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Maui Real Estate Resources

The Maui Real Estate Blog

Permits for Construction or Renovation: When & How

“Will I need permits?” is a question we frequently hear regarding building and remodeling on Maui. Feels like a good time to take the opportunity and further elaborate on this important topic. Let’s get this out of the way first. There’s widespread misconceptions regarding the permissible scope of work for property improvements within Maui County.

Maui County official in the permits office

Important Knowledge Regarding Permits on Maui

Generally speaking, if you are moving any plumbing or electrical components, that requires a permit. However, if you are just replacing kitchen cabinets and countertops, you most likely do not need a building permit. Comfortable with bureaucratic legalese? You can read Building Code Section 16.26B here.

But, this probably isn’t the time for DIY. We strongly recommend seeking guidance from qualified professionals for all your renovation thoughts. General contractors, licensed electricians, reliable plumbers, building planners, sharp architects…you get the idea. Need recommendations? Our team can refer any of these specialists to you in full confidence.

General Contractor can pull your needed permits.

Remember, when dealing with the Maui County Planning Department, it’s important to exercise patience and aloha. You’ve probably seen the popular bumper sticker on Maui, “slow down this ain’t the mainland”. Safe to say this definitively applies to the planning department. To be transparent, it can take extremely long to get building permits on Maui. That’s beyond frustrating, I completely agree.

Nevertheless, heed my word here. If you go into their office complaining about how long things take, you might just find your application conveniently at the bottom of the pile in the future. The Planning Department can be reached at (808) 270-7735 with any inquiries or concerns. So try not to stress and remember to be smiling when dialing them. We could all use a little more of that aloha spirit.

Contact a Maui Real Estate Specialist

Alex, Dano, Anthony, and Gavin Sayles

If you’re considering buying property in Maui County, please get in touch with the Sayles Team. We have well-established connections to top architects, general contractors, and every other skilled vendor you may need. Our team is superbly equipped to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process for you.


Anthony Sayles R(S)


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