You’ve carefully planned out your dream kitchen and now you’re ready to get started. What’s the first step?

Depending on what you’re having done, you may need kitchen remodeling permits. Certain home improvements and changes do require you to get a permit.

However, not every change requires a permit. Use the tips below to figure out when you might need to check about a permit before your remodel.

Why Bother With Permits

Since it’s your home, you might not think permits matter that much. However, if you’re hiring contractors to help with the kitchen remodel, they may not work on your project at all without the proper permits in place. After all, it’s their reputation at stake. If you work with a contractor that says they’re okay with skipping out on permits, find someone else. This is a sign that they’re not reliable and may do more harm than good in your kitchen.

Another problem is if you ever want to sell your home. The changes will be discovered and you might not be able to sell or rent your home without having to tear down all the hard work or paying fines, paying inspectors and still getting permits. In fact, some cities may even increase the permit cost if you didn’t get the permit before remodeling.

One final thing to consider about kitchen remodeling permits is they are for your own safety. For instance, you wouldn’t want to tear down a wall that’s necessary for supporting your second floor. Permits are designed to verify the safety of whatever home improvement you want to make.

When You Don’t Need A Permit

Legally, you don’t need a kitchen remodeling permit for basic kitchen improvements. Some kitchen remodeling projects that don’t require permits include:

  • Getting new cabinets
  • Refacing cabinets
  • Painting cabinets
  • Re-doing your kitchen floor
  • Painting the kitchen
  • Installing new appliances (if no electrical work needs to be done)
  • Adding an island (no electrical or plumbing changes)

Outside of a full-scale kitchen remodel, you usually don’t have to worry about permits. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

When You Do Need A Permit

The exact kitchen remodeling permits you need will vary based on what you’re changing and where you live. You should check with your local government office if you have any questions. Discuss your project and what you’re changing to ensure you have all the permits you need. You can also talk with reputable contractors to see if there are permits you’ll need to obtain before getting started.

If you’ll be making any plumbing or electrical changes, you will need to get a permit. For instance, if you need to re-run plumbing if you’re changing the location of your sink or adding in an island with its own sink, a permit may be required. If you need to re-wire the kitchen to add different appliances, change the lighting or anything else, a permit is necessary. Plumbing and electrical permits are necessary to ensure the changes are on record and are safe for the home.

One more major permit you’ll need for remodeling your kitchen is any changes to your home’s structure. For a kitchen remodel, this means adding or removing walls. Since walls are a major structural component, you need to acquire a permit before changing anything. The city will check the blueprints to ensure the removal or addition of a wall won’t compromise the integrity of the home. The last thing you want is your ceiling caving in on your new kitchen just as you get done.

One final thing to consider is whether you’re remodeling an existing kitchen or remodeling another room to turn it into a kitchen. Changing the purpose of a room, especially when it requires major plumbing, electrical or structural changes, does require a permit in most cities.

Our advice is to always ask your city office before proceeding with your project to be safe.

Ready to start your kitchen remodel? Contact us today to learn more about our custom cabinetry services.

Image: Bryan Boatright