Building permits – when many is better

When I was getting ready to start the remodeling I went to the city hall to request a permit for all the items I would take care of, namely:

  • the kitchen
  • 2 bathrooms
  • electrical service upgrade

I didn’t really pay attention, but the man over there gave me one single permit for everything. That was a mistake.

If I had to do it again, I would insist on getting 4 individual permits instead – even if it comes as an extra cost. Why? Because one year later, we still haven’t closed that single permit (and had to request an extension). After going through the kitchen, electrical and first bathroom, we moved in and started working on many other small items. And left the second bathroom for later.

It is annoying to have this single permit still in the air, making sure it doesn’t expire etc. In addition, one problem in one of the rooms is enough to put the whole permit on hold.

Bottom line: individual permits are better than a single jumbo one.


All cities have different building regulations and I will not go into too many details here. Make sure you contact your local government and check on building regulations before you start any work.

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