Do I Need a Building Permit for a Bathroom Renovation?

Do I Need a Building Permit for a Bathroom Renovation?

Whether you’re planning a bathroom remodel or a kitchen overhaul, homeowners need to comply with building codes and local zoning by-laws and regulations. Permits are required for the safety of the occupants and so that the structure is solid and built properly.

The scale of your intended bathroom renovation project will determine whether or not you need a building permit and the type of permit. With a vast knowledge and experience of bathroom remodels, the Nuenza interior design team provides you guidance. Each city has its own regulations. Clients should inquire with their municipalities for the permits.

blue and white renovated bathroom

The National Building Code of Canada

The National Building Code of Canada is developed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes. The National Building Code consists of construction guidelines and building practices that take into account a new building’s design and construction, as well as any major changes to older buildings. 

Changes made to the National Building Code are for regional purposes. They’re published as provincial codes, which are what the majority of contractors use for their work. Cities and municipalities may make further adjustments to the National Building Code for local needs, from determining the minimum or maximum height of a fence to the distance of an air conditioner from the property line.

Provincial Permits

In some cases, you need provincial permits. Montreal does not issue permits for the following:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical Work
  • Heating (Electrical or Gas)

Residents in Quebec must contact the Régie du bâtiment du Québec to obtain these types of permits.

Montreal Building Permits

Generally, you don’t need a permit for simple renovations that are considered aesthetic work, such as:

  • Changing carpets or flooring 
  • Painting walls
  • Replacing cabinets, counters, sinks, or tubs 

A building permit is required when a renovation project affects:

  • The foundation
  • The building’s structure (i.e., walls), or 
  • Adds square footage to an existing home. 

The homeowner is legally responsible for purchasing and obtaining the necessary building permits unless they work with a renovation company.

construction worker writing on clipboard

Note: Depending on the type of home renovations you want to do, you may not need building permits. However, you may still require electrical and plumbing permits. Be sure to contact your local building department or local permitting office to ensure that you have the proper permits to complete your renovation project. Montrealers must choose their borough on the city’s website for the correct information.

What Happens if You Don’t Get a Building Permit for a Bathroom Remodel?

Renovating without a permit or deciding to cut corners is never the best way to save money or time. You’re not only risking the safety of your family, but you’re also not in compliance with city legislation. 

In terms of safety, the floor can sag and slope if you remove a wall for a larger space. Maybe the wall you decide to remove is a supporting wall, and without it, the roof can cave in. It’s vital never to take on bathroom remodels that go beyond the aesthetic changes listed above. From updating plumbing systems to adding a dividing wall, it’s also critical that you work with a trusted contractor.

warm comfort bathroom remodel project

Have Your Remodeling Project Completed by a Professional

A new bathroom can be a lot of work, especially if you’re gutting the entire room. When you work with Nuenza’s professional team, you work with a reputable contractor that can handle the permits, so you have peace of mind. 

Not only is it our job to ensure you have a final space that looks and feels amazing, we always make sure your project meets provincial and municipal requirements. And if you’re still on the fence about a bathroom remodel, our team can present many bathroom renovation ideas to inspire you!

Contact our team today to get started.

How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

Imagine being able to invite a few friends over and enjoying a meal together that was prepared in your very own outdoor kitchen! The sun is out, maybe a pool is sparkling nearby, and the garden is trimmed. It’d be paradise!

From planning the layout to checking your landscape, building an outdoor kitchen can be a job and half – but if you have the right partners. So before you dive into the construction, it’s always a great idea to explore what you will need for the process. Our Nuenza interior designers have outlined how to build your idyllic outdoor kitchen.

measuements on blueprints

Plan Your Entertainment Area

First things first: figure out how you want to integrate an outdoor kitchen into your home’s layout. From backyards in the suburbs to decks in the city, you will need to figure out a few basic elements, such as: 

  • Measure the length and width of your entire space (patio, deck, etc.) to get the square footage
  • Decide how you want to divide the space according to the food prep area versus the cooking area versus the seating area. Keep in mind the types of appliances you want to include as well as any additional features, such decorations and accessories.

This preliminary work will make it easier for you to structure the outdoor kitchen layout. Need a better idea for the layout? Here are some popular outdoor kitchen layouts that our team is familiar with from simple to complex:

  • Linear: The outdoor kitchen area is set up across the back of the home in a single line.
  • L-Shaped: This layout offers countertop space and more for the food prep area and the cooking area. Both sections have storage.
  • Galley: The outdoor kitchen is divided by a corridor with appliances, storage, and countertops on either side.
  • U-Shaped: This layout shape is ideal for large outdoor kitchens because it allows everything to be at your fingertips, from potential rolling pizza ovens to the drawers to the counter space.
  • Kitchen Island: For plenty of room, choose this outdoor kitchen layout. An island can be customized to fit any space. It will feel just like your indoor kitchen, but better with its built-in grill, buffet and food prep space, as well as cabinet boxes, a mini fridge, and more!

