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Can I remove the iron bars from my windows?

Yes, you can—and you might have to. 

Brian Crawford via Flickr

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Iron bars on windows aren’t uncommon in cities. They are, obviously, a good way to keep intruders out. But with home security systems increasingly more affordable, accessible, and sophisticated, not everyone feels they are necessary, and some find them, well, ugly. Is it possible to get them removed? And how much does that cost, anyway?

Yes, you can!

It's entirely possible to have iron bars removed from your windows. How long it takes, and how much it costs, will depend on the size of the window, how the bars are attached to the building (for example, are the bars part of the window frame, or within concrete?) and what floor they are on, in other words, how easy are they to access?

Expect to pay around $200-$250 per window. Venezia Iron Works in East Flatbush saves these types of jobs (read: smaller) for slower times, such as very early spring or late fall, and even has a waiting list for them. (Think you might want some bars off a window to accommodate an air condition for summer 2019? Take steps now, because it might be hard for them to fit you in when temperatures spike.)

An important note: Iron security bars are different from window guards. New York City law requires owners of buildings of three or more apartments to provide and properly install approved window guards on all windows in an apartment where a child (or children) 10 years of age or younger reside, and in each hallway window, as well. 

And you might have to

As Andrew Rudansky, senior deputy press secretary for the NYC Department of Buildings, explains, window bars are evaluated on a case by case basis, but, “they could be against New York City law.”

Why? Every residence must have two means of egress, defined as, “an operable  window, door or other similar device that provides for a means of escape and access for rescue in the event of an emergency.or means of escape in the event of an emergency.” So, if one of your means of egress is actually inaccessible because of those bars, they have to come off.