Window Replacement Permit Policy

Effective January 2, 2012, the City of Watsonville Community Development Department will not require a permit for the replacement of residential windows unless the size of the window opening frame is altered. This includes "retrofit" windows that fit over the existing window opening and frame. However, if the windows being replaced are in conjunction with any other project that requires a permit, the window replacement must be included in the permit description and be inspected as part of the project. Exemption from the permit requirement is not deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of local codes or state laws.

Non-Permit Requirements

When a permit is not required, the following requirements must still be followed when installing new windows in existing openings:
  • Emergency Escape Window in Bedrooms (California Residential Code Section R310): Do not reduce the size of the window opening or increase the height of the window sill above the finish floor.
  • Safety Glazing: Safety glazing shall be installed in all locations required by CRC Section 308.4.


Pay special attention to:
  • Glazing in walls enclosing hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, bathtubs, and shower compartments
  • Glazing in or near doors
  • Glazing in walls enclosing stairways and landings
  • Glazing in windows where the bottom edge is less than 18-inches above the finish floor
For more information, you can contact us at 831-768-3050