Wed Aug 16 2023

Do You Need a Permit for a Bathroom Remodel?

Do You Need a Permit for a Bathroom Remodel

When you're all set to embark on an exciting home renovation adventure, you might find yourself navigating the sometimes puzzling world of permits. It's totally normal to wonder about the kinds of renovations that might need these permits.


Now, this area can be a bit fuzzy, leaving you with questions. But no worries, we've got you covered! We've put together a bunch of info just for you to clear up any permit-related confusion and shine a light on the whole permit thing for different projects.


So, let's jump right into the interesting world of permits and uncover all the important info you're curious about, especially when it comes to their role in different home improvement projects. And what better way to start than by digging into the intriguing realm of bathroom remodels and the all-important permits they require?


Permit for Renovation – What Is It?

Permit for Bathroom Renovation – What Is It

In simple words, a permit is approval from the government that allows you, or the contractors, to proceed with a renovation project. Based on the type and complexity of your project, the need for the permit changes. Also, there are a handful of factors that decide whether you need a permit or not.

It can be confusing or sometimes overwhelming to take in all the information simultaneously, especially if you are new to remodeling.

First and foremost, remember this, almost all challenging, and complex projects need permits. These projects include but are not limited to, structural, electrical, and massive plumbing changes.


It is important to understand that there is a good reason to acquire a permit before starting a renovation project. As you can see, all complex projects involve a great deal of potential danger and can compromise your or even your neighbor’s safety. Already the project itself can be a bit of a headache, having to worry about the safety and the danger can be a bit too much.

Simply, the permit for your remodeling project is evidence that you, or the contractor, are meeting all the local building codes, safety, and zoning regulations. 


Even if you are planning to carry out the behemoth of a project by yourself, it is still recommended to consult with the local architects or builders to learn more about the permits and even how to carry out the project safely.

How to Get a Permit for Your Renovation Project

How to Get a Permit for Your Renovation Project

Permit requirements differ based on your location and the difficulty of your project, but there is a general outline that you can use for your application.


Gather information about your project – From research to planning, information on your project needs to be gathered carefully. Understand the scope of your project, and what you are planning to do during the project. If you are planning to alter the structure of a particular room, like your bathroom, get the bathroom layout and understand the code from your local building regulations department.


Document the gathered information – After gathering all the necessary information, it is time to document it. This is where professional input greatly helps. Collaboration with local architects or builders can help you to understand the best way to document the gathered information. Some important information, such as floor plans, construction details, and even elevation details need to be mentioned clearly. 


Get the application form from your local building regulatory authority – Your local building department has the application form, which you can download online, or visit the authority and get the form in person. If you still have doubts about the application, it is better to get the application in person so you can ask the authorities to clarify.

Fill out the information clearly. Mind that, the different locales have different types of forms and require different information. Once you fill out the form, do not forget to attach your supporting documents.


Submit the application – Go in person or mail the application to your local building department. Note that some regions may ask for a fee.

Lastly, your application will now be reviewed by the authorities. Two things can happen during this stage. The first is approval. Authorities can green-light your project immediately if all the documents are approved. Second, if there is a need for a correction, the authority gives you their feedback and you are required to modify your application.

Once your permit is approved, you can start work on your project. FYI, there will be scheduled inspections by the authorities to check up on your project and make sure that every regulation is being met. 


After the project is completed, there will be a final inspection to make sure everything is perfect and regulations are met without any compromises. This helps to get a certification of occupancy, which shows that your renovation project was carried out safely.

What Kind of Projects Need a Permit?

In general, this is how most renovation projects go. To be more clear, let’s take an imaginary scenario, where you want to do a bathroom remodel.

The following are some major remodel scenarios in which you may need a renovation permit:


  1. Structural work – Knocking out or building walls. A complete renovation of the floor layout.
  2. Electrical work – Modifying or changing the existing electrical wiring, outlets, switches, or even lighting.
  3. Plumbing work – Changing the existing plumbing fixtures and drains or even installing new bathtubs, toilets, or even the sink.
  4. Ventilation work – Installing a new window, or even a new bathroom fan.
  5. Gas line work – Some water heaters use gasses that need a gas line. Modifying or changing the gas line needs a permit. Most water heaters, however, are electric, meaning this eliminates the need for gas-based heaters.
  6. Waterproofing and tiling work – Some locales require permits for waterproofing the bathroom floor or even changing the tile. 

Almost all the small changes you may want to make in your bathroom may not require a permit.


NOTE: Each region has a different requirement. 


Remember, if you are carrying out a difficult task and do not possess the permit, you might find yourself paying fines, defending legal action against you. You could even face a bigger issue when you want to sell your property.


  • Do I need planning permission to add a bathroom?
  • Yes, you need planning permission, since adding a full bathroom is considered a highly difficult project. You should check with a local architect before moving on to the permission since different regions have different regulations. 

  • Do you need a permit to remodel a bathroom in NY?
  • Yes, you need an ALT2 permit for most, if not all, kitchen or bathroom renovations in NY. Without that, you might face legal actions, such as paying fines. 

  • Does changing the faucet or replacing it require a permit in NYC?
  • No, you do not need a permit to change or replace a faucet in your bathroom or kitchen. Faucet changing or painting projects are considered cosmetic projects, which do not require a renovation permit.

    Final Thoughts

    For a first-timer in a renovation project, whether you need a permit or not can be very confusing. Since there is a lot to consider, it can be quite intimidating when you take a look at the permit process. That is one of the main reasons we created this guide on renovating permits. 


    If you still have doubts and confusion, remember this: 


    One of the easiest ways to know whether you need a permit or not is to check out your renovation budget.

    If the budget is more than $5000, you might as well get the permit to be on the safer side. As simple as that. 


    Renovation may require a new bathtub or sink. If you are looking for great and reliable hardware, you are in the right place. We offer a great variety of hardware ranging from bathtubs, sinks, and faucets to kitchen or bathroom accessories. Interested? Take a look at our complete collection