Do I need a Permit to Remodel my Kitchen
[BLOG] Published: 2021-06-20 - Updated: 2023-02-09
Do I need a Permit to Remodel my Kitchen?
So, the time has come for project materialization after days of planning. But, “Do I need a permit to remodel my kitchen?
You may ask!
Well, depending on the type of renovation you want to be done, you may need a permit to remodel your kitchen. Not every kitchen upgrade requires a permit, but only those enlisted by your local building department. Pulling a proper remodeling permit is important as it ensures all the work is done per your local area's safety and health standards.
Almost every state and unincorporated property in the US requires obtaining remodeling approval before starting any home renovation project. Building codes and permit requirements vary from one city to another.
Permit Requirements in Houston, Texas
Kitchen remodels without a permit in Houston can attract a series of problems. According to NAR (National Association of Realtors), failing to pull appropriate permits can stall the remodeling process, attract fines, lead to reworks, and even complicate the sale of your property. So as a homeowner, it's your responsibility to obtain the necessary permits for your Houston kitchen remodeling project. Conduct a quick online search for Houston’s remodeling/building code to get a clear idea of what to expect for your project.
What do You need a Permit for When Upgrading your Kitchen?
The type of permit you need will vary depending on your location and the scope of the renovation. Talk your project through with the municipal government to ensure you obtain all the required permits. Feel free to contact reputable remodeling contractors that you might give the job to. They have extensive knowledge of what the city officials look for before awarding a certificate of compliance.
Remember that pulling proper permits helps protect your investment and enables city officials to follow up with the project to ensure it complies with the recommended building codes.
Here are instances when you need a permit;
- Changes to the current floor plan
- Electrical and plumbing work
- Structural alterations like adding an island and changing windows and doors
- When adding different kitchen appliances
- Changing lighting fixtures
- Relocating the sink
- Kitchen demolition
- Removing or adding walls
Pro-tip Takeaway: While it’s your responsibility as a property owner to obtain the necessary permits, an experienced contractor like Smart Remodeling can let you know what permits you need for your project.
When You don’t Need a Kitchen Remodeling Permit
A permit is not required for minor or simple kitchen upgrades such as updating countertops, cabinets, re-doing the floor, or adding temporary storage. You also don’t need approval when carrying out routine maintenance or basic kitchen repairs that don’t affect the existing structure.
Similarly, suppose you intend to tear down and repair drywall less than four by eight feet sheet. In that case, you also don't need a kitchen remodeling permit. You also don't need any approval to paint your kitchen or add an island that doesn't require plumbing or electrical changes.
Pro Tip Takeaway: A permit is not necessary when doing basic kitchen upgrades. Ensure you understand those projects that need a permit to avoid unnecessary problems.
How to Get a Permit
Submit a permit application to your local building department, attaching your permit fees and the project plan. The building department will review your application and respond accordingly. Based on the nature of your project, you may receive a permit immediately or wait for a couple of weeks for a response. During the review process, be ready to revise the plan or provide more information to the building department.
If your plan doesn't meet requirements, you may need to re-apply for the permit within a specified period. If approved, you can go ahead and start your project. Since your kitchen renovation job must comply with the building codes, be prepared for regular inspections from the building department. Expect multiple inspections if you’re doing a complete kitchen makeover.
Pro-tip Takeaway: To avoid rejection, attach your application with the required information, permit fee, and project plan before submitting it.
What can happen if I Remodel my Kitchen Without a Permit?
House interior remodel without a permit can cause serious issues, both personal and legal. Don't forget that the main reason to permit your work is to ensure compliance with the building safety requirements. Unpermitted work can lead to:
- Poor Quality Workmanship
Pulling a permit for your project is an excellent way to ensure the job is executed by qualified professionals. Your local building department helps you achieve this purpose through regular code inspections. So if you overlook the need for a permit, you risk receiving shoddy work, which will make your home unsafe.
- Hefty Fines
Unpermitted work may also attract hefty fines or stop the project. Worse, if your neighbors alert the city officials that you’re remodeling your home without observing permit regulations, you could face heavy penalties and painful reworks.
- Violation of Insurance Policy
Renovating your kitchen without a permit can also compromise your property's insurance policy. This means that your insurer will not cover any damages that may occur during the renovation. Whether it's a fire that resulted from poor electrical work or any other accident, you may have to cater for the expenses.
- Complicate Your Property’s Selling Process
An unpermitted kitchen upgrade can be a high-risk business. While it seems easier to skip the initial permit application process, the reality is that this idea will cost you in the long run. When it's time to sell your property and potential buyers realize you completed unpermitted work, they will require a dramatic price cut or even cancel the deal right away.
Pro-tip Takeaway: Obtain the necessary permits before commencing any kitchen improvement project; otherwise, you will suffer extreme pitfalls in the long term.
Why Working with a Reputable Kitchen Remodeling Company is a Great Idea
A kitchen is one of the greatest selling points in your home. Plus, a professionally remodeled kitchen can enhance the look and function of your home, increase comfort levels, add value, and sell your property faster.
So if you want a kitchen upgrade, you will want to hire a qualified contractor like Smart Remodeling that has what it takes to transform your outdated kitchen into an admirable, fully functional space.
At Smart Remodeling, we dedicate our time to learning about your needs and expectations and will help you understand what part of your project requires permitting and which doesn't. Also, we’ll help you get the necessary permit as soon as possible to get your project done on time.
Schedule a free consultation and get expert helps on how to go about the permit issue.