TIPS & GUIDES
Do I Need a Permit to Remodel My Kitchen?By Hauslane ∙ 5 mins read
You’ve poured over countless design websites, built a Pinterest board, selected your materials, set your budget, and finalized plans with contractors for your kitchen remodel. You’re ready to kick things off when it hits you, “Do I need a permit?” You hadn’t given it much thought until now. Don’t panic. Depending on the scope of your kitchen remodel, you may not need a permit at all. If you do, obtaining one doesn’t have to be a scary process!
We’re here to walk through key signs you’ll need a permit, how to obtain one, and what to expect as far as inspections.
Signs You'll Likely Need a Permit
It’s difficult to give a hard and fast rule about permits because they aren’t a state or federal requirement. Instead, they’re issued by the city government.
To determine whether you’ll need a permit, think about the scope of your plans. If you’re planning on changing things merely cosmetically such as installing new cabinets, replacing flooring, or repainting your walls, you probably won’t need a permit. However, if you’re looking at making electrical or plumbing changes during your kitchen remodel, you’ll most likely need one.
Here are some more types of changes that may require a permit: Large structural changes such as demolishing load-bearing walls Installing new HVAC systems Adding or modifying a sewer line Making footprint changes such as expanding or adding an addition Parking dumpsters on public streets for demolitions Adding exterior lights, windows, and skylights Installing or replacing water heaters
Types of Permits
The type of permit you’ll need will depend on the work done on your kitchen remodel project. There are electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and building permits. Electrical permits are generally required for projects that include extensive electrical changes. If you’re planning on installing new plumbing or fixing existing plumbing, look into plumbing permits. A mechanical permit is required before starting any heating, cooling, or duct work. Building permits are for structural and footprint changes. The contractors who perform the electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work will need to submit plans to obtain these permits.
Who to Speak with to Obtain a Permit
The best way to determine if you need a permit is to check with your local city government. Most city governments will have a section on their website related to property improvements and construction inspection. It’s always a good idea to double-check even if you’re pretty sure you don’t need one. You can also ask your licensed contractor for help.
Keep in mind that some types of permits have a lag time for being issued and may require a plan inspection. In some cases, you’ll have inspections throughout the project. The final inspection will make sure all of the work on the project complies with zoning and code requirements. Your home insurance company and any appraiser or lender will require documents from this inspection.
What Happens if You Don't Get a Permit?
What happens if you don’t obtain a proper permit when you need one? Failing to acquire permits can delay or cancel your remodel altogether or make it hard to sell your home later. It can also void your homeowner’s insurance and lead to hefty fines from your city government. You may have to remove work that’s already been completed and start over once you have the proper permit. This is one area you want to perform due diligence on.
While you’re getting ready for your remodel, take a look at our tips for choosing the ideal range hood. This workhorse of an appliance can add a fresh look and feel to your new design.