Knowing the Building Codes for Window Installation

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By knowing about the building codes for window installation you will be able to quickly and safely install windows into your home. It's very important that you spend time learning about the correct building codes before you do anything to your property. Whether you are adding an extension, bricking up a wall or installing a new window you will need to give the building codes some careful consideration.

Building codes are thought by many to be nothing more than a pain. However, building codes are actually designed to protect you and your property from danger.

Finding out about Building Codes

The building codes are different depending on the state and country that you live in. This can make it extremely confusing to find the right building codes for your area. The Internet is the obvious place to look but this can make matters even more confusing. Because the Internet is a global phenomenon finding codes relevant to your area can be tricky.

When searching on the Internet for these building codes about window installation you should try and search for specific information about your location. Your planning office should have some form of website where you can find out about the information required.

A trip to your local planning office is also a good place to start. It's also important to show a copy of your plans to the local planning office before work commences to ensure that everything is safe and sound.

Minimum Sizes

There are a few restrictions when putting windows into your property to make sure that they are installed legally. The rules will vary depending on your location however the national rules are a good place to start.

If your room is habitable then the window needs to be a minimum of 20 inches by 24 inches. The distance between the floor and the window need to be a minimum of 44 inches. This means that the window is large enough for someone to climb through if they ever needed to escape, and also means that it's high enough off the floor to prevent it being a danger. The area of windows must be at least 1/10 of the floor area of the room, and the area of vents which can open must be a minimum of 1/20 of the total floor area of the room.

Safety Glass

Safety glass is important in some situations. This glass will not break into small fragments and is much safer than regular glass. Safety glass is preferable when the window is positioned down low. There are a number of different types of safety glass including laminated glass, or tempered glass.

Safety glass should be used in any glass window which are within 24" of a door. Safety glass must also be used in a sliding door whether or not it has a frame.

In some situations tempered glass is preferable. Tempered glass must be used if the window has the bottom edge which is 18 inches above the floor, and the top edge over 26 inches above the floor. If the window is 36 inches within a walkway and the window is larger than 9 square feet then tempered glass must also be used.


You cannot install a window which is in a wall under three feet from the boundary line of your property.