Skip to Content

Does a Bathroom Remodel Need a Permit?

does a bathroom remodel need a permit

Well we are sorry to burst your bubble but owning a home is not just about paying up and settling in, and then when you are stable enough to customize your home, you begin tearing down and building up.

There are rules to be followed that vary from city to city, and the best that you could do for yourself is research on what the rules of your city dictate.

We must, however, note that there aren’t any federal or state standard laws that are required as concerns the home remodel permit.

On the flip side, however, is that if you were to remodel your kitchen or bathroom then it will attract charges and a permit on the electrical and plumbing fixtures that are usually carried out behind the walls.

Ever heard of professionalism, well that is what you need if you are planning to remodel the various rooms in your home.

Now professionalism is relevant especially for those people who are into the DIY projects, while the projects might bore sweet fruits, you will most likely get into trouble with the law once they come inspecting your home especially when you want to put it up for sale.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links which will take you to online retailers that sell products and services. If you click on one and buy something, I may earn from qualifying purchases. See my Affiliate Disclosure for more details.

So before, you remodel your bathroom it would be best if you first employed the services of a contractor as they are always in the know of the projects that might require a permit.

What are some of the details of a permit?

When you will be remodeling your bathroom, almost all the electrical and plumbing renovations will have you acquire a permit.

However, if you are just working on the visual elements then you will not need to get a permit, and this includes activities like painting the walls, adding the countertops, and installing new faucets.

And still, on the permit, there is the issue of compliance with the health and safety measures based on the structural guidelines that have been put in place by the building regulatory body of the area that you reside in.

There are also the zoning regulations that must be followed to the latter.

Important to note is that zones are set out in the written regulations, which also define the precise geographic location for both the residential and commercial buildings.

There is so much that goes into remodeling the bathroom that it would be best if you delegated that job to the professional renovators, who will proceed to obtain the building permit on your behalf and to get your remodel approved, plans and drawings will also be needed.

An investigation will also be carried out as regards the specifics of your plan so that you can be given the go-ahead.

So initially we mentioned contracting professionals, the importance of the above is so that they can inform you when you will need to get the permit.

The latter does not come free, as you will have to pay for it, and the price will be set concerning the purpose of your permit. Failure to obtain the above, you will part with more money than what you would have initially paid for the permit.

Types of renovations that aren’t covered with a permit

Replacing your toilet might seem like a big project but you can be sure that it doesn’t need a permit, so this is one of the projects that you can carry out without worry.

Also if you feel like your bathroom floor needs an upgrade, you can go ahead and have it changed; you can also paint the whole bathroom if you wish or completely remove the countertops and install the modern type that features marbles.

Also if you want to replace your existing sink with a more modern one, you are free to do so and won’t need a permit.

You can also replace your electrical outlet or the lighting fixtures without getting into trouble with the law.

Renovations that are covered with a permit

There are some major renovations that require you to obtain a permit and your contractor is well aware of this fact, and this goes to both the new and the old house that might need renovations in the bathroom.

So activities such as changing your bathrooms roofline by adding the skylights will attract a permit from the municipality.

If you also wish to move your sink or your bath, which then calls for a new plumbing supply and drain lines, then you will have to get a permit and this will probably call for an inspection before you are given the go-ahead.

Adding windows also requires a permit because you will be interfering with the original design of the house and consequently these changes must also reflect on the house plan.

Some people might want to install the steam or the rain shower which might necessitate the dividing of the bathroom wall or call for the complete demolition of the shower wall.

And given that it will be interfering with the original design of the house as per the plan it will consequently, require plumbing and addition of the electrical features which then calls for a permit.

If you also wish to add an electrical point in the vanity area of your bathroom, you will still follow suit and get a permit.

Other home improvements that require a permit

With regards to the city that you live in, you might need a permit for your fence’s height; also if you make changes on your footprint, you will have to get a permit, and this covers the bedrooms, decks, and garages among others. 

Changing your water heater or the ventilation system also calls for a permit.

The latter can be accessed through the local municipal government office.


Given the list of things that you can renovate without a permit and others that need a permit then it is advisable that you first come up with a list of the renovations that you want to carry out in your bathroom so that you can be sure you are treading on the right side of the law.

As you have noted in this excerpt there are some renovations that are not covered by a permit and you can, therefore, proceed with them at your convenience.