Enthusiastic about giving your dated kitchen a fresh look? We spend much of our time inside the kitchen preparing food, eating with family, or even having a cup of coffee with a friend. It is one of the loveliest places inside our home.
Hence remodeling a kitchen can be an exciting project but also a daunting prospect. Unless you are doing a simple upgrade, like repainting existing cabinets or changing a countertop, you will likely need one permit or more to make sure what you do is legal and safe.
In this blog, MDM Custom Remodeling will walk you through the kitchen activities that typically require permits and those that don’t, how to get a kitchen remodel permit, as well as the risks of not getting a permit when you should.
Kitchen remodel work that typically requires a permit
- Plumbing: Adding a new sink or removing an old one, changing sink location, adaptations to sewer lines, installing new outdoor faucets, sometimes even replacing a water heater. That is because this type of work requires changes to the water supply and drain pipes.
- Structural: If you want to alter, demolish, or add new walls, exterior doors, or skylights, you’ll have to obtain a building permit. Sometimes non-load-bearing wall removal also requires a permit.
Also, if the wall you plan to alter conceals electrical conduits, air ducts, and pipes, you’ll require an additional electric, mechanical, or plumbing permit for the ensuing change to this infrastructure.
- Electrical: Any time you remove, alter, or install an electrical circuit, you’ll need to get an electrical permit.
For example, you will need a permit if you are moving your electric range to a new place because it requires a dedicated 240V circuit.
Also, you cannot move your fridge or microwave to a new location where they will be sharing the current with other appliances and overload the power circuit.
- Ductwork changes: It includes new air conditioning, rerouting existing ventilation systems, installing a new range hood or moving the existing one to a new location. That is because range hoods rely on ducts to drive out the fume produced while cooking.
Kitchen remodel activities that may not need a permit
Simple kitchen remodeling activities that you can do yourself are usually possible without a permit if they don’t require any new plumbing, wiring, or ventilation.
- Apply new wall coverings — You can paint walls or apply wallpaper, without notifying the building authorities.
- Repaint or change cabinets — You can sand and restrain or repaint existing cabinets without any problem. You can also take them down and install new cabinets if they are in the same location.
- Replace countertops — You won’t have to get a permit to replace an existing countertop.
- Replace existing light fittings — You can replace an existing light fixture if the circuitry is already in place.
- Change a sink — You can install a new sink and remove the old one as long as you don’t alter the existing plumbing.
- Replace an existing faucet
- Refloor your kitchen
- Install new appliances if there is no need for additional electrical work. Otherwise, you will need an electrical permit.
How do you get a permit to remodel your kitchen?
You can apply to your local authorities for any necessary permits yourself, but MDM Custom Remodeling recommends you seek the aid of professionals in this arduous process. It may be a more expensive route, but it takes the stress out of the process.
A reputable kitchen remodeling company should be familiar with how the local building authorities process applications. It will take care of the entire permit process, including creating plans, submitting paperwork, collecting fees and attending inspections.
What happens if you don’t have a permit?
You can face multiple challenges if the building department finds out that your kitchen remodel required a permit, but you failed to apply for one. Any failure to acquire a building permit is a violation of California’s Building Code. Any breach of Business and Professions (B&P) Code sections 7110 and 7090 subjects the violator to punitive action by CSLB, comprising civil penalty charges of up to $5,000 per violation. Not applying for permits when you should create problems for yourself with the sale or refinancing of your home. You could also face extra fees and fines and experience delays when you apply for any permits in the future. Additionally, the authorities may ask you to rework your kitchen to comply with the local building codes.
Not applying for permits when you should create problems for yourself with the sale or refinancing of your home. You could also face extra fees and fines and experience delays when you apply for any permits in the future. Additionally, the authorities may ask you to rework your kitchen to comply with the local building codes.
Be prepared before you start the work for inspection and possible delays
Plumbing and electrical permits are sometimes issued shortly after you apply for them. While building permits for structural changes typically take around one month to 6 weeks.
You may also experience delays if there is a need for inspections. They are part of the permit approval process. The authorities visit the work site to ensure that the completed work meets all building codes.
If the inspection fails, they ask you to make more changes that will require a further visit for approval. The authorities may then visit you once the work has been completed or even during the progress of the project which may cause further delays.
What is a building permit?
A building permit has an extensive list of action items. They can be:
- Demolition Drawings
- Fundamental Drawings and Computations
- Structure Elevations
- Mechanical Drawings
- Electrical Drawings
- Site plan and/or Grading Plan
- Plumbing Line Drawings
- Technical Requirements
- Architectural Floor Plans
Work through the permit process with help from the professionals
Take the stress out of your kitchen remodel project. Consult with a professional contractor or home renovation company that saves you time and money and avoids your frustrations by ensuring that you have all the proper building permits.
Step every day into a place that you love, into a spectacular kitchen where you can share special moments with your family and friends.
Ready to discuss your next kitchen remodeling project? Talk to MDM Custom Remodeling at 323 210-3350