Bathroom Remodel – Do I Need A Permit?

bathroom remodel

You’ve finally decided to go ahead with the bathroom remodel and you want to make sure you’re within the legal parameters when the inspectors come knocking. These inspectors will ensure that things are done correctly and safely, based on prescribed parameters. Most contractors know ahead of time which projects require a permit but as a homeowner, you should be aware of these parameters to avoid issues should you ever decide to do a quick renovation yourself. In the industry, there is a general rule followed that should the renovation be structural, electrical, plumbing or mechanically focused, then you will require a permit. Let’s delve in to the what, when and why.

Compliance with health and safety must be met based on structural guidelines enforced by the building regulatory body of your area. Zoning regulations must be adhered to. Zones are set out in a written regulation that defines the specific geographic location for residential or commercial structures and also includes the lot size that can be used and placement of the lot. Residential construction companies will be familiar with the requirements of zoning regulations.

New additions to your house such as walls, doors, windows and even a fireplace, require a permit. Should you decide to move or remove a wall, this will also require a permit. Most electrical or plumbing renovations need a permit, such as bathroom remodels. If you plan to do an interior remodel and only change the visual elements of your bathroom, a permit is not required. Painting walls, changing your bathroom sink, adding countertops or installing new faucets is allowed without consulting the municipality.

When You Require A Permit For Your Bathroom Remodel

  • Moving a sink or your bath and a new plumbing supply and drain lines are needed.
  • Demolishing a shower wall or dividing wall within your bathroom. The same goes for adding a dividing wall or building a shower structure.
  • Adding windows in the bathroom.
  • Changing the roofline of your bathroom such as adding skylights.
  • Adding an electrical point in a vanity area of your bathroom.

When You Don’t Require A Permit For Your Bathroom Remodel

  • Changing the flooring of your bathroom.
  • Replacing an existing sink.
  • Replacing or adding countertops.
  • Painting.
  • Minor electrical work like replacing light fixtures or an electrical outlet.
  • Replacing an existing toilet.

Your renovator should manage all permits since this is their area of expertise. You are legally responsible for obtaining the building permit, however employing the services of a renovator is common and acceptable. Plans and drawings will be required in order for your remodel to be approved. The timing of this will be based on the specifics of your plans and what investigation is required. Your contractor will be able to confirm when you need permits so be sure to work with a reputable company or individual. Failing to obtain your permit prior to your renovations will result in negative consequences with the municipality should they inspect your property, which will be enforced through fines payable. Not only will you run into trouble with your local municipality but should something go wrong and you need to claim from your insurance, they may reject your claim for not having the correct permits in place. Should you decide to sell your house and an inspection is done and it is found that the structure of your house does not follow the guidelines set out by regulatory bodies, you will be responsible for correcting this before you are able to sell your house. The bottom line is, do things the right way from the get-go. You’ll save yourself a lot of drama and admin further up the line.

The price of your permit will be based on the purpose of your permit; however, the cost of this permit is minimal compared to what you will pay should you be caught for your lack of permit. You will need to have a clear list of renovations in mind ahead of your remodel in order to make sure that legally, you are covered to go ahead with your project. Take some time to plan out your revisions so that upfront, you are able to see whether a permit will be required or not.

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