Installing roof windows - does one need a permit?

Uncertainty often arises when you want to have roof windows installed during loft conversions. Do you need a permit for this? Which restrictions apply in general, which other restrictions may apply? Information about this is in detail this post.

Loft conversion and roof window installation

roof extension

If you plan a complete loft conversion, it may happen in some cases that you need a permit. This is especially true if:

  • they want to install dormers
  • the roof surface changes fundamentally
  • the roof pitch changes or
  • a "permanent change of use" caused by the loft conversion
  • Problems may arise with regard to the prescribed thermal insulation or fire protection

Regionally, however, the licensing requirements are regulated differently, depending also on the different regulations in the state building regulations of the individual federal states. So, if you are planning a major refit, be sure to inquire in advance about any approval and reporting requirements for the type of work you are planning.

Installing roof windows - does one need a permit?: permit

If the installation of skylights is also planned for this conversion, these are of course also approved in the course of the approval in this case.

Roof window installation

The installation of additional skylights is in most cases not subject to approval, just as the mere replacement of skylights.

An exception, however, are all measures that lead to a change in the roof area. These are:

  • the installation of dormers
  • the installation of roof structures of every kind
  • the installation of roof balconies and roof terraces under certain conditions

Possible restrictions for the installation of roof windows

Roof windows are usually free of approval, but there may be different regional restrictions.

Thus, for example, in a legally binding development plan of an area, the window quantity or window size may be limited in the case of roof windows. Furthermore, there may also be general limitations on the window size or the size of the glass surfaces.

Minimum light areas

The state building regulations also provide a so-called "minimum light area" for attics, which must be complied with. The number and size of the roof windows must be matched to this minimum light area.

According to the state building regulations (different depending on the federal state) the minimum light area is 1/8 to 1/10 of the room floor area.

Limitations due to fire safety

Further restrictions may also result from the respective fire protection regulations. In Rhineland-Palatinate, for example, in the case of terraced or semi-detached houses, skylights must have a minimum distance of 1.20 meters from the neighboring building.

Tips & Tricks

If a skylight also serves as a (secondary) rescue route, it must be at least 0.90 x 1.20 meters high, and the outlet may only have a parapet of 1.20 meters at the maximum height, so that a rescue is possible. In most homes, skylights will not have to be a necessary escape route.

Video Board: Do You Need A Building Permit To Replace Windows?