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Do I need a permit to replace an exterior door, garage door, or window in Florida?
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Yes, and the main reason for the permit requirement is to protect your home from destruction from a hurricane. If any door or window is not structurally sound and collapses during a hurricane, a curious thing happens: the opening allows the uncontrollable buildup of air pressure inside the home.
What follows next is that an opening on the windward side exerts tremendous outward pressure on the walls and ceiling; or, if on the leeward side, inward suction. So the building envelope begins to either explode or implode. The loss of a major opening like a garage door can be catastrophic. Yes, really.
The purpose of the permit is twofold:
1) To confirm that the door or window has been evaluated and rated to meet the Florida Building Code standards to withstand the expected wind loads in the part of Florida where the home is located.
2) For a local building inspector to check it to make sure that it is installed to meet the manufacturer’s specifications. Replacement windows and doors in South Florida may also have to meet wind-blown debris standards.
Interior door replacement does not require a permit. But closing all your interior doors during a hurricane has been proven to keep any minor breach of the building envelope—like a broken window—from pressurizing the entire house and blowing off the roof. To learn more, see our article What can I do during a hurricane to reduce the possiblity of roof damage?
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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about HURRICANE RESISTANCE:
• Should I buy a house that has hurricane flood damage?
• Should I buy a house with hurricane flood damage that has been repaired?
• What can I do right now to prepare my house for a hurricane?
• Why did so many concrete block homes collapse in Mexico Beach during Hurricane Michael?
• How can I tell if the concrete block walls of my house have vertical steel and concrete reinforcement?
• How much hurricane wind speed can a mobile home survive?
• Can I do my own wind mitigation inspection?
• What is the wind mitigation inspection for homeowner's insurance?
• What is the best emergency back-up generator for the power outage after a storm?
• Can I run a window air conditioner on a portable generator?
• What are the pros and cons of concrete block versus wood frame construction?
• Why do so many more sinkholes open up after a hurricane?
Visit our HURRICANE RESISTANCE pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.
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