Major and Minor Remodel FAQ

Remodeling includes the construction, alteration or installation of new equipment, modification of existing equipment or fixtures, changes in floor plan layout, extensive changes of surface finishes or lighting, addition of new food processes, expansion to new space, or significant changes to the use of space or equipment.

Countertop “plug-in” equipment may not require a remodel permit if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The equipment simply plugs in and does not require installation or modification of existing fixtures or facility layout, and
  2. The equipment meets ANSI/NSF sanitation standards, and
  3. No significant alteration of food handling processes has occurred

Remodeling does not generally include minor repairs of surfaces, “like-for-like” equipment exchanges, minor repair of equipment or infrastructure, routine service or maintenance.

“Like-for-Like” means equipment is replaced with equipment of similar design, function, use and maintenance, that requires no additional alteration or modification of existing finishes or fixtures to install and occupies the same or similar footprint of the replaced equipment.

“Like-for-like” equipment must meet the following criteria:

  1. The new equipment replaces an existing piece of equipment, and
  2. The new equipment meets ANSI/NSF sanitation standards, and
  3. The installation of the new equipment, such as hooking up gas or water lines, is simple and similar to the replaced equipment and does not require installation of new gas or water lines, and
  4. The new equipment occupies a similar footprint as the replaced equipment.

Any addition or installation of equipment, fixtures, utilities or finishes that requires evaluation to determine proper installation will require plan review.

A major remodel may be required under any of the following project characteristics:

  • Walls are constructed or removed
  • The scope of work results in a change to the occupancy of the space
  • The scope of work affects multiple utilities (gas, electric, plumbing, etc.)
  • The facility must close for an extended period to complete the work
  • The work being done affects multiple areas of the establishment

A minor remodel, at minimum, is required under any of the following project characteristics:

  • Installation of new equipment that requires a change in layout, plumbing, or ventilation.
  • Extensive replacement of finishes, floors, walls, ceiling materials, or lighting fixtures.
  • Installation or removal of a plumbing fixture such as a sink or toilet.
  • Relocating equipment within the establishment.
  • Installation of a ventilation hood, windows, or doors.
  • Often, the project can be completed while the facility is open and operating.

Under most circumstances, minor remodel work can be accomplished during off hours so it does not interfere with the operation or create cross-contamination. If work is to be completed during operational hours, the applicant must provide adequate contingency plans for food protection during the work. If the extent of construction is such that the work cannot be done safely while in operation, and cannot be completed during off-hours, the establishment must close.

Yes, plans must be reviewed prior to remodel work beginning. If the remodel work is completed prior to plan review, an after-the-fact fee may apply.

Yes, the Health Authority must verify that all equipment is installed properly and is operational, even if the layout and equipment remain the same.

Contact Information

Phone: (702) 759-1258


Updated on: July 11, 2021