window installers should always adhere to CSA policy that specifies proper processes or methods.

If you are considering expanding your window opening, a permit is required if the wall is being cut to the sides or above the existing opening, to ensure the wall is secure and no carrying structure is disturbed.
If you are considering expanding your window opening, a permit is required if the wall is being cut to the sides or above the existing opening, to ensure the wall is secure and no carrying structure is disturbed.

Moreover, most structural work that alters the shape or size of rough openings in your home requires a permit. As it pertains to window replacement, this work is most often associated with expanding openings through a cut-out.

There are three main types of structural cut-outs: to the top, the bottom, or to the sides. Another option for a cut-out is cutting an opening in an existing wall, but that is a more complicated procedure.

Cut-outs to the bottom, also known as cut-downs, are the safest and least structurally intrusive. This is because the supportive “king” studs don’t move, while the jack studs are cut down. This kind of work usually doesn’t require a permit.

For enlarging the opening upward or to the side, a building permit from the municipality is usually required. Most often, the customer is required to obtain the permit themselves. Although it isn’t a difficult process, it can take some time, and should be taken into consideration when planning your installation.

Be wary of companies that offer to do this kind of work without a permit. If they are agreeing to undertake the job without requiring a permit, they’re already not working to code and therefore are either not certified or are in direct violation of their certification. Although window replacement companies don’t always do their own cut-outs, most of the time they will work in coordination or direct communication with concrete cutters to ensure the measurements are correct, and cut-out work is getting done on the same day as the installation.

While most installers may be capable of doing the cutting themselves, performing this kind of work without proper accreditation puts the company at risk for liability. That’s why reputable window companies sometimes tend to leave the work to cutters that work according to permits. Not getting a permit may save you a bit of time and money, but ultimately risking the structural integrity and potentially the well-being of your family is not worth any short-term savings.

At the end of the day, the permit will give you a peace of mind knowing that the safety of your home is not being compromised and your replacement windows are installed properly and securely.

Learn everything about getting a window replacement:
Find out how much a new window project should cost
Check out what kind of work Ecoline windows specializes in
See our photo and video galleries for finished projects and useful tips

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