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Window Replacement in Tallahassee, FL
Repairing or upgrading a window is a deceptively large job. Sure, windows provide you with a pleasant view of your city’s quaint streets and beaches, but they also put homes at risk of wind damage and destruction. In Tallahassee, a window replacement means complying with the city’s product approval system–ensuring that your home meets the required ratings for wind-resistance, as well as new energy-efficiency measurements.
This guide will take you through the city’s requirements, as well as detailing the steps for applying for a permit and rebates and incentives you may be eligible for when you upgrade your windows for wind resistance and energy efficiency.
Window Contractor Requirements in Tallahassee, FL
The city of Tallahassee does not have contractor requirements for window installation, meaning you are free to perform window replacements yourself. However, due to the heavy permitting and product requirements involved with window repair, it is not a job to be approached lightly. If you are unfamiliar with window replacements, and especially, if you will be making large alterations to the window type and structure, we recommend hiring a licensed contractor to do this work for you.
Applying for Window Permits in Tallahassee
The City of Tallahassee does require pulling a permit for window replacement, and even has a window-specific permit application that you must complete when replacing windows and doors. You can access a copy of the permit online here. Submit the completed permit application, along with your windows’ manufacturer product approval to the Building Inspection Department of the city’s Growth Management office, located at 435 N. Macomb Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Hours are from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
Additionally if you’re replacing all of your home’s windows and the total value of the work you plan to do is estimated at over $2,500, then you’ll need to certify your ownership of the property by completing a signed Ownership Affidavit and Designation of Agent form along with your permit application. You can download that here.
Requirements for Window Product Approval in Tallahassee
Tallahassee is located in a 120 mile per hour wind zone, meaning that the city has set up special regulations for the types of windows that are approved for use on its homes. When you turn in your application for your permit, you’ll also need to submit manufacturer information about the windows you’ll be installing, especially the design pressure (DP), which should generally be overall around 30 pounds per square foot, but absolutely must have a minimum DP of +25.9 and maximum of -34.7. Design pressure represents the amount of wind load the product can withstand, and is just one of the measures that make up your window’s overall performance grade (PG), along with: water penetration resistance; air infiltration resistance; uniform load deflection; operating force; and, forced entry resistance. These ratings are based on industry testing that the manufacturer must perform on the windows and provide to the customer in order to sell them, and will be listed along with the specifications.
However, as if that wasn’t enough, Tallahassee has also passed energy efficiency requirements for any and all new windows that are installed within city limits. So in addition to having a passing DP rating, your windows will have to have a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of .25, and a U-factor of no greater than .35. What does that mean? SHGC is the amount of solar radiation emitted through a window–essentially, how well the window shades an area. Because it’s so sunny in Tallahassee, the city has a relatively low SHGC requirement–the lower the rating, the better your windows are at blocking heat from the sun rather than letting it in. U-factor, on the other hand, is a commonly used energy efficiency rating that tells how well a window insulates. The lower your windows’ U-factor is, the better it is at keeping your home insulated. However, you should note that although Tallahassee’s allowable U-factor is .35, to qualify for an ENERGY STAR rating and the rebate that comes along with it, your window will have to have a U-factor of .30 or lower. All of your window’s ratings should be displayed on the label included with the product.
Tallahassee Window Inspections
Once completed, your new window will need to be inspected by the City of Tallahassee’s Building Inspection Division. When the inspector comes, the installation instructions for the window should be visible on site. You can request an inspection at 850-891-7001.
Rebates and Incentives for Window Installation in Tallahassee
While the City of Tallahassee doesn’t provide any rebates for energy improvements made around the house, it does have a low-interest loan program for efficiency updates, including window replacements, with loans offered at a fixed rate of five percent. To qualify, all windows will need to be ENERGY STAR certified. Visit the City of Tallahassee’s Energy Efficiency Loans page to learn more and to get started with your application.
Additionally, ENERGY STAR certified windows may be eligible for federal rebates as well. The ENERGY STAR program credits homeowners with 10 percent of the cost of energy-efficient windows (not including contractor costs), with a maximum rebate of $200. To receive the rebate, you’ll need to file form 5695 along with your tax return.