Last updated on July 18, 2023

Is your outdated kitchen in need of a major, modern facelift? Before diving straight into a kitchen remodeling project with help from professionals, you first need to determine if building permits are required. Read more about permitting to discern whether a building permit is necessary for your next kitchen remodel project.

Preparing for a Kitchen Remodeling Project

When you’re gearing up for a kitchen renovation, there are a few things to be mindful of to prepare yourself for the project. Between creating a budget, choosing new appliances, decor, and an overall design for your kitchen, and determining if your project will require a permit, there are many things to keep straight.

Read our related article about what to consider before your kitchen remodel to better understand precisely what you’re getting yourself into during this project.

kitchen remodel permits kitchen design sketch mock up with two hands

What About a Building Permit?

Now that you know kitchen renovations are in your future, it’s crucial to consult with professionals to determine if a permit is necessary. If you plan on making structural changes to your current kitchen during the remodel, you don’t want to get caught without the right permit.

You can find reputable contractors in your area with knowledge and expertise in local building codes or zoning requirements to help assess whether or not you need to get a permit for your kitchen remodel. Your contractor may even be able to request the required building permits on your behalf.

Why Is Permitting Important?

Failing to acquire the proper building permit for your kitchen renovations can be a costly mistake that may go unnoticed at first. You don’t want all the hard work your contractor completed to go against building codes because this can lead to many different issues down the road. For example, homeowners who plan on putting their house on the market at some point might need a permit to ensure every aspect of construction is legal before selling.

Getting the proper building permit will come in handy when selling your house in the future, but building permits can also help improve your own safety while still residing in your home. If you need a permit, you’ll also require approval from a building inspector once your kitchen remodel is complete. Final inspections are essential to ensure your project is finished safely and properly, so your home is ready for re-occupation after remodeling.

Are Kitchen Remodeling Permits Always Required?

Depending on your local building codes, permits aren’t always necessary. You’ll need to consult with an experienced contractor to ensure you apply for the required permits in relation to your kitchen remodel.

Although permits aren’t always necessary, it’s important to know whether one should be acquired in your unique situation. You might need a plumbing permit to put in a new sink or specific building permits to perform certain demolitions.

In addition, your kitchen remodel may require a permit depending on the overall projected cost of the work. You can find out more about this kind of permitting from your chosen contractor or online at your local government’s website.

kitchen remodel permits contractor removing backsplash before retiling

4 Times a Permit for Kitchen Remodel Projects Is Required

During kitchen remodel projects, different kinds of construction work may require permits to stay up to city codes. Homeowners can expect to need a permit for remodeling a new bathroom kitchen in the following situations:

1. Structural Changes

If changes to the layout or overall structure of your house are planned for your new kitchen remodel project, you’ll likely need a permit to do things like:

  • Replace existing windows
  • Remove walls (both load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls)
  • Add doors
  • Install skylights

2. Plumbing Work

Homeowners are often required to apply for a plumbing permit to:

  • Change a sink location
  • Add outdoor faucets
  • Install a new sink
  • Adapt sewer lines
  • Replace water heaters

3. Electrical Installations

An electrical permit may be required for a remodel when:

  • Updating or installing new outlets
  • Adapting existing electrical work
  • Installing new electrical wiring

4. Duct Renovations

Your project might also require a permit to complete heating, cooling, and ventilation work, such as:

  • Installing new HVAC systems
  • Rerouting existing ducts or vents

Acquiring the Proper Permits

So, how exactly do you acquire the correct permits and get your remodeling project on the road? The permit process in almost any American town or city will typically include the following steps:

  1. Fill out applications for the required permits
  2. Prepare a site plan for your kitchen remodeling project
  3. Schedule a meeting to get site plan approval
  4. Acquire the physical building permit
  5. Allow time for inspections first
  6. Start and finish kitchen construction

Whether your project calls for a new plumbing permit, electrical permits to finish electrical work, or you need a permit to complete the installation of outdoor faucets, the permit process is usually quite similar from city to city. Contact your contractor to learn more about the building permits required for remodeling your house.

kitchen remodel permits tools for new kitchen renovation

How Much Do Kitchen Remodeling Permits Cost?

If you’re thinking about a kitchen remodel, you’re likely already concerned about affording everything you want in the complete reno. It’s vital to include the extra expenses of acquiring permits and hiring building inspectors when outlining your final budget since this can be a big added cost depending on the project.

The price of permits will vary from municipality to municipality, so you must do your research online or meet with an expert to determine exactly what building permits are required, and then factor these expenses into your expected budget for kitchen renovations.

Are you feeling wary about the financials surrounding your kitchen renovations? See our related article about the average cost of a kitchen remodel in Iowa right here.

What Happens When You Lack the Proper Permits?

Although there might be a few unique circumstances where unpermitted work is allowed, homeowners usually need a permit for more in-depth remodeling projects. Between finishing electrical work, knocking down exterior walls, and installing new plumbing, you don’t want to reach your final inspection without the proper permits.

Some construction disturbs things like lead or asbestos and creates an unsafe environment – so building permits are a necessary safety precaution. Other times, the city needs to know about updates to plumbing or sewage – and again, a permit is required.

In most cases where the right permits aren’t acquired, you could forfeit your homeowners’ insurance coverage, fail a safety inspection, or even need to do all the hard work over again. Failing to apply for a building permit can cost you time, money, and, most importantly, safety.

Work Through the Permit Process With Help From the Professionals

Are you still unsure whether your kitchen remodeling project will require permits? Don’t be afraid to consult with a professional contractor or home renovation company to ensure everything is in order, including the proper building permits. Talk with the trusted team at HomeWorx to determine if you need a permit for your kitchen remodeling project