Which Remodel Projects Do and Don’t Require a Permit in Colorado?

H3 Construction
May 21, 2021

If you’re thinking about pursuing a home remodel project in Colorado be sure to stop and think about permit requirements before you charge full steam ahead. Buildings and home regulations will vary slightly from state to state. But, wherever you are, you can count on certain home redesign projects requiring permits.

Let’s take a look at why it’s a good idea to check on what permits you need to secure and what the state of Colorado requires for remodel permits.


Why Do Some Projects Require a Permit? 

Remodel permits are meant to protect the health and safety of homeowners and builders. They’re put in place to avoid structural issues that could result in injuries or even fatalities. Many of the permit requirements will overlap in different regions, but some might be location-specific. For example, California maintains regulations around earthquake safety that builders must comply with when remodeling a home. Colorado, on the other hand, doesn’t have requirements like this since we don’t experience frequent earthquakes.

Also, keep in mind, some permits adhere to your local HOA requirements. Even exterior renovations that don’t require a permit might still need to be approved by your HOA. Always check in with your neighborhood association before doing any work to the exterior of your home. 


What Happens if You Don’t Get a Permit? 

It’s tempting to skip permit requirements in order to save time and money on your project but this is never in your best interest. You could actually be setting yourself up for a major headache. The truth of the matter is that you might need to shell out even more money than the initial permit fee down the road once issues inevitably arise.

Aside from the obvious risk of potential injury, proceeding with a remodel without the proper permits can also lead to trouble when you try to sell your home. It can prolong the process and cost you fines. Furthermore, you will likely need to pay even more to do demolition work and by-the-book reconstruction. 

Renovations done without proper permitting can also be illegal. You could be served a stop-work order until you secure a permit or a steep fee for attempting to go through with a remodel without a permit. 


Which Projects Require a Permit in Colorado? 

Colorado maintains similar permitting requirements to many other states in the country. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what you need before starting on a renovation process. Forgetting or not knowing about a permit won’t be a valid excuse if you break ground on your project without the proper permissions.  

Here are some of the projects that universally require permits in Colorado:  

  • Alteration to your existing floor plan
  • Structural changes
  • Room additions
  • New or rerouted ductwork
  • New or relocated electrical or plumbing 
  • Major foundational remodels
  • In-ground pool
  • New concrete patio
  • Roof replacement
  • Backyard shed

Keep in mind that items not included on this list might still require a permit in your specific municipality or community. Some local bylaws legislate different requirements for projects that will affect the look of the overall community. For example, some communities will require their approval before painting your home exterior. Always check with your county and community officials to get a comprehensive list of permits you might need. 


Which Projects Don’t Require a Permit? 

Use the “like-for-like” rule to determine if your project will require a permit. If you are replacing something that is already in place, you likely don’t need any special permits. For example, you can replace existing cabinets without a permit if no structural work is required. 

Some other examples of projects that don’t require permits are

  • Replacing or repairing drywall less than 4-foot by 8-foot
  • Hanging wallpaper or painting (in most cases)
  • Installing new flooring 
  • Installing countertops
  • Installing trim or paneling
  • Tiling a bathroom
  • Minor electrical repairs
  • Minor plumbing repairs


Need Help Navigating Permits? 

While we will not take on a project without the proper permitting, we will help our clients through the process of securing them. Our team of experts is experienced in what permits you will and will not need in the Denver, and Northern Colorado areas. From start to finish, h3 Construction and Design is in your corner while navigating the renovation process. If you’re looking for a builder you can trust, get in touch with us today! We would be happy to walk you through your project and help get you closer to your dream home!

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504 West Eisenhower Blvd, Suite 3,
Loveland, CO 80537
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