If you need a permit for a kitchen remodel, it varies depending on the type of remodel you are doing and where you live. But experts agree that you should first consult with your city government. It may come as a surprise to some people when they discover that all but the simplest kitchen renovation jobs require permits. Significant modifications will be needed affecting the amount of light, ventilation, fire resistance, or outdoor outlets.
For your home improvement project, we have described jobs that don't require a permit and jobs that require a minimum permit. All other work will require the submission of a formal plan that is described on the Residential Development page. According to the National Association of Realtors, not obtaining the right permits at the time of construction or demolition can complicate or cancel the sale of your home. If the city finds you halfway through a project and without a permit, you'll also be forced to stop construction until you get one.
If you need to rewire the kitchen to add different appliances, change lighting, or anything else, a permit is necessary. If you're just planning a cosmetic change for a kitchen renovation, such as painting cabinets, changing cabinet doors, installing a new counter, or fitting a new faucet fixture, chances are you don't need a permit. Changing the purpose of a room, especially when it requires major plumbing, electrical, or structural changes, does require a permit in most cities. No matter how much cheaper your quote is, avoid hiring a trader who is happy to complete the job without the required permission.
Even if you don't plan to do any of these things, some cities require a permit if the project costs more than a certain amount to complete. However, simple kitchen remodeling projects that you can do yourself are usually possible without a permit. The changes will be discovered and you may not be able to sell or rent your home without having to do all the hard work or pay fines, pay inspectors, and still get permits. It's a good idea to regularly check with your contractor to make sure permits are posted and inspections are carried out.
If you remodeled your home without a permit, it's worth scheduling an appointment with your local building inspector and discussing options. If you are doing a DIY kitchen remodel, you should check with your city to see what permits are required. For example, if you need to reinstall plumbing if you are going to change the location of your sink or add an island with your own sink, a permit may be required. The main reason cities require residential building permits for major home improvements is to keep a record of changes made to your home so that they can register with the government.
If something wasn't created based on code, you'll also be trapped by whatever needs to be done. The good news in all of this is that you will have a fully permitted home, that will get the best prices in the market, move more efficiently through the sales process, and attract more homebuyers who are understandably wary of construction work not allowed.