Renovation work that requires notification

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The construction legislation in Poland is heading in a direction which, in principle, is supposed to promote renovations without notification. However, it turns out that we still have quite a number of works which must be notified. Which activities are subject to these requirements? How notification differs from a permit? We suggest.

What is a notification?

Notification of construction works in 2021 must be submitted in:

  • district starost’s office,
  • provincial office,
  • district office.

Each time you need to attach to it the appropriate documents. These will be:

  • notification of construction works,
  • statement on the right to use the real estate for construction purposes,
  • drawings,
  • sketches,
  • plot development plan,
  • possibly other required documents.

The notification has to be submitted at least 21 days before the commencement of the works – if the office does not object, the works can be commenced.

What is the penalty for failure to comply with the notification obligation?

Lack of notification makes us commit unauthorized construction. Severe penalties may then await us. The solution then is to admit your guilt and apply for legalization of unauthorized construction.

Renovation works which have to be reported

It may seem that renovation works in the Construction Law should be treated in such a way that they do not require notification. The definition of renovation is set out in the Construction Law (Article 3(8)), where we read that it is: “performance in an existing building object of construction works consisting in the restoration of the original state, and which do not constitute ongoing maintenance, while the use of construction products other than those used in the original state is permitted”. As a rule, a renovation may not change utility parameters of a building. So are notifications required in this case? It turns out that sometimes yes.

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The popular understanding of the term “renovation” is divided in the construction law into several situations, which concern ongoing maintenance, renovation and reconstruction. As a general rule

  • we do not report ongoing maintenance activities,
  • we report certain renovation works,
  • we obtain a building permit if we carry out reconstruction work on a building.

Renovation works. What should I report?

What do we report before the work begins? In the past, the range of activities covered by this obligation was very wide. Currently, much less renovation work must be reported. You should report:

  • renovation of buildings, the construction of which requires a building permit;
  • renovation of buildings for the construction of which a building permit is required, as far as external partitions or structural elements are concerned.

Replacement of windows and exterior doors

As a rule, the replacement of windows in a building does not require a building permit and notification if there is no interference with the size of door and window openings. Manipulation of their size, covering old openings or making new ones requires a building permit. It is similar in the case of a historic building. When can we replace doors and windows with a notification? When the building is located in the area entered in the register of monuments. In this case, it is also necessary to obtain a permit from the competent conservator of monuments.


In the case of thermal insulation, it is very clear in what direction the building regulations are evolving. The main thing is that they are changing in the spirit of adapting the letter of the law to the facts, where many works that used to require permits are not so complicated or dangerous that they have to be subject to strict control.

Just a few years ago thermal insulation works had to be reported regardless of the height of the building on which they were carried out. Currently the regulations are much less restrictive. Only insulation works on buildings higher than 12 m and lower than 25 m require notification. However, they always have to be reported if the building is located in an area included in the register of historical monuments.


Where else will we be required to submit a notification?

In addition to construction works, many installation works also require a notification. This includes the installation of radio communication equipment at a height of more than 3 m, grilles on building windows, advertising boards and devices, gas installations and micro-installations of agricultural biogas

Peter Bowers

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