The Florida Building Code is divided into eight major sections. The sections that apply to the replacement of a door or window are building, residential, existing building and energy. If you are planning to replace a door or window, you must first comply with the existing building section. The requirements to receive a permit include minimum standards in the structure and materials used as well as the planning and paperwork you must be provided with before works commence.
The contractor must provide a building permit application and a notice of commencement for projects with a value of $2,500 or more.The application must include a detailed description of the proposed replacement of windows and doors on a floor plan. The floor plan must describe the location, sizes and dimensions of all windows and doors.
Each window and door type must be approved by the State of Florida or Miami Dade. Each type must come with a product approval number and the name of the manufacturer. It must also come with detailed instructions on the attachment method for the door or window.
According to section 604.1 of the Florida Building Code 2007 Existing Building Section, if you replace a door or window from a residential dwelling, you can only reduce the existing clear opening dimensions by a maximum of 5 percent. All means of egress of a building, which includes doors and windows, must also comply with section 601.1 and Chapter 1 of the Florida Building Code.
According to section 601 of the Florida Building Code, which regulates the replacement of portions of an existing building, you cannot alter a building in such a way that it becomes less safe or energy efficient. This means you cannot replace an existing door or window for one of inferior specifications in the areas of safety and energy efficiency. The only exception is if the replacement door or window complies with the current Florida Building Code regulations.
Wind-Speed and Impact Protection
All replacement windows and doors must comply with the minimum 130 miles per hour wind-speed resistance specification. This also applies to sliding doors and windows. If you install impact protection shutters on your replacement door and window it must have an approval number from the State of Florida and an evaluation report from the manufacturer.