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Do You Need a Permit to Remodel a Kitchen in Minneapolis?

The average American spends over 400 hours a year in their kitchen, whether to cook meals or simply store and eat snacks. With so much time spent in one place, it’s reasonable to want it to fit your aesthetic. Perhaps you’ve started making plans but face an unexpected question: do you need a permit to remodel a kitchen?

As a top-quality full-kitchen remodel contractor in Minneapolis, One Stop Kitchen Plus Bath can help. Here, we discuss if you need a kitchen remodeling permit and how you can obtain it in Minnesota.

What Are Permits and Why Do We Need Them?

Building or remodeling permits show that you or your contractors can create or alter buildings in the area. Each city or county can have local building standards on top of widespread building code requirements. Having official authorization from the local government to create or alter buildings generally means you know and follow these codes.

Governments take building regulations seriously since they should protect current and future occupants. Altering a building in a way that would ordinarily require a permit could lead to injuries, lawsuits, and more. In general, it’s best practice to always obtain a permit when your construction or remodeling project requires one.

When You Need a Permit

Do you need a permit to remodel a kitchen? The answer depends on the type of constructive development or remodel you want to complete.

In general, you won’t need a permit for cosmetic alterations within certain limits. Some of these cosmetic changes can also improve kitchen function or comfort, and may include:

  • Painting walls
  • Replacing the floors
  • Installing new cabinets
  • Replacing or refurbishing countertops
  • Replacing existing appliances with new ones, like sinks or dishwashers

With each of these changes, you are not changing anything foundationally relevant to the kitchen, like taking out a wall. You also aren’t adding new electrical wiring or installing an entirely new water pipeline. Instead, these changes would, at most, connect new systems to existing pipes and wiring.

However, if you intend to add new wiring, create another pipeline, or change load-bearing walls, you will likely need a permit. Some examples include:

  • Updating electrical outlets
  • Rerouting kitchen ventilation systems
  • Adding entirely new sink or faucet systems
  • Moving appliance connections to different parts of the kitchen — for example, moving the refrigerator

Don’t hesitate to ask a trustworthy contractor with years of experience handling kitchen remodeling projects if you need a permit. Having an expert on hand can help reduce stress and prevent legal troubles in the future.

Many people have spent more time on home improvement projects since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last thing you want is to accidentally make faulty kitchen changes, especially if you intend to eventually leave or sell your property. Reach out to a professional to get the help you need.

Types of Permits You Often Need

A kitchen with a dining and seating area

Kitchen remodeling often requires specialized skills and encompasses various building codes that your contractors should know. Depending on the changes you want to make to your property, we may require several different permits.

Building

You will need a building permit to make structural changes to your kitchen. For example, you will need one for removing walls, adding length to the house for more kitchen space, and similar projects.

Building permits can take a while, depending on the general speed of your local government. Average wait times for building permit approvals range from four to six weeks. Of course, during that time, you can readjust your kitchen layout and prepare to start once your contractor receives government approval.

Plumbing

Plumbing permits often take the least amount of time from application to approval. Many Minnesotans wait for less than a week before their plumbers can get to work.

Your plumbing contractor often won’t need a permit to replace an old sink with a new one. However, adding a sink to your kitchen or moving where the pipes connect likely requires one.

Electrical

In Minneapolis, you won’t need an electrical permit if you’re installing a battery-operated smoke detector or CO2 alarm. Otherwise, everything else, from adding new lights, to changing appliance connection spots, to adding amps to your service panel, requires one. In this case, the answer to, “Do you need a permit to remodel a kitchen?” is almost always yes.

From application to approval, you can generally expect an electrical permit to take about a week.

Mechanical

Mechanical permits usually take about a week or two to obtain governmental approval. These require more time because they often involve interactions with plumbing or electrical connections. Kitchen HVAC systems and air control fall under the mechanical banner.

Of course, these relative timetables can vary depending on the local government and how fast or often they complete permit requests. As such, you will want the person using the permit to have proper experience. Instead of applying by yourself, contact a kitchen remodel contractor you trust to do the job for you.

How Qualified Contractors Can Boost Your Plans

A visual representation of a kitchen with a well-planned and efficient layout, perfect for designing an efficient kitchen layout in small spaces and open-concept designs.

Contractors with licenses and insurance can make your remodeling aspirations more attainable and affordable. A licensed and insured contractor will generally focus on completing a high-quality job. Contractors lacking those credentials may work poorly and can hold you financially accountable for recorded injuries on-site.

Moreover, those with licenses and insurance often have more experience and can efficiently adhere to your construction and remodeling plans. If they see any issues with your current layout, they can suggest alterations that better suit your remodel’s purpose. Due to their expertise, local government authorities may become more accepting of your remodeling ideas.

What Papers Do We Need to Apply for a Permit?

A permit application form will often request your current address and its layout in technical terms. We usually provide this as a part of our contract to lessen your workload. Otherwise, you would likely need to create 3D renderings, blueprints, or other details to submit with your application.

Then, experienced contractors can help you precisely measure and form your new kitchen remodel plan. Submitting it with proof of construction and remodeling experience often leads to timely approval.

Summary

Do you need a permit to remodel a kitchen in or around Minneapolis, MN? The answer depends on what kind of remodeling or construction you want. Moving walls or adding new pipes or wiring generally requires permits, while painting or replacing existing items usually doesn’t.

If you ever feel unsure about the permit application process or your kitchen remodel timeline, contact us via our website for assistance. Learn more today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a permit to replace gas appliances?

Unlike other appliances in the kitchen, like electric dishwashers or refrigerators, gas appliance replacements require a permit. Minnesota requires permits for these cases due to the potential dangers of a gas leak.

How much does a kitchen remodel cost?

The cost of your kitchen remodel will depend on several factors, including the extent of your changes, the size of your kitchen, and more. We suggest obtaining a quote from a trustworthy contractor for a more accurate estimate. From there, you can also ask, “Do you need a permit to remodel a kitchen?” for your unique circumstances.

Who should I contact in the government to look for permit information?

Minneapolis has a page with basic permit information, including links to permit application papers and state building, plumbing, and electrical codes. You or your contractor can use this information to move forward with your remodeling plans.

Brian Stogdill

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