Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
The place you call ‘home’ is your
own personal space, allowing you to express yourself, your aesthetic, vision
and requirements. However, when you stay for long in one home, you’ll feel the
need to change the surroundings. Either make a few small changes or go big on
the renovation. Irrespective of how you renovate your home, you’ll need a few
permits. On a sunny morning, you wake up and wish to demolish a wall, you
cannot do so without a permit!
But on the flip side, not all home
remodeling projects require a permit. Simply put, if you’re going on a home
remodeling adventure, you first need to familiarize yourself with the
renovations that need a permit and those that don’t. To make things simpler, we
have listed down all possible information you need to know before beginning
During a home remodeling or
renovation project, there’s a list of aspects that definitely need a permit and
those that may require an official permission. Some aspects, on the other hand,
depend on societal or building policies. Of course, they differ from one
building to another. So, along with listing down the required permits, you need
to be aware of all the building policies. This will make things simpler,
especially when you have ten other things to worry about.
For your convenience, we have differentiated the required permits into three types:
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Following is a list of aspects that definitely requires a
permit for renovation or remodeling:
Following is a list of aspects that
requires a specific permit for renovation or remodeling:
See also: Pool Remodeling: Things to Consider | How Much Does it Cost to Tear Down a House
A few similar aspects may be
included in this list and the one given above. However, it’s important to
require that while some changes require only a building’s permit, others may
require permission from government bodies or the surrounding community. It’s
important to keep track of these specialized permits to avoid any complications
Following is a list of aspects that
may or may not require a permit for renovation or remodeling:
This category of renovations differs
from one building or community to another depending on the policies
Renovations are tedious and tend to usurp the fun and
excitement out of a home renovation project. On the bright side, not all
remodeling aspects require a permit, either from the building or from the local
government authorities. These are again classified into two groups:
The list under this section is small but significant with respect to home renovation. Usually, any cosmetic work such as painting the walls, installing new cabinets for extra storage, building a small fence surrounding your home premises, repairing the driveway, etc. don’t require permits. It’s because these neither change the structure of your home nor affect the electrical or community plumbing systems. Here, you’re free to experiment to your heart’s content!
Following is a list of aspects that
often, do not require a permit but may do so, in case of certain building
The above list of items specifies a list of renovations that do not necessarily require a building permit or approval by the local authorities. However, each locality or state has its own set of regulations. So, while most states may not take any issue against these remodeling aspects, others may demand prior approval. Hence, while researching the required permits, make sure to search for the local regulations. This will give you a clear idea about the required permits before pursuing your dream home remodeling project.
Also Read: Top Household Problems to Fix in Before you Move in
To begin with, a building permit
required for a new construction is different from the one required for home
renovation. You need to have a little understanding about the latter if you’re
taking up a renovation project.
In simple terms, a building permit
for renovation projects is usually issued by your local building department.
However, before issuing a permit, a building inspector reviews your home
renovation project to ensure that they fulfil the local, city or state
regulations and ordinances. So when you get a permit, you’re essentially
getting a go-ahead to pursue your renovation project. In other words, this
permit works like a guarantee, implying that your renovation project is
adhering to the regulations. That’s why you need to get the required permits
from building or local government authorities before you begin any remodelling
You can also file a permit once your
renovation is done. However, it will cost you a few extra bucks to get the
approval. It’s also riskier in cases of projects which need prior inspection or
checking. Hence, the safest bet is to get a permit before you start renovating.
Every important formality is
accompanied by a process that you need to follow. Getting a permit for a
particular home remodeling process is no exception to this fact. If the
official-sounding word ‘permit’ intimidates you, we assure you that it’s not that complicated. Here are the steps
involved in getting a permit for a home remodeling project:
Unsurprisingly enough, paperwork is
the first step towards acquiring any permit or agreement. Completing the
paperwork with the required, correct details can make it 10 times easier to
acquire the permit.
This step is only applicable if your
home renovation is not restricted to painting the walls or tweaking the
plumbing system. If you’re undertaking a serious, full-fledged renovation
project, you may need to explain it to the authorities. So, keep a blueprint of
your plan ready.
Along with filling the permit
application, you also need to pay a certain fee amount to get it approved. This
fee depends on the type of renovation that you’re seeking approval for. There
isn’t a price range for the permit, but it goes by this simple logic: the more complex, the more the charges!
Once you get the permit, post it
outside your home so that it can be easily visible for the inspectors who
suddenly wish to make a visit. This will save you from any unnecessary brawls
After getting the permit, make sure
to enquire about all the possible inspections needed for your renovation. It’s
important to get your plans verified before you begin renovating. For example,
before plumbing or conducting any electrical work, the walls need to be
inspected before they’re covered with drywall.
Pro-Tip: You don’t need to worry too much if you fail an inspection. In case you do, you’ll get another chance. In case a problem is incited during the inspection, you may need to invest more money or time in getting it fixed.
Getting a permit is one of the sour
points of taking up a full-fledged renovation project. Invariably, you’ll be
tempted to avoid getting a permit at any cost and skip to the good part. Such a
risky move can lead to two outcomes - you go ahead with your renovation without
any hassles or you get caught. While the former rarely happens, the latter
outcome can lead to both legal and financial hassles. Without the proper
building and governmental permits, the following can happen:
If your renovation is being undertaken by a contractor, permits will most likely be taken care of. However, if you’re going the DIY route with remodeling your home, permits are one of the first things to resolve. Ignoring these permits may lead to an unnecessary legal and financial hassle. In the worst-case scenario, your entire renovation project will come to a standstill. To avoid these unfortunate circumstances, you do need to follow the law and avail all the required permits.
Also Read: Finding House Remodeling Contractor
Renovating or remodeling your home
is a complex process, requiring you to pay attention to multiple factors at the
same time. This is not to discourage you in any way from giving your home a
fresh and new look. Although it’s tedious and time-consuming, remodeling your
home is not a herculean task. However, before you get to the exciting bits of
revamping, you’ll need to seek prior permission from building authorities and
local government bodies. Of course, not all aspects of remodelling require a
permit. So, you need to make a list of required permits, get them done to avoid
a fiasco. Happy renovating!
What Happens If You Don't Get A Permit For A Remodel?
Permits are considered as a
safeguard or security measure against homeowners. So, if you renovate your home
without seeking prior permission, it will be deemed ‘unpermitted’. This status
itself will create multiple problems if you ever try to sell your home.
Do I Need A Permit To Replace Kitchen Cabinets?
You need a permit in case to move or add plumbing, any electrical or mechanical component or any wall within the home. So, in simple terms, you do not need a permit to replace your kitchen cabinets as you’re removing the old ones with the new cabinets.
Also See: Packing Kitchen for Moving
Can I Renovate My Kitchen Myself?
Yes, you can if you have the will,
dedication, and the right skills for it. Renovating the kitchen on your own
does require days of sweat and effort. Any help from family and friends is a
bonus! Doing it yourself can also reduce miscellaneous expenditures such as
electrical and plumbing costs.
Can You Get A Permit After The Renovation Is Done?
Yes, you can file a permit once your home has been renovated. While this isn’t a big deal or uncommon, it may cost you a few extra charges. So, if you want to keep things within the budget, it’s better to get a permit before you start renovating.
See Also: Best Home Remodelling Ideas | What Fixes are Mandatory after a Home Inspection? | Guide to Remodeling Permits
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