Some of the most exciting remodel projects in our home are updating or upgrading to a brand new luxurious bathroom.

In addition to what it will cost to make the changes, what permits may be required and how much they will cost should be considered. The permitting process can also take a significant amount of time depending on the type of project you are pursuing. Some cities can charge a significant fee on a percentage of the total project price for a permit.

Permitting requirements change from city to city, there are currently no state level laws or federal laws concerning permits for remodeling.

It is good to do a little homework and go to your city website, call the city zoning office, or ask a professional. If you are planning on altering the plumbing or electrical you will most likely need a permit.

A reputable licensed contractor will know what permits will be required to carry out the job of putting in the improvements you envision.

For some improvements permits will be issued right away, while others require an inspection of the plans by an official. Getting the correct permits is essential if you plan to sell the home someday. The National Association of Realtors says that failure to obtain permits correctly can lead to complications or a complete cancellation of a home sale. Often, the contractor will help with acquiring the permit, but for more complicated jobs we may have the architect or engineer handle the permitting process.

Not having proper permits can also lead to a pause in work, having to pay fines, and even ripping out and redoing work that is already complete.

Some projects may require an inspection in the middle of the work. Inspections to check finished work will be required of all permitted projects. The final inspection is critical to final approval which is also important for appraisals, selling the home, and insurance coverage. All of these things require home improvements to be legal and to meet current code.

It is a homeowner’s responsibility to make sure proper permits have been obtained in the eyes of the city.

There are some projects that often require permits, including but not limited to:

  • Changing the floorplan of the home including adding a room
  • Installing new plumbing or fixing existing plumbing this can also include installing new outdoor faucets (hose bibs) for a hose
  • Any electrical work such as new wiring or rewiring
  • Structural changes like taking out a load bearing wall
  • Parking a dumpster on a public road
  • Any work on the sewer line
  • Adding an exterior entrance, more windows, or skylights
  • Installing a new HVAC system
  • Replacing a water heater

Projects that Might Require Permits

  • Changes to ventilation
  • Moving a sink especially if new plumbing or drain lines are required
  • Taking out a non-load bearing wall
  • The project will cost more than a certain amount

These are just generalities, it is always good to know what your specific city requires before starting renovations on your home.

We can help you to determine what permits will be required for any renovation work you are planning to do on your home. For home renovations, including bathroom renovations in Seattle please contact us any time.

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