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MABCD

Building Permits

Checklist for obtaining a permit in the unincorporated areas of Sedgwick County:

New Residence
  1. A legal description of the property and a tax key number of the property must be provided to obtain a building permit. If you do not have an address and it is not in a platted addition you must provide the legal description. The Sedgwick County Clerk’s Office, located on the 2nd floor of the Sedgwick County Courthouse, 525 N. Main, 660-9200 can provide you with the legal description and tax key number.

  2. If the property is unplatted, a copy of a filed deed is required to apply for a platting exemption (if the property is eligible). Platting exemptions are obtained from the MABCD, 1144 S. Seneca, Wichita, Kansas 67213, 316-660-1840.

  3. A septic tank or lagoon permit will be required where public sewer service is not available. These permits are obtained from the MABCD, 1144 S. Seneca, Wichita, Kansas 67211, 316-660-1840.

  4. To find out if the proposed building site is in a floodplain, contact the Floodplain Technician for Sedgwick County at 316-660-1840. Structures may be built in certain types of designated floodplains, but there will be additional requirements or permits that will need to be obtained. This may delay the issuance of your permit.

  5. If any part of the structure is to be located more than 200 feet from the public or private roadway, a road/driveway approval from the Sedgwick County Fire Department will be required. This can be obtained by contacting the MABCD.

  6. The permit fee will be based on the square footage of the structure. For finished living area the fee will be $0.38 per finished square foot of area. For unfinished basements, attached garages, covered porches, and decks, the fee will be $0.30 per square foot of area.

Detached Accessory Structures or Agricultural Building

A site plan and a road approval permit (see # 5) will be required. The permit fee will be based on $0.30 per square foot.

Commercial Buildings

Commercial buildings should follow the same requirements as residential. However, there will be a fee for the plan review process, and the fee schedule for the permits will be based on the valuation of the project. Each phase of the project, building, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical will be required to have separate permits for each trade. Three sets of design plans must be sealed by a Design Professional licensed by State of Kansas and delivered to the Plans Examiner a minimum of two weeks prior to the permits being obtained.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a permit to build or remodel my residence or other structure?

Yes.  Building permits and inspections are required in the unincorporated areas and in most cities in Sedgwick County.  Call 660-1840 for information and assistance.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF HOMEOWNERS WHO ACT AS THEIR OWN GENERAL CONTRACTORS OR OBTAIN A BUILDING PERMIT IN THEIR NAME:

When you act as the general contractor of a project and personally obtain the building permit to work on your residence, you may not be aware of the many responsibilities. You may still have the same responsibilities and liabilities as a licensed contractor if you purchase a building permit in your name and have a general contractor complete the work. Some of the responsibilities and liabilities that you may incur are as follows:

  • If the work is sub-standard you will be responsible, not the workers

  • You will have limited recourse through Sedgwick County for sub-standard work

  • You will be responsible for any fines or additional fees charged by Sedgwick County

  • You may be responsible for all bills of sub-contractors, including labor wage complaints.

  • Sub-contractors could file a lien against your property for unpaid materials. You should obtain a lien release from your sub-contractors.

  • You must make sure that all sub-contractors are licensed through Sedgwick County and that the sub-contractors insurance is up to date. You may confirm this with the MABCD, but you should also obtain a copy of your sub-contractors insurance policy.

  • If a worker is injured on the job, you may be responsible for the lost wages and medical treatment.

  • If a worker dies while working on your project, his estate may file legal action against you.

  • Homeowners’ insurance may not cover injury to your workers. You should verify your coverage with your insurance agent.

  • The building permit will expire in 180 days if work does not progress in a timely manner.

  • You must coordinate all inspections in the proper sequence with the MABCD.

  • You may be responsible for employment and Social Security taxes of workers that are employed by you acting as your own general contractor.

Do I need a permit to install a manufactured home in Sedgwick County?

Yes.  A permit and inspection are required.  Call 660-1840 for assistance.

Can I move my electric meter so I can build my room addition?

No.  Only Sedgwick County licensed electrical contractors can move, alter, enlarge or change the electric service.  An electrical permit is also required.

Can I wire my new home?

Yes, upon satisfactory completion of the Sedgwick County electrical homeowner’s test.  Call 660-1840 for assistance.

Can I install electrical wiring in my new garage or when finishing my basement?

Yes, if it is done according to the 2011 National Electrical Code. 

I am going to put a bedroom in the basement.  Do I need an escape window?

Yes, the code requires an egress out of every bedroom for your safety.
All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 4.5 square feet with the window in an open position.

The minimum net clear opening height shall be 19 inches for single, double hung and awning style windows. For all other types of windows the minimum height shall be determined by multiplying the width times the height to achieve a total net clear opening of 4.5 square feet.

The minimum net clear opening width shall be 17 inches in the open position for casements and slider windows, or 30 inches for single and double hung units.

Can I put a window in the wall separating the house and the attached garage?  How about a door with a window?

A 20-minute occupancy separation must be maintained. This can be accomplished by covering both sides of the wall (the garage side & the living side) with a minimum layer of 1/2“ sheetrock covering the wall studs.

How far can an LP tank be from my house, property line, or any building?

10 ft. for a tank of 500 gallons or less

25 ft. for a tank of 501-2000 gallons

50 ft. for a tank over 2000 gallons

Can I install my own fuel gas piping?

No.  Only plumbers and LP installers licensed in Sedgwick County may install gas piping.

Do my stairs have to be even?

Yes.  The code requires not more that 3/8” total difference in variation from the top to bottom of stairway. The maximum rise of each tread is 8”. The minimum tread width of each step is 9”.

When do I need handrails on my steps?

Handrails are needed when you have 4 or more risers (steps).  Guardrails are needed when you are more than 30” off the ground.

How much headroom clearance does the building code require for staircases?

Staircases required 