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Beware: Even Velux windows need permission

Making some changes to your house in France? Remember than even small things like adding a Velux window need permission

What’s all this about a window?

‘Velux’ windows are a popular window style specially designed to go in the roof of a house, and can offer more light through your ceiling. The French minister for housing has warned that installing them requires an approval statement from your local Mairie (town hall).

Why? It’s just a window…

Putting these windows into an existing house is seen as an ‘exterior modification to construction’ so requires prior notice through your local Mairie. In French, this is called a ‘déclaration préalable de travaux’.

Does this apply to every new Velux window?

Yes, and could even go further if the new window is part of the construction of a new room that’s bigger than 20m sq (215 sq ft). If that’s the case, you’ll need planning and building permission to continue ( a ‘permis de construire’).

Also, if the property is located inside the perimetre, or nearby, to an official historic monument, you’ll need planning and building permission.

I’m putting a new Velux in, but there was one there before. Do I need permission?

No – as long as the new window has more or less the same size, shape and appearance as the old one.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
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