Home renovation… Do I need a building permit?

June 1, 2023

Carrying out home renovations is an excellent way to improve and adapt our spaces according to our needs and tastes. And why not according to decoration and interior design trends.

However, it is essential to know the rules and regulations that govern the works in our place of residence. These regulations may vary from country to country and jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so it is essential to be properly informed before starting any renovation project to avoid possible fines. 

One of the most common questions we are asked when we start an interior design and renovation project, both in flats and houses, is the following… when do we have to ask for a building permit for a flat?

Well, you certainly do!

When do I need a building permit?

In general, planning permission is required for renovations when the changes you want to make to your home involve structural modifications, such as interventions that affect the structure of the building, changes to load-bearing walls, redistribution of spaces or extensions. A licence is also usually requested for work related to electrical, plumbing or gas installations.

So in general, bathroom or kitchen renovations, changes to partition walls or load-bearing walls, among other renovations, are the most commonly requested building permits.

There are reforms that do not require a building permit. In general, these are minor reforms such as renovation work, such as painting, changing floor or wall coverings, installing furniture, among others. For example, changing the doors or installing parquet flooring does not require a building permit. However, it is important to remember that even if a licence is not required, it is essential to comply with building codes and any other applicable local regulations.

We know that applying for a building permit can be a confusing task if you’ve never done it before. So, if you are wondering how to apply for a building permit from Expígul we recommend the following steps:

  1. Research local regulations: Each municipality or jurisdiction has its own regulations and processes for obtaining a building permit. Check with the local town hall or office to find out the specific requirements and forms needed.
  2. Prepare documentation: Gather all required documentation to apply for the licence. This may include plans of the project, detailed description of the works to be carried out, estimated budget and any other documents requested.
  3. Consult a professional: If the project is complex, it is advisable to seek the advice of a specialised architect or technician. Our team of Espígul architects and interior designers will help you to draw up the necessary documentation and ensure that you comply with the legal requirements. 
  4. Submit the application: Complete the application forms and submit all the required documentation to the relevant office. Make sure you meet the deadlines and pay the corresponding fees.
  5. Follow-up and approval: Once you have submitted your application, you may have to wait for some time to get your licence approved. Stay in contact with the office in charge and follow up on any additional requests.

Remember that it is essential to obtain the necessary building permits to avoid legal problems and to ensure that your project is carried out in compliance with safety and quality standards.

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