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Do You Need a Permit to Remodel a Kitchen?

A kitchen remodel is a big, yet rewarding undertaking. And as you get excited about transforming your space, it may be easy to get caught up in all the fun design and decor changes. However, it’s important to always keep all of your project details in mind — including the not-so-fun details like the project permits. 

If you’re like many homeowners, you might not be sure if you need a permit for your kitchen remodel. We’re here to clear things up so you can ensure your project is a sweeping success. Let’s talk about whether or not kitchen remodel permits are needed, what types you may need, and how you can obtain them. 

Do You Need a Permit to Remodel Your Kitchen?

It depends. For some kitchen remodels, a permit isn’t necessary. For others, multiple permits are needed. This difference is heavily based on the scope of work your remodeling project includes. 


The general rule of thumb is that if you’re only making cosmetic changes, your kitchen remodel probably doesn’t require a permit. But if you’re planning a more involved project with electrical, plumbing, and/or structural changes, your kitchen remodel most likely will require a permit. Here are a few specific examples of each.

Kitchen remodel projects that probably won’t require a permit: 

Kitchen remodel projects that probably will require a permit: 

  • Adding a new sink or faucet

  • Removing load-bearing walls

  • Updating outlets

  • Relocating appliances like sinks, dishwashers, refrigerators, etc. 

  • Rerouting ventilation systems

Types of Permits You Might Need for Your Kitchen Remodel

If your kitchen remodel requires a permit, it’s likely one or more of these four types of permits: building, mechanical, electrical, or plumbing. We’ll take a look at each below, what instances may require them, and how long it could take to obtain them. 

Building Permit

A building permit is needed for any structural changes you plan to make during your kitchen remodel, such as tearing down a load-bearing wall, adding a new wall, or bumping out your kitchen to add more square footage

ALBE17101-KITCHEN-FROM-STAIRS-VIEWThe timeline for obtaining a building permit can vary depending on any project setbacks or your local government’s availability, but it typically takes about 4-6 weeks.

Mechanical Permit

A mechanical permit is needed for any heating, cooling, or ductwork changes or additions you plan to do during your kitchen remodel. This could include things like rerouting ventilation systems or installing exhaust hoods. 

The timeline for obtaining a mechanical permit can also vary depending upon the size and scope of the remodel, but typical turnarounds are 2 weeks. 

Electrical Permit

An electrical permit is needed for any (you guessed it!) electrical work you plan to do during your kitchen remodel. This could include things like relocating lighting fixtures, updating outlets, installing new electrical wiring, or adding additional amps to your existing service panel.


The timeline for obtaining an electrical permit is similar to that of obtaining mechanical permits: typically a week. 

Plumbing Permit

A plumbing permit is needed for any plumbing you plan to change during your kitchen remodel, whether that’s adding a new sink, drain, or backflow system. 


The timeline for obtaining a plumbing permit is, yet again, typically a week or less. 

Who’s In Charge of Pulling Permits for Your Kitchen Remodel?

You can do the work of researching, applying for, and obtaining permits by yourself. However, it’s often best to ask a professional for help. That way, you can be sure you’ll get all the permits you need on time and without error. Plus, it helps take some stress off your shoulders as you take on the large project. 

A professional will know what permit(s) you need and can take care of the entire process for you — like creating plans, submitting paperwork, collecting fees, attending inspections, and more. Working with a design-build team can be especially helpful, as you’ll have a diverse team of professionals collaborating with you every step of the way to ensure a compliant, successful and streamlined process. 

Planning a kitchen remodel, but not quite sure where to start? Get in touch with the Meadowlark Design+Build team. Our experienced remodeling team can help walk you through every step of the process, including pulling the right permits for your project.

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