Do I Need a Permit to Remodel My Kitchen in Los Angeles?

Are you planning to remodel your kitchen in Los Angeles? You may be wondering if you need a permit before you start the project. The answer is not always straightforward, but it’s essential to understand the permit requirements before you begin your renovation.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about building permits for kitchen remodeling in LA. We will discuss when a permit is necessary, the cost and timeline of obtaining one, and what happens if you renovate without a permit. We will also provide answers to some frequently asked questions about building permits for kitchen remodeling in Los Angeles.

Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with clients every day who are looking for a great contractor to remodel their kitchen. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, or San Diego with reliable, pre-screened general contractors, then provides ongoing project support to ensure a stress-free experience.


Give us a call at 818.317.3567 or visit our website at to learn more and discuss your project.

Planning Your Kitchen Remodel: Building Permit Essentials

kitchen remodel permit green cabinets

Proper permits are crucial for any kitchen remodel to ensure compliance with building codes. It is important to understand the permit requirements before starting your remodeling project. Obtaining the necessary permits protects you from potential issues down the line.

When you secure a building permit from Los Angeles or any other city, you make the building department aware that you are starting a construction project. The building department will provide you with the building permit and an ‘inspection card’. Securing or “pulling” the building permit is just the first step in the city’s process of ensuring your construction is being completed properly.

Once your kitchen contractor starts your project, they will need to request a city building inspector come see the project at specific intervals. This inspection will ensure the work meets the building code and is being performed properly. If the inspector sees any issues, they will require the contractor to correct them before moving on to the next step.

Once the kitchen is done and all the inspections have been “passed” by the contractor, the inspector will sign off that the permit is “finaled”, which officially means that the permit process is complete.

Understanding Building Permit Requirements for Kitchen Remodels

In general, most major repairs and remodeling at your home will require a city permit, with a few exceptions. Smaller or cosmetic jobs are often exempt from requiring a building permit. But keep in mind every city building department is different, so consulting with the local building department will help determine the exact permits needed for your specific renovation.

In Los Angeles, smaller jobs under $500 will usually not require a permit. Also, cosmetic projects like painting or flooring usually don’t need a permit. But, most other projects that impact the home’s systems, structure, or utilities will need a permit. These include anything structural, electrical, plumbing, stucco, HVAC, etc.

When is a Building Permit Necessary for a Kitchen Remodel in Los Angeles?

A building permit is required for kitchen remodels in Los Angeles when there are structural changes or alterations. Plumbing and electrical modifications, as well as expanding the square footage or changing the floor plan, also require a permit. Even just replacing kitchen cabinets will require that a permit be obtained.

A kitchen remodel, in most cases, involves many if not all the above components. So, you can assume that your kitchen remodel will certainly require a building permit. There are a few exceptions if you are truly just doing one minor part of your kitchen. According to the Los Angeles Common Permits Guide, you don’t need a permit if you’re just replacing the countertop or just painting the cabinets, or replacing the flooring.

The Cost of Obtaining a Building Permit for Your Kitchen Remodel

kitchen remodel permit green cabinets

Obtaining a building permit for your kitchen remodel in Los Angeles comes with its own costs. The cost of the permit varies depending on the scope of your project. Typically, permit fees are based on the value of the renovations or the square footage being remodeled.

The cost of a kitchen remodel permit in Los Angeles or Southern California will likely be in the hundreds of dollars. If you’re doing an addition or extension of your kitchen, the permit might even cost over one thousand dollars. But remember, in return, you’re getting a city inspector to ‘oversee’ your contractor’s work to ensure it’s proper and up to code.

In addition to the permit fee, you may need to budget for plan check, inspections, and other administrative costs. It’s important to consider these permit fees when planning your kitchen remodel so that you can accurately budget for the total cost of the project. Generally, your project will only have to go through the plan check process if you are expanding the kitchen (kitchen addition) or doing structural work like removing a load-bearing wall.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Building Permit for a Kitchen Remodel?

The timeline for obtaining a building permit for a kitchen remodel in Los Angeles can vary. Typically, it involves submitting an application and paying fees. In some cases, you can get a permit right away. In other cases, the local building department reviews the application and may request revisions or additional information.

If you aren’t submitting plans, the permit process is usually very quick and streamlined and can often be done online at the Los Angeles Building Department website.

What Happens If You Renovate Your Kitchen Without a Permit in LA?

Renovating your kitchen without the necessary permits in Los Angeles can have serious consequences. You could face fines, and penalties, and even have to demolish the remodel. Additionally, unpermitted work may complicate the sale of your property. Reputable contractors always advise against performing unpermitted work to protect their clients’ interests. It’s crucial to follow the proper permitting process to avoid long-term issues.

Remember why the city is requiring you to secure a permit in the first place. They want to ensure that the work is completed properly and doesn’t create an unsafe hazard that could create a flood or fire in your home or injure someone. In a sense, it’s really a public service to ensure that property owners are getting the quality/safe construction that they are paying for.

What if my contractor suggests that I don’t need a permit for a kitchen remodel?

kitchen remodel permit construction

If your contractor suggests that a permit is not needed for your kitchen remodel, it’s important to verify this information with the local building department. Permit requirements can vary, so it’s crucial to understand the regulations for your specific project and location.

But if you’re doing a major kitchen remodel in Los Angeles, it’s quite likely that this kitchen contractor is not telling you the whole truth. Some contractors prefer to work without securing a permit because they believe it makes the project go faster without the required city inspections.

But, without a permit and inspections, how are you to know if your contractor is doing quality, decent work…unless you happen to be a construction expert yourself. If your contractor insists that you don’t need a permit, it could be a red flag that they intend to do shoddy work or cut corners in order to save costs and increase their profit.

Will permitting my kitchen remodel make the project take longer?

Permitting your kitchen remodel may add some time to the kitchen project timeline, but it’s necessary for compliance and to avoid future complications. Scheduling the intermittent building inspections does take some time and could cause some minor delays. It could also create delays if the inspector finds substandard work with needs to be corrected or redone.

But wouldn’t you prefer a delay to have the poor work corrected rather than living with sloppy or even dangerous construction. The temporary delay is worth the long-term benefits. Plus, a quality contractor knows the schedule and cadence of the project extremely well and will request inspections in advance in order to keep the project on schedule.

FAQs About Kitchen Remodel Building Permits in Los Angeles

kitchen remodel permit paperwork

– Building permits are generally required for major kitchen remodels that involve structural changes, plumbing, electrical, cabinets, or additions in Los Angeles.

– For minor upgrades like replacing appliances or countertops, building permits may not be necessary, but it’s best to check with the local building department to ensure compliance.

– Hiring a contractor does not exempt you from obtaining the required permits. It is still your responsibility as the homeowner to ensure that a permit is secured.

– The time it takes to obtain a permit for a small kitchen remodel can vary based on factors such as the complexity of the project and the workload of the building department. It’s best to plan and allow for potential delays.

– Starting a kitchen remodel without a permit and then deciding to get one can result in penalties and complications. It’s important to follow the proper permitting process from the start.

– Yes, you can apply for a building permit online in Los Angeles. The city’s Building and Safety website provides information and resources for online permit applications.

When it comes to finding the best kitchen contractor for your remodel project – GreatBuildz is simplifying the contractor search. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, thoroughly screened kitchen contractors and provides project support from start to finish. GreatBuildz serves Los Angeles, Ventura, & Orange Counties.



Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your kitchen renovation project or visit our website for more information:

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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