Installing roof windows in a listed building - is that allowed?

If, in listed buildings, the lofts are to be used additionally, but are poorly or not exposed at all, of course, the installation of roof windows is inevitable. Whether this is possible, what permits are required, you can read in this post.

Approval of the installation

In principle, every externally visible change to a listed building requires the approval of the respective monument authority. In general, the installation of roof windows in roof parts that can be viewed from public streets and squares is not allowed and such skylights are usually not approved.

Approval according to the building code

According to state building regulations, roof windows are subject to approval in most federal states. This means that they may be installed without special permission if the building regulations are not violated by the installation.

Installing roof windows in a listed building - is that allowed?: building

However, this approval according to the building code does not mean that there is no permit according to the law on monument protection. Approval by the Lower Monument Protection Authority is therefore mandatory for such conversions.

In the case of an unauthorized installation, dismantling may be required. This is extremely costly and often relatively expensive.


A special problem is - apart from the usually not granted approval - the statics of the old roof dar. The load, require the roof windows from a certain size of the roof, is often given in old buildings is not reliable.

In case of installation, you should pay particular attention to this point, even if permission is given. Existing or latent construction defects can weaken the load capacity of the roof.

Way out: dormer

A way out to bring light under the roof, however, may be the installation of Schleppgauben. This is always possible if towed dormers can be historically proven at the respective building type (and at the respective location).

Although the cost of a dormer is significantly higher than the cost of installing skylights, but they represent at least a denkmalschutzkonforme solution.

Tips & Tricks

In the case of a refusal of approval, it may be possible to offer the monument protection authority to install skylights with a suitable roofing frame (zinc, copper, depending on the guttering) or a covering in tile color. If the height of the window is not above the bricks, approval may be possible.

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