When Do I Need a Permit for Home Remodeling?

When you are remodeling your home, one of the critical tasks that you need to do is to apply for remodeling permits. At Done Right Home Remodeling, we would help our clients at every stage of the process. But it is not that you would need to get a permit whenever you are looking to remodel your home. There might be cases when you don’t need them at all. So, as a homeowner, you would need to know a few basic things about home remodeling permits so that you would not have to go through any hassles later on.

Let us take a look at some of the frequently asked questions that would help you to discover more about home remodeling permits.

When Do I Need a Permit for Home Remodeling?

One of the first questions that you might ask is when you do you need to apply for a permit. Well, one of the first things that you would need to understand is the difference between a minor and a major remodel. In most cities, you would have to apply for permits based on whether you are looking to make minor or major remodels.

If you are in the city of San Jose, then the following tasks would be considered minor remodeling works, and they don’t generally need any permit.

Surface Improvements

  • Cabinet refacing or replacement without structural, electrical, or plumbing changes.
  • Countertop or tile installations.
  • Flooring installations of any size or floor sheathing repair up to 10 sq. ft.
  • Painting or non-rated sheetrock locations.

Minor Improvements

  • Appliance repairs that do not alter the appliance’s original approval and listing.
  • Replacing electrical outlets, switches in their existing boxes, circuit breakers, or fuses.
  • Replacing or repairing faucets or toilets.
  • Window replacements that do not alter the window frame, nailing flange, or existing weather protection.

All other significant upgrades to your home would require a permit. You can talk to our experts at Done Right Home Remodeling and know whether your specific project needs a permit.

When Do I Need to Get Permits for Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling?

A lot of people want to remodel just their kitchen and bath. At Done Right Home Remodeling, we offer specialized solutions for kitchen and bathroom remodelling.

Here, too you have the concept of ‘minor’ and ‘major’ remodel. In most cases, you would have to apply for a minor remodeling permit to make minor upgrades, like the following:

Minor Remodels:

  • Multiple fixture/appliance replacements that involve new electrical, plumbing, and/or mechanical work without changes to the number or location of fixtures/ appliances.
  • No structural changes, like changes to walls, windows, or framing.
  • If you want to want any improvement outside of the kitchen/ bathroom area must be permitted separately.

For minor remodels, you don’t need to submit plans not needed for permit issuance.

On the other hand, you would need to apply for permits for almost any kind of major upgrades, like the following:

Major Remodels:

  • Changing the configuration of walls or windows,
  • Modifying the framing of ceilings, walls, windows, or floors,
  • Relocating or increasing the number of fixtures/appliances

Projects that include any of the above require plans and plan review for permit issuance. If you are in the city of San Jose, you can visit www.sanjoseca.gov/BuildingPermitServices for instructions on how to prepare and submit your plans and permit application.

Please note that this is valid only for the city of San Jose. The rules and regulations would change depending on the city. Speak to us to know more.

Construction Requirements

While applying for the permit, you would need to make sure that you meet the construction requirements. Here are the requirements that you need to meet for San Jose:

For Entire Home:

Floodplain locations: If your floor is in a floodplain, you need to make sure that the wall finishes below the floodplain meet the CRC R322.1.8. Building code.

Rough & final inspections required: For major remodels, you would need to schedule an inspection of all roughs (such as for tub/shower inspection) and then again for the final inspection.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms: You will need to have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the following locations:

  • In each sleeping room
  • Outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms
  • On each additional story of the dwelling.

For Kitchens:

Exhaust fans: Provide the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) report for kitchen exhaust fans. The fans must be ducted to the exterior.

Exhaust hood replacement: You would need to require a third-party HERS report, 100 CFM, and Energy Star compliant equipment.

For Bathrooms:

Lighting switching devices and controls: You need to make sure at least one luminaire in the bathroom is controlled by an occupant or vacancy sensory providing automatic-off functionality.

Shower pan: Pan dimensions must have a minimum area of 1,024 sq. inches and a minimum finish dimension of 30” in any direction.

Shower doors: Must open with a minimum 22” unobstructed opening for egress.

Toilet space: Clear space around a toilet must measure a minimum of 15” from the centerline of the toilet to the wall or barrier on each side, and a minimum of 24” in front of the toilet.

Ventilation & fan: Bathrooms that have a bathtub or shower must be mechanically ventilated and ducted to the exterior to control humidity. Window operation is not a permissible method of providing humidity control in a bathroom. The fan must be a minimum 50 CFM and Energy Star compliant, separately switched with a variable humidistat. So, when you are applying for permits, you would need to make sure that your designs meet these specifications and then submit the designs to your City office or municipality. Contact Done Right Home Remodeling and get the right advice for all your home remodeling needs.

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