When you decide to remodel your Winnipeg kitchen, there are many decisions to make and details to refine. But do you need a permit to remodel a kitchen? Regulations aren’t often a priority when you’re thinking about what you want your kitchen to look like and finalizing the design, but they should be if you want the project to materialize.

As Winnipeg’s kitchen remodelling experts, many homeowners ask about the permits required to remodel a kitchen, but it depends on the individual project. A substantial renovation will require official approval from the city. 

Below, TENTEN Kitchens’ guide should help with your kitchen remodelling preparations.

3 Reasons You May Need a Permit for Kitchen Remodelling Projects in Winnipeg

Which projects require a permit in Winnipeg? In general, you need a permit to make any renovation that needs any plumbing or electrical work, changes to the ductwork, or structural changes. For example, if you want to change the kitchen layout and put the sink on a different wall, you need a permit to move the plumbing. 

Winnipeg building bylaws also require a permit if your new kitchen design includes adding or enlarging exterior windows and doors. However, basic kitchen refresh projects, which the city refers to as “like for like upgrades,” do not typically require a permit. These are upgrades that a property owner can reasonably DIY and don’t require any structural changes, including the following:

  • Painting walls
  • Refacing or replacing cabinets
  • Installing new floors or countertops
  • Replacing existing appliances
  • Replacing existing fixtures, like lights and faucets

Some types of renovation may require a permit only in certain circumstances. For instance, if you add a kitchen island that does not include a sink or electrical outlets, you do not need a permit. If you want the island to have a sink, a dishwasher, a cooktop, or outlets, you need permission.

Thankfully, working with a reputable contractor ensures you have the right credentials in place before starting work. A local expert should be familiar with the regulations and navigate the process so you can avoid the consequences of forging ahead without permission.

Do you need a permit to remodel a kitchen in Winnipeg? If you do suspect you need a permit, here are three important reasons you shouldn’t skip the permit application process.

#1 Higher Quality Buildings Are Safer and More Durable

Requiring property owners to submit plans to the city for approval reassures residents that every building meets minimum standards for quality. A code enforcement officer also reviews the plans to make sure they don’t create health or safety risks.

#2 Building Code Compliance Brings Peace of Mind and Savings

Winnipeg has strict codes for electrical, plumbing, and building structure to protect the well-being of a building’s occupants. Getting permission for the work provides reassurance that your proposed project complies with these rules. You can also avoid demolition, fines, and various other penalties.

#3 Setting Up The Right Way Avoids Future Complications 

If the city authorities discover unpermitted changes to a home, serious consequences follow. For example, if you ever sell your home after remodelling the kitchen, the home inspector will look for renovations and confirm that the proper permits are in place. If not, they’ll inform the buyers, and it could affect the offer or willingness to purchase the property.

More About Applying for a Renovation Permit in Winnipeg

If you’re renovating, acquiring authorization can take several weeks. A reputable contractor like TENTEN Kitchens will include these details in the project timeline. Contractors also need periodic inspections during the work, which can add time, and in some cases, additional work to the project. 

What Happens If I Don’t Get a Permit? 

Dealing with a hassle when you try to sell your home isn’t the only consequence of not getting a permit for a kitchen remodelling project. Trying to save a little money might result in major costs and inconvenience when you least expect them.


Have you made unauthorized changes to your home that require a permit? If the regulators see the work, you will have to pay the cost of the permit after the fact, as well as any additional fees or fines for noncompliance. If you don’t pay, the city may take legal action against you.

Al Keith