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Last modified: 2022-07-04 | Approximate reading time 6 mins
Whether you are looking to enhance your home’s energy efficiency, overall exterior appeal, or simply planning a DIY project, windows and skylights are elements that must be considered.
Beyond the desire for it to be eye-catching, flowing in natural light, or environmentally friendly, there are still obvious guidelines to follow.
Even though the provincial Construction Code has, at times, somewhat lenient regulations, such as the right to design a windowless room, it is still highly important that one conforms to the regulations established in regard to natural lighting and ventilation; it is primordial for the safety of the occupants.
Whether you are wanting to spruce up or wear and tear is making you do so, installing new windows is not an easy endeavour. As a matter of fact, there are numerous factors to consider when drawing up the plans and purchasing items for such a project.
First and foremost, know that every municipality or borough, should you reside in Montréal, has its own set of specific guidelines and regulations when it comes to residential projects on buildings having 9 or fewer apartments. Thus, you will have to inquire with your municipality and provide the appropriate paperwork (framing plan, land register, quotes from contractors, manufacturing details, etc.) in order to obtain the necessary permits to jumpstart your renovations. Allow for your budget to account for the cost of these permits.
In Canada, there are general guidelines to follow regarding window and door installations according to Standard CAN/CSA-A440.4.
Changing or remodelling your home should in no way affect the structural system of the property. On top of that, make sure that the devices ensuring that the façade is watertight have been adequately installed, such as flashing, as well as installing the windows with the help of a level and a carpenter’s square to avoid, amongst other things, water infiltration issues and excessive moisture.
The overall glass surface must not exceed a specific percentage to limit the risk of fires spreading. Also, their disposition should adhere to the following:
Regarding the structure:
*Should you be installing or replacing your patio doors and windows, hiring a certified contractor is the best option, as the regulations are complex and will vary based on numerous factors.
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If your home has a finished basement, you will be subjected to rules and regulations in regard to security standards to allow for evacuation in case of an emergency. Needless to say, windows must be able to withstand break-ins and water infiltration, but security and waterproofing measures must meet the requirements established by the Building Code. Furthermore, choosing a model that has been adapted to residents’ needs, i.e. considering that children and people with disabilities will need to evacuate safely, too.
So, unless the bedrooms have an exit leading directly outside or if the basement is equipped with a sprinkler system, here is an overview of what should be considered when remodelling:
A lot of Quebec cities have preserved their heritage by showcasing the remnants of the past by way of architecture: stained glass windows, wood-carved mouldings, ornaments, etc. If your home is getting older, there are chances that it may be among the protected heritage, even though it may seem completely futile information.
You will have to preserve the integrity by honouring the time period’s style, whether you are restoring certain features, installing new materials, repainting in similar shades, and ensuring that the window model is as close as it gets to the original one. These guidelines are in order to respect the overall harmony of the façade.
Should prior renovations have damaged or destroyed these important aspects, inquire with the neighbouring buildings before making your final decision. Some municipalities offer a referential guide that details which model can replace a certain original to avoid discrepancies. For example, it is forbidden to conceal historic architecture with awnings and avoid installing hung windows if the original layout is for casement windows.
If too many elements are hindering the process, or if you decide to wait a few years before financing such a large project by changing all the windows in your home, in the meantime, there are a few tricks to prolong their durability to enhance your comfort.
First off, make sure that all moving parts and hardware are functioning properly. Then, check that all sections connected to water evacuation and preventing air infiltration are working adequately. Lastly, consider the aesthetic aspect of the structure: paint, stain… By noting such components, whatever broken or damaged element will be replaced, others will be spruced, and some will be simply maintained as they are still in good condition.
Whether you are the type to revere caves or, their complete opposites, glass castles, you may be able to use designing tricks to transform a room to the height of your expectations without having to circle around established rules and regulations. Light paint, mirrors, and removing window screens during the winter are all things you can do to enhance natural light flow. However, thick curtains or huge furniture will give off a more enclosed vibe to any room in case you are not able to get rid of the huge bay window that displeases you so.
In any case, there is a solution to your needs. All you have to do is inquire as to the rules and regulations, and remodel accordingly.
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