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Window Replacement in Port St. Lucie, FL
Walking down the main street of Port St. Lucie, its easy to get fooled into thinking the beautiful weather will last forever. But that tranquil sunshine belies the storm-worn truth– the city’s location makes it a lightning rod for hurricane weather. Meaning, homes here have to be built to stand up to wind and rising water.
All of that comes into play when you’re upgrading or repairing the windows in your Port St. Lucie home. But luckily, the local government incentivizes homeowners to make hurricane-ready improvements around the home–including installing impact-resistant windows. This guide lists the requirements for window replacement in Port St. Lucie, as well as how to apply for low-interest loans for storm-mitigating repairs and government rebates for energy efficiency upgrades.
Window Contractor Requirements for Port St. Lucie
Florida state law requires that all home repair work is performed by a licensed contractor unless you file for an exemption to this statute and do the work yourself. If you choose to do so, you’ll need to certify that you will provide on-site supervision for all work done on your home, that you won’t subcontract any unlicensed workers to assist you, and that you agree to abide by all zoning regulations for the work. You can find a copy of the Homeowner Builder Affidavit here, which you’ll need to turn in with you permit application.
However, there’s a reason that you need to file a special exemption if you want to do skilled labor on your home–window replacement is difficult work that often requires specialized knowledge, especially when it comes to materials. For this reason, we recommend that you not attempt to replace a window by yourself unless you have some experience with this kind of home repair. Instead, you can use the City of Port St. Lucie’s Contractor Search Tool to look for a local contractor and verify their license.
Applying for Window Permits in Port St. Lucie
If you want to replace a window in your Port St. Lucie home, you’ll first need to apply for a permit with the city’s Building Department. You can get a copy of the window permit application form here. When you turn in your application, make sure to also attach the following:
- A copy of the window manufacturer’s specifications
- A copy of the window’s product approval
- A copy of the manufacturer’s installation instructions
Most of this additional information can be obtained at the point of purchase. Once you have completed your permit and have copies of all additional documentation, you can file your application with the city’s Building Department. Port St. Lucie’s Permitting Office is located at 121 SW Port St. Lucie Blvd Port St. Lucie, FL 34984.
Window Requirements in Port St. Lucie, FL
As you’ve already read, Port St. Lucie requires windows to have a product approval. This means that the manufacturer has performed and passed the required testing and has made their specifications publicly available. You can verify your window’s product approval using the Florida State Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s product approval search.
There’s a separate provision within city limits, as well, that calls for high-impact windows. High-impact windows have special reinforced frames and treated or double-paned glass that helps guard against damage from flying objects in the event of a storm. We highly advise following the city’s recommendation, and installing high-impact glass in your home. However, if, for some reason, you decide not to, you’ll need to at least install hurricane shutters–which may necessitate a separate permit.
Window Inspections in Port St. Lucie
Once the work on your windows is completed, a city inspector must visit your home to make sure the windows were installed according to manufacturing guidelines and in accordance with zoning regulations. You can schedule an inspection at the city’s website here. Usually inspectors require that window labels and installation instructions are available when they call.
Rebates and Incentives for Window Installation in Port St. Lucie
The City of Port St. Lucie does not offer any rebates for energy-efficient upgrades; however, St. Lucie County residents are eligible to apply for the county’s Solar and Energy Loan Fund, or SELF, a lending program that offers low-interest borrowing for energy-efficiency and storm-mitigation improvements. Window upgrades that include hurricane shutters or high-impact glass could net you as much as 1,000 dollars–with interest rates between 5 and 9.5 percent. One small note, though–if approved for a loan, you’ll need to use one of the county’s approved contractors to complete the project. You can find out more about the SELF program and start your application here.
At the national level, any new windows with an ENERGY STAR certification may qualify for the federal government’s tax credit program–a value of up to 10 percent of the total cost (excluding labor), with a maximum rebate of $200. To see if you qualify, just file form 5695 along with your tax returns.