Bathroom Remodeling Permits In Virginia Beach, VA: What You Need To Know

So you’re considering remodeling your bathroom in Virginia Beach. Permits are an important part of the process, whether you want to do a minor update with new fixtures or a full gut renovation. But when exactly do you need bathroom remodeling permits in Virginia Beach VA?

Table of Contents

Getting the right permits ensures your new bathroom meets all safety and building codes. Permits also help protect you in case issues come up down the road. Let’s look at common bathroom remodels and when permits are required.

When Are Bathroom Remodeling Permits Required in Virginia Beach?

According to HGTV, anytime you alter the location of plumbing, including sinks and toilets, or modify structural features as in a tub-to-shower conversion, you’ll need permits.

Whether you need permits for a Virginia Beach bathroom remodel depends on the type and extent of work. Here are key times bathroom remodel permits are required:

If You Alter Plumbing Lines or Fixtures

One of the most common triggers for needing permits is changing plumbing lines or fixtures like sinks, toilets, bathtubs, showers, etc. For example, doing a tub-to-shower conversion requires altering drain lines and water supply lines. These types of plumbing changes require permits in Virginia Beach to ensure proper installation.

Minor repairs like fixing a leaky faucet usually don’t require a permit. But replacing fixtures or rerouting pipes does.

When Electrical Work Is Done

Like plumbing, changing electrical wiring and systems requires bathroom remodel permits. If you need to run new wires for bathroom fans, install recessed lighting, or add electrical outlets, permits are mandatory. Safety is the primary reason electrical permits exist, to prevent fire hazards.

If You Modify Walls or Structural Elements

Moving or removing walls is a defining part of many bathroom remodels. However, walls often contribute to the overall structural integrity. Removing or reconfiguring them without proper expertise can lead to safety issues or collapse. As such, permits are required before taking down non-load-bearing walls, especially load-bearing walls.

In short, if your Virginia Beach bathroom remodel alters anything related to the fundamental structure, from walls to roofs, permits are needed.

When Doing Any Room Expansions or HVAC Work

If your remodel project involves using existing closet space, storage areas, or adjacent rooms to expand your bathroom’s footprint, permits are invariably required. Room expansions can impact ventilation, electricity, plumbing, and structure.

Likewise, altering HVAC systems by adding vents, moving ductwork, or installing new heating/cooling appliances calls for permits too. Bathroom ventilation is important for moisture control and mold prevention, so permits ensure proper building codes are met.

Key Permitting Steps for Bathroom Remodels

If your Virginia Beach bathroom remodel meets the above criteria for needing permits, here are key steps to take:

1. Research Permit Requirements

Begin by researching permitting requirements based on the type of work being done. Virginia Beach’s Department of Planning and Community Development provides detailed checklists for various renovation permit types.

2. Submit Permit Applications

Once you know which permits your project requires, submit applications to Virginia Beach DPCD. Be ready to provide specifics like:

  • Homeowner/contractor contact info
  • Project address
  • Scope of work
  • Estimated costs
  • Architectural plans as relevant

Virginia Beach offers convenient online permit applications. Hard copies can also be mailed or submitted in person.

3. Get Inspections

An inspector will visit at certain milestones of the remodel, assessing compliance with building codes. Usually, these inspections happen:

  1. After demolition/removal work like taking down walls or fixtures
  2. Once rough work is complete, like electrical and plumbing infrastructure changes
  3. Upon completion before using the new bathroom

Your permit documents specify exactly which inspections you need. Be available to provide inspector access so that permits can get closed out.

Virginia Beach Bathroom Remodel Permit Costs

Typical fees for Virginia Beach bathroom renovation permits fall between $60-$500, varying based on:

  • Permit type
  • Complexity of project
  • Whether you pull DIY homeowner permits vs. contractor permits

On average, expect to budget $200-300 for permits. There may also be separate charges for required inspections. Consider permit costs as important remodel planning expenses.

When In Doubt, Ask the Pros!

With remodeling projects both big and small, knowing exactly where permitting lines get drawn can prove tricky. If you’re unsure what falls under permits for your Virginia Beach bathroom overhaul, consult local building codes experts:

  • Virginia Beach Permit Center answers public inquiries at 757-385-4211. Describe your project for personalized permit guidance.
  • Contact a licensed contractor. Experienced renovation pros have deep knowledge of local permitting rules.
  • Read official Virginia Beach permitting resources like the Residential Remodeling & Renovation Guide, outlining various project types and permits.


Knowing the bathroom remodeling rules unique to your Virginia Beach region minimizes permit confusion. Saving time, money, and headaches down the road makes proper upfront planning invaluable.

As you explore the exciting possibility of a bathroom overhaul, keep permits top of mind. Combining your dream design with practical permits ensures you get both a beautiful and legally compliant new bath in Virginia Beach for years of safety and enjoyment.


Free Catalog: See our all brands and cabinet doors