KBR Kitchen and Bath

According to The National Association of Realtors (NAR), unpermitted renovations can stall the sale of your home, potentially for years. Therefore, learning about the permit requirements in your city before you start a kitchen remodeling project is of great importance. Although most remodeling contractors will keep you up to date with the latest permit requirements, it is still a good idea for you, as the householder, to know about the procedural steps.

In this post, you will learn about the different permit types, how to get a permit for a kitchen remodel, and what happens if you don’t have a permit before a renovation project begins. At the end of this article, you will find a table showing which states in the U.S. require a permit and for what type of renovation work. 

Types Of Kitchen Remodel Permits

What Are The Different Types Of Permits For Kitchen Remodeling?

There are typically 4 types of permits that you should get before you start remodeling your kitchen. They are:

Plumbing Permits:

You should get plumbing permits if your renovation involves changing or relocating the plumbing fixtures. 

Building Permits:

You should get building permits if your kitchen remodeling involves adding or removing any walls.

Mechanical Permits:

You should get mechanical permits if your kitchen remodeling project involves changes to the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems.

Electrical Permits:

You should get electrical permits if your kitchen remodels involves major changes, additions, or removals in the electrical system.

How To Obtain A Permit For Your Kitchen Remodel?

Here are the steps to obtain a permit for a kitchen remodel. Note that the steps may vary depending on your location. Therefore, check for more details with your contractor and/or local authorities.

Step 1: Contact Your Local Government

Step 2: Fill In The Permit Application Form

Step 3: Pay The Permit Fee

Step 4: Prepare A Site Plan

Step 5: Get Your Plan Approved

Step 6: Provide Additional Information And Do Any Necessary Corrections 

Step 7: Get The Permit

Step 8: Schedule Times For Inspections

Step 9: Get The Final Approval When the Project Is Completed

What Happens If You Remodel Without A Permit?

Skipping the extensive permit procedures will result in a much bigger headache. Here are the potential problems you might face if you conduct a renovation without a permit.


Your local authority will send a stop-work order and issue a substantial fine for your unpermitted project.

Problems With Insurance

Unpermitted renovations violate insurance policies, and thus, you can’t benefit from your insurance in case of any damage that may occur in your kitchen.

Problems With Selling

Unpermitted additions do not count as extra square footage in your listing. Thus, your kitchen area will seem smaller on paper even if you add extra space to it. Potential buyers will only see the actual size of your kitchen if they visit the space, but will likely doubt the quality of work.

Potentially Lower Quality Work

Permits require kitchen remodelers to use building materials above predefined standards and to ensure proper work has been done on the site. Renovations without legal permits lack this assurance, which indicates lower quality.

Removing The Unpermitted Work

Local authorities might ask you to remove the unpermitted work done to your kitchen. It is very costly and inconvenient for homeowners and contractors alike.

Tips For Avoiding Permit Problems

Here are 3 tips to avoid permit problems:

Hire a Licensed Contractor

Hiring a contractor will not only save you time and money but also help you with all necessary permit procedures.

 Get Everything in Writing

Legal authorities always ask you to prove things with written documents. Therefore, keep everything in writing to avoid future headaches.

 Stay in Communication with Your Contractor

During a kitchen remodeling project, your contractor might ask you to do some paperwork or sign certain documents as part of the permit procedure. Therefore, keep in touch with your contractor throughout the project.

What Kitchen Renovations Do Not Require A Permit?

The following renovations don’t usually require a permit as long as you don’t change any electrical or plumbing work.

In Which State Do I Need A Permit To Renovate My Kitchen?

The following table shows which type of remodeling works require a permit in certain states. Your kitchen remodeling contractor can help you a lot, including permits, but you should still ask your local authorities about specific details to be on the safe side. 

State Permit Required Permit NOT Required
Florida Replacing cabinets (often involves upgrading to new electrical code) Minor renovations such as painting or applying wallpaper.
Texas Any structural change in the kitchen (i.e. walls, plumbing, HVAC, electrical …etc.) Replacing doors and windows without changing their sizes.
Maryland Alteration or addition to the structure of the kitchen. Painting, replacing the floor, replacing countertops (with no structural changes).
California Remodeling that involves plumbing and electrical work. Painting, replacing the floor, replacing countertops (with no structural changes).
Ontario Moving electric or plumbing fixtures, moving a wall, adding a window or door, or changing the size of a window. Painting, replacing the floor, replacing countertops (with no structural changes).
Michigan Moving electric or plumbing fixtures, moving a wall, adding a window or door, changing the size of a window. Painting, replacing the floor, replacing countertops (with no structural changes).
Arizona Removing a load-bearing wall, and relocating plumbing fixtures that require new vents. Minor renovations such as painting or applying wallpaper.