Residential Construction

Whether constructing a new residence, building an addition, or remodeling your current home, a trip to the Development Services office should be your first step. The construction process within the city limits of Topeka can be broken down into five categories:

  • Submittal of Plans and Specifications
  • Issuance of a building permit
  • Procurement of trade permits
  • Project construction
  • Inspection of the work

Following these five steps can make your construction project less stressful, less time consuming and, in many cases, less expensive.

Plans and Building Permits

The construction process begins at the “Building Permit” office located on the 3rd floor of the Holliday Building. Plans and/or specifications of the proposed project must be submitted to the staff of this office. Projects such as building additions, construction of new residences or accessory buildings will require submittal of both site and construction plans. Remodel of existing residences may require nothing more than a simple hand drawn floor plan. Upon approval of all required plans, a Building Permit will be issued to the applicant.

See a complete list of applications and access our Permit Portal here.

Trade Permits

A permit is the formal approval by the designated government agency to proceed with the construction or reconfiguration of a specific structure. This may include the repair or alteration of the plumbing, electrical, or mechanical systems within that structure. Although a building permit has been issued for the construction of the project, additional permits for each trade being performed at the jobsite may also be needed. These trades include plumbing, electrical and mechanical.

Permits for the trades may be acquired at the “Trades Permits and Inspection” office also located on the 3rd floor of the Holliday Building. Trades permits can only be issued to homeowners and licensed trade contractors. (By City Ordinance (Chapter 14, section 10.020) a homeowner may procure a permit to do all facets of construction work on their owner occupied residence. The homeowner must currently be living in the residence where the work is being performed and personally do the work. Residential construction not within the parameters of a “homeowners permit” must be done by a licensed contractor in that specific trade. A City of Topeka licensed contractor must have general liability insurance and is required to have a valid city license on his/her person as proof of compliance with licensing ordinances. The contractor is responsible for obtaining all required permits prior to beginning the work.  For additional information on Trade Permits please call 785-368-3905. Office Hours: 8-5 Monday thru Friday.


Inspections will be required during the construction process. The purpose of inspections is to ensure the work being performed is in compliance with all applicable city codes and ordinances. The initial or “rough-in” inspection consists of the examination of the framing, plumbing, electrical and mechanical installations prior to burying or covering with drywall. A final inspection of the work will also need to be performed prior to releasing the structure for occupancy. Requests for inspections must be called in 24 hours in advance. For inspections please call 785-368-3905 from 8am to 4pm.