Building Department

Duties & Responsibilities

The purpose of Emporia's Building Inspection Department is to administer and enforce the Federal, State and locally adopted codes of the City of Emporia. Through the adoption of these codes, it is the department's responsibility to provide the minimum standards to safeguard life, health, property and the public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, use of occupancy, location and maintenance of all building and structure's within the jurisdiction of the City of Emporia's Building and Neighborhood Development Department.

Emporia's Building and Neighborhood Development Department enforces the values of the City of Emporia through enforcement of regulations that prohibit conditions that are injurious to the health, safety, welfare or aesthetic characteristics of the neighborhoods and citizens within the City of Emporia.

Regulation & Control

Building and Neighborhood Development accomplishes this by regulating and controlling the following of all buildings and structures within the City of Emporia:

  • Design
  • Construction
  • Location
  • Quality of materials
  • Use of occupancy

Do I Need a Permit For...

One of the most frequently asked questions is, "Do I need a permit for…?" Here is a list of tasks that do or do not require permits, as noted:

Yes, you do need a building permit to work on:

  • Reroofing my house, porch or garage. 
  • Pouring a concrete patio slab with a structure over it now or in the future.
  • Adding electrical outlets or light fixtures or running new electrical wiring. 
  • Any room addition to the house or garage, regardless of size.
  • Moving or adding any plumbing lines, such as water, direct waste vents or direct waste piping.
  • Installing or replacing a water heater. 
  • Installing or replacing siding.
  • Hanging drywall (sheetrock). 
  • Basement remodel, partial or entire. 
  • Replacing windows or exterior doors. 
  • Installing or replacing a furnace or air conditioner. 
  • All work done in commercial structures. 
  • Building or moving in a pre-built storage shed (accessory structure) on my property.
    • Yes, if the floor area is more than 200 square feet.
    • Footings are needed for any auxiliary structure 400 square feet or over.
    • No, if the floor area 200 square feet or less.

No, you do not need a building permit to work on the following:

  • Replacing plumbing fixtures such as a sink. No, if the fixture is going back in the same location and you are not installing or relocating drains or water lines.
  • Pouring a concrete patio slab with no structure over it. 
  • Hanging wallpaper. 
  • Painting inside or outside. 
  • Laying carpet, linoleum or tile. 
  • Installing or replacing kitchen cabinets. 
  • Installing or replacing gutters. 
  • Installing or replacing storm windows or doors.

Yes, a building permit is required if your deck, porch, or patio meets at least one of the following requirements:

  • Exceeds 200 square feet in area.
  • More than 30 inches above grade at any point, even 3 feet beyond the edge of the deck.
  • Attached to the dwelling/structure.
  • Serving an egress door (Front or Rear).

The list above is only a partial list of the most frequently asked questions that Code Services receives. To reach Code Services for clarification on any questions that you may have, call 620-343-4270. We would be glad to help.

Currently National Adopted Codes for the City of Emporia

Starting January 1, 2020 the City of Emporia will be using the following National standards of codes:

  • 2015 International Residential Code (with local modifications)
  • 2015 International Building Code (with local modifications)
  • 2011 National Electrical Code (with local modifications)
  • 2021 Uniform Mechanical Code (with local modifications)
  • 2021 Uniform Plumbing Code (with local modifications)
  • International Energy Conservation Code (Not Adopted)