Our experts can provide you with more detailed outdoor layouts to create the right flow. 

stone backyard with pool

Review the Location of Your Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Since this kitchen is outdoors, you need to consider Mother Nature and your property’s structure:

  • The area you select to set up your kitchen must have a strong, resilient, and fireproof foundation.
  • Having electrical outlets near your kitchen area will save you a lot of time and money. 
  • Check the wind direction of your area to ensure the smoke from the grill will blow away from the house. You may also need to place your grill a minimum of 10 feet from your house, depending on municipal regulations.   
  • If your exterior is too sunny or it rains frequently, consider a partially sheltered outdoor kitchen setup.

Outdoor kitchens are considered permanent fixtures, which means you will likely need certain permits, depending on your municipality. Municipal permit requirements vary according to the size and scale of your outdoor kitchen installation, so contact your local municipality before starting. Fortunately, exterior kitchen cabinets do not fall under the same category as permanent fixtures, so they do not require a permit, and you can take them with you if you ever decide to move. 

It’s essential to think about these aspects when building your DIY outdoor kitchen. However, the good thing about working with professionals like those on the Nuenza team is that they can relieve some of this stress by helping to design and build the kitchen for you!

Choose Your Outdoor Kitchen Appliances

Depending on the type of outdoor kitchen you want to build, there are many essential appliances to customize your space. Whether you have a freestanding model, a built-in model, or an outdoor living suite, consider these:

  • Outdoor Sink: Installing a sink is a more sanitary way to wash your hands and dishes as opposed to using the garden hose.
  • Outdoor Refrigerator: Keep ingredients and drinks cool and close at all times. Outdoor models are sturdier than indoor fridges because they’re made to withstand the elements.
  • Outdoor Grill Islands: As the heart of your outdoor kitchen, choose the type that appeals to your cooking style and recipes: A charcoal grill adds that seared flavour while gas grills make cooking easier and heat evenly.

people sitting together near pool

If your head is spinning with all of these details, it’s a sign to call in the professional. Nuenza is at your service!

Can I Build My Own DIY Outdoor Kitchen?

Yes, you can, but Nuenza can ensure that it’s built right and will last for years to come! Nuenza will not only help you to design your outdoor kitchen, but we will also provide you with a variety of high-quality stainless steel outdoor kitchen appliances. 

From a portable pizza oven to a completely open air kitchen, Nuenza’s designers will optimize your space and make it feel like home.

Contact us today to get started!

6 Work-from-Home Space Ideas That Will Increase Your Productivity

6 Work-from-Home Space Ideas That Will Increase Your Productivity

Lounging on a sofa or moving from room to room as you work on your laptop isn’t always the most conducive for productivity. While it might be the dog or cat’s fault for stealing your spot, many people find that they work more productively when they have a designated work area.

The right work-from-home ideas can benefit you by putting you in the right mindset, and helping you to focus. Read on for several practical and stylish work-from-home space ideas from Nuenza’s interior designers. 

Home Office Ideas to Inspire You

No matter how much square footage you have available, the Nuenza team can create a home office that motivates and inspires you every day. Here are some of the best home workstations you can have in your home.

home office in living room

Large Home Offices

Using your kitchen table, living room sofa, or countertop can work in a pinch, but having to make several trips back to another room for supplies can be tiresome. Some people prefer having a designated area to work, so everything is organized and right at their fingertips. 


Larger homes often have stair landing space with natural light. This is the perfect area to use as a home office. We can incorporate either a shelving that’s attached to a desk or add these two units separately. It’d be like designing a room, but in a communal space. From plants to a gallery wall of art to rows upon rows of bookshelves, you can create a home office you’ll love!


Usually the bedroom and living room have the most amount of space. This means you can easily divide the space, so it includes some office space. A Nuenza designer can show you some tricks on how to optimize on space and have it be ergonomic. 

For example, we can create a closet in the bedroom or living room that’s compact. This area will allow you the peace and quiet you need while giving you access to office essentials, such as a desk, lamp and minimal décor. Fundamentally, this will minimize distractions.

kitchen home office

Small Home Offices

Large spaces are prone to wasted space, but our interior designers can get creative with just about every shape and layout of room.


Kitchens can provide you with what you need. It might be an empty corner or a spot in front of a window. All you need is a table or a countertop attached to the wall with a set of rolling drawers and you’re in business! You will have enough space for your laptop and notebooks with drawer space for more books, writing tools, agendas, anything else you need to be productive.   


If you can do without some of your existing closet space, it can be fashioned into a small home office. Add some floating shelves, put in a customized desk with drawers and you could have enough room for your computer and a monitor – and even a printer and lamp! Save on space by having a sliding shelf for the keyboard. When this small home office isn’t in use, place the chair in the room and close the door on the office. It’s neat, compact, and ready for you!


It’s not as ominous as you might think – and certainly not at all like Harry Potter’s room at the Dursleys’ home. But using areas we like to call “lost space” is one of our specialties. 

Some homes don’t have a room under a staircase that acts as a storage space; instead it’s open to the larger room, such as a hallway or basement. Instead of adding decorations that serve no purpose, we can install a desk and chair, a desktop lamp or sconce, a filing cabinet, and a few small wall ornaments to warm up the space. There is often a wall outlet in this space, but if there isn’t, we can see what we can do.

mother working on laptop while watching baby


Keep in mind that your home office doesn’t have to stay in one room. A home office can be created with a rolling table, chair, and set of drawers. If there’s much more natural light coming in, you can easily move your desk to suit your preferences. 

And if you’re a working parent who has to keep an eye on the kids, a portable stand-up desk can accommodate your travel around the home while your stationary home office is in place for when you need it.

What is the Ideal Work-from-Home Space?

The ideal work-from-home space is different for everyone. Whether it’s a workstation or a nook, people still need desk space for working from home since the pandemic is still an issue. 

It can take some time for people to discover what type of home office suits them best and will let them feel comfortable and productive. But that’s where our interior design experience can help you. We’ve designed many unique workspaces, and we can provide one for you as well. 

If you’re in dire need of a home office idea that best utilizes your space (or want to get started on a renovation, big or small, contact us today!

Home Renovations 101: Should I Renovate My Kitchen Before Selling?

Home Renovations 101: Should I Renovate My Kitchen Before Selling?

The decision about renovating a home before putting it up for sale—whether the renovation involves just one room or several—is something unique, and the right choice depends on each homeowner’s situation, as well as the state of the housing market in your area. 

On the one hand, pre-sale renovations might be a good idea if you have a good-looking residential home in a family-friendly neighbourhood that also happens to have good schools. Why? Because your home will be a highly sought-after prize for young families. 

Young families in particular are more willing to buy a home that has a higher cost, as long as there are fewer required renovations. On the other hand, if you are selling to someone interested in completely gutting the place so they can put their own design stamp on the place, it might be best to avoid renovating spending money to increase the home value. 

No matter what you decide, our Nuenza designers can provide you with some insight on your preferred course of action.

Is Remodeling a Kitchen Worth it?

Real estate agents stress that if you’re going to do an interior home renovation, you should have bathroom and kitchen renovation at the top of your list. These two rooms are main hubs of activity, and can raise the profile of a home (therefore raising its price) if done well. 

small white kitchen

Kitchen Remodel Estimates

Our interior designers have been involved in the renovation of homes of all sizes, so they’ll be able to provide you with accurate estimates of what your budget should look like. For example:

  • A small kitchen of 70 square feet or less will cost between $20,000 – $30,000.
  • A medium kitchen of 100-150 square feet will cost between $20,000 – $52,000.
  • A medium one of 150-175 square feet will cost between $26,000 – $55,000.
  • A large kitchen of 200 or more square feet will cost between $50,000 – $90,000.

Of course, the numbers above only represent estimates, and will vary according to the design specs and materials you choose. To have the true cost of remodeling our team of designers will be happy to conduct a detailed consultation with you. We’ll take into account a variety of factors, such as your layout, personal preferences, and the expected labor costs. 

We can also help you with budgeting and work with your estate agent, so you can get the best return on investment while offering a great selling price. At Nuenza, you will always be guided by those with the experience and knowledge to make the best decisions. 

What Home Improvements Should be Done Before Selling?

A buyer will have their own preferences, but if you want to sell your home at a reasonable price, you’ll likely need to make some changes, regardless of your home’s condition. 

Whether you’re updating or gutting the kitchen, re-doing the foundation or simply adding new winterized windows, there are a few areas that usually do attract homebuyers. If you’ve chosen to remodel the kitchen, one thing is for sure: improving these areas with high-quality materials is often a good idea. 

And remember, when showing your home, a paint job can pay off in a big way. Neutral colours, for example, are known to have the best return on investment, often attracting multiple buyers.   

Kitchen Cabinets

If you have old wood cabinets that are damaged or need updating, replacing them can be a smart move. From oak to mahogany to birch to bamboo, our designers can help you select a high-quality and sturdy material that work best in the context of your existing design. With our help, buyers will be clamouring for your house when it goes on the market!

kitchen countertop and stove


After cabinets, countertops are the second most important feature to renovate because it’s highly visible. Especially for island kitchens, countertops are a focal point, so it’s essential that you go with a material that will increase your home’s value. It’s also worth noting that if you upgrade countertops, you should strongly consider doing the cabinets as well for an integrated look.

Since the late 80s, granite countertops have become a staple in the kitchen. However, it’s best to evaluate whether or not it’s the material for your house. Determine whether or not:

  • Granite countertops suit your space’s décor
  • The homes for sale in your area have granite counters

There are many choices to go with, including marble, quartz, butcher block, and stainless steel. Our Nuenza interior designers are always happy to help you pick the best one for your home and design taste.

Paint Colours

Sellers should replace any bold and flashy colours with neutral tones that suit the rest of the space. Luckily, kitchens don’t usually have too much space to cover with paint, as the cabinets and appliances cover most of the space. A quick paint job may seem overly simple, but sometimes a little effort goes a long way when making a sale. 


Some homeowners leave their appliances behind for different reasons. They may be downsizing, or may want to replace their appliances with newer versions. While buyers will often appreciate having the appliances included in the sale, it goes without question that leaving outdated appliances that may or may not work will not increase the value of your home. In fact, it may even turn buyers away. Depending on the situation, it can often be advantageous to replace appliances in order to increase your home’s value. 

man and woman packing in kitchen

When considering selling your house, it’s best to always speak with a real estate agent and a designer. They can provide you with an accurate real estate market assessment and sound advice for your potential Montreal kitchen renovation. 

Trust the Nuenza experts to turn your ideas into a reality.

Kitchen Remodels are Better with Nuenza 

Selling your home is a major step in your life along with buying a new place. But you don’t have to do it alone. Commitment, passion, and dedication are the hallmarks of Nuenza. 

Our interior designers can update your kitchen so that your property has a stronger resale value and you get peace of mind knowing you’re making the smartest financial decisions. When professionals are involved, every choice is just a little bit easier to make, and the renovations get done right the first time.  

Contact us for more information, or view our portfolio for inspiration and ideas!

What Do Nuenza Interior Designers Do?

What Do Nuenza Interior Designers Do?

Nuenza’s Interior Designers are masters of their craft, who transform large and small spaces into rooms that cater to clients’ needs. In our case, Nuenza’s design team renovates kitchens and bathrooms, but can also create unique spaces that tie into the style of the rest of the home.

When working with Interior Designers, how will you know whether or not they’re worth the cost? It starts with knowing what designers do.


Duties & Responsibilities

Our interior design services were created to complete each project from A-Z with amazing results. Here is how our design consultant team accomplishes that:

  • Visit the client’s intended space to get a sense of its functionality and how to improve it according to the client’s needs. This may also include reviewing the client’s drawings and notes of their plans.
  • Have material catalogues for clients to view and offer samples related to paint, wallpaper, accents, flooring, and more.
  • Assist with the selection of colour schemes, styles, themes, and layouts.
  • Inform the client of pricing and work with their budget.
  • Provide mock-ups using software and blueprints.
  • Make suggestions and problem-solve to provide the client with solutions regarding space, materials, and more.
  • Coordinate with construction teams and clients to ensure the designs can be carried out.
  • Recommend contractors for the renovation of the space.

To fulfill these duties and responsibilities while delivering custom high-end products that meet the client’s satisfaction. a design consultant must have a certain level of education. Moreover, they must have developed certain skills to ensure the success of every interior design project.

Kitchen modern

Design Education & Skills

Interior Designers with a university degree tend to be more creative in their approach. 

Our founder, Nancy Boudreau, has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a specialization in Design. With over 20 years in kitchen design, she knows how to make clients’ dreams become a reality. She and the experienced Nuenza team stay informed of current home design trends, colours, and architectural innovations. To get an idea of the company’s work, browse our portfolio.

It’s part of an Interior Designer’s job to communicate well with clients and fully understand their style, as well as what they want their space to have. When clients speak about incorporating elements and styles from different eras, the designer must have an extensive knowledge. It’s essential to understand the difference between industrial design versus 1950s design versus Rococo, for example.

Attentiveness is also a key quality to look for in an interior designer. The last thing you want is to have them ignore your preferences and be inflexible when anything has to change.

Like in every job, the client wants to be treated as a person, not a number. Therefore, a design consultant must be able to work well with people, from customers to artisans to contractors.  Developing a rapport will create long-lasting relationships and, in turn, bring about fantastic results.

kitchen window

Partner with a Nuenza Interior Designer

Working with Nuenza interior designers means we will create the haven you have been longing for. We approach each project with zest and creativity. We love our work and see it as more than a job. Design embraces your freedom of expression and adds customized comfort to each space.

Our interior design team wants you to feel at home in your home. Contact us today for a free consultation!