Do you need a permit to remodel a bathroom?


As a homeowner, it’s a dream come true to complete a custom bathroom remodeling project. You’ve certainly had ideas and inspirations in mind ahead of the remodel, but have you thought about the permit for your bathroom renovation? It is best to fully understand this commonly overlooked issue beforehand so you have a perfectly legal construction process and avoid any problems in the future.

freestanding tub

Read on to find out more about this requirement.

The Basics of Building Permits

A building permit is a permission slip from the local government, granting the homeowner or the licensed contractor to carry on with the renovations or remodeling project. This serves as a safeguard for a homeowner. It also ensures work compliance with local municipality policies like zoning and land use. There are no federal standards governing the issuance of these permits in Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Thus, the permit requirements and building codes may vary depending on the city or state.

Securing a Permit Prior to Construction

The owner is legally responsible for obtaining the correct permits. Here is a simple guide to help you seek out permits.

  1. Check the regulatory bodies to see if your bathroom project requires a permit.
  2. Complete the information needed. Some local governments allow online applications.
  3. Submit the form and pay the fee. The fees vary based on location and the extent of work.
  4. Once approved, the bathroom remodeling permits will be issued. It must be posted on your window while the project is underway. An inspector from the city may check the progress of your new bathroom. Be sure to follow all the terms to avoid negative consequences.

Projects that May Require Permits

As a general rule, the following bathroom remodeling projects are most likely to need a permit:

  • Building a new dividing wall or adding windows that can cause footprint and structural changes
  • Installing new plumbing lines and new hose bibs to accommodate a new sink or to move an existing sink to another spot
  • Requiring electrical work such as adding new circuits or any new electrical wiring
  • Plumbing changes and other sewage projects which involves the sewer line
  • Replacing a water heater or installing a new bathtub
  • Changing the floor tiles as it requires waterproofing and plumbing
  • Undergoing a demolition and needs a dumpster on a public street

remodeled bathroom

Projects that Rarely Require a Permit

Some bathroom remodels fall into the gray area, so it is best to double-check with the local permitting office to confirm if a permit is needed before moving forward.

  • Swapping existing fixtures such as replacing an existing toilet or sink in the same location
  • Performing minor electrical work such as replacing light fixtures
  • Adding a fresh coat of paint that doesn’t deal with the structure or plumbing work
  • Extending the countertop or replacing the existing ones

Important Considerations

It’s not about who will do the work, instead, it’s about what work is being done. Even the easy DIY bathroom remodel project also require a permit to ensure safety. Employing the services of a renovator or a licensed general contractor will shift the permitting process to them. Here are some important things to keep in mind.

  1. Processing of permits may be extensive. At times it takes up to six weeks to secure a bathroom remodeling permit.
  2. A bathroom remodel can take longer to complete due to inspections based on the city’s schedules.
  3. The permit can drive up the cost of the renovation due to the building needs that can’t be avoided. Its price is somehow minimal compared to the cost you’ll pay if caught without a permit.
  4. Even though some contractor doesn’t like permits, it is still an essential evil to get one and follow the guidelines set by the city.
  5. Coordinate with the remodeling contractor to determine who will pay for the permits.

The Renovation Experts

Renovating bathrooms should not be a hassle as long as you deal with a reputable company. Our company, Reeves Remodeling, is a trusted team that can help transform your bathroom into a gorgeous one without breaking the bank. Call our experts today and let’s upgrade this important room that’s a part of your daily life.


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