When Do I Need Planning Permission for House Renovations in Ireland?

Matt Keane
January 1, 2023

Are you in the process of renovating your dream home in Ireland but unsure if you need planning permission? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. This is a common question that many homeowners face.

The good news is that not all home alterations require formal consent. There are certain exemptions that may apply to your project. This article aims to clarify Irish renovation regulations and help you determine when planning permission is necessary for your domestic renovations.

So, ready to gain a better understanding? Let’s get started!

Understanding Planning Permission in Ireland

In Ireland, it is important for homeowners to have a clear understanding of the regulations surrounding planning permission for home renovations.

Regulations for Home Renovations

In Ireland, we have rules for home makeovers. These rules are called "Regulations for Home Renovations". They tell us what changes we can and can't make to our homes. We must follow these rules, or we may get into trouble.

Some changes need a special paper called planning permission. This paper tells us that the change is okay to make. Not all changes need this paper, though. It depends on the change you want to make.

The size and type of makeover also matter in determining whether you need this paper or not.

Works or Changes of Use that Require Planning Permission

Certain works or changes of use to your property in Ireland may require planning permission. It's important to be aware of these requirements before starting any renovations. Here are some examples:

  1. Building extensions: If you plan to add an extension to your house, such as a new room or conservatory, you will likely need planning permission.
  2. Changes to the exterior: Alterations that affect the appearance of your property, like adding a porch or changing the windows, usually require planning permission.
  3. Change of use: Moreover, if you want to modify the purpose of a building, such as converting a residential property into a commercial one, planning permission is generally necessary.

Exempted Development and Minor Works

There are certain renovations and changes to your home that may be exempt from requiring planning permission. These are known as "exempted developments" or "minor works." Exempted development refers to smaller-scale projects that have minimal impact on the property or its surroundings.

Examples of exempted development include internal renovations, minor alterations, and repairs.

For instance, if you want to repaint your walls, replace flooring, or install new light fixtures inside your home, these types of internal renovations generally do not require planning permission.

Minor alterations, such as replacing windows with similar styles or repairing existing structures, also fall under exempted development.

However, it's important to note that even though some works may be exempt from planning permission requirements, they still need to comply with building regulations and any other relevant laws.

Additionally, if the property is a protected structure or located in a designated conservation area, further restrictions may apply.

Common House Renovations That Typically Require Planning Permission

House extensions, alterations to the exterior of the property, and changes of use are some common house renovations that typically require planning permission in Ireland.


Extensions are a popular type of house renovation in Ireland. When planning an extension, it's important to consider whether or not you will need planning permission. The size and type of extension you want to build will determine if planning permission is necessary.

In general, larger extensions that change the overall appearance of your property are more likely to require planning permission. However, smaller extensions may be exempt from these requirements.

It's important to check the specific regulations and guidelines for extensions before starting your project.

Alterations to the exterior of the property

When making changes to the outside of your property, such as altering the appearance or adding extensions, you may need planning permission in Ireland. This is because these alterations can have an impact on the overall look and feel of your neighbourhood.

Sustainable home improvements, major external renovations, and extensions often fall under this category. However, it's important to note that not all exterior alterations require planning permission.

However, the specific plans and changes you have in mind will determine if you need to go through the planning permission process. It's always a good idea to check the regulations and guidelines for your area to make sure you're following the correct procedures for any exterior renovations or changes to your property.

Changes of use

Certain house renovations in Ireland involve a change of use, which means converting the property from one type to another. This can include turning a residential property into a commercial space or vice versa.

In most cases, changes of use require planning permission. The specific regulations and guidelines will determine if planning permission is needed for your particular renovation project.

It's important to check these rules to ensure compliance with the law when making changes of use to your property in Ireland.

Exceptions to Planning Permission Requirements

Some renovations, such as internal changes and minor alterations, do not require planning permission. However, it's important to be aware of the specific guidelines to ensure compliance with regulations.

To learn more about these exceptions and how they can save you time and money on your house renovations in Ireland, continue reading our blog.

Internal renovations

For internal renovations in your home, such as remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, you may not always need planning permission in Ireland. Many internal changes are considered minor alterations and repairs, which are often exempt from planning permission requirements.

This means you can make improvements inside your home without having to go through the lengthy process of obtaining planning permission. However, it's important to remember that there may still be building regulations and guidelines you need to adhere to when making these changes.

Always check with your local authority to ensure you're following the proper procedures for your internal renovations.

Minor alterations and repairs

For minor alterations and repairs to your home in Ireland, planning permission may not be required. These types of projects typically involve small changes that do not significantly impact the structure or appearance of the property.

Examples include painting, retiling, replacing windows or doors, and repairing minor damages. However, it's important to note that if your repairs or alterations involve changes to the building's structure or require major modifications, you may still need planning permission.

Always check with local regulations and guidelines to determine if your specific project falls under exempted development or if planning permission is necessary.

Secure Planning Permission for Your Renovation

In Ireland, planning permission is required for most house renovations. However, there are exemptions and loopholes that may apply. It's important to check the regulations and guidelines to see if your specific renovation project requires planning permission.

So, don’t delay; take action today and secure the necessary permissions for your dream home makeover!

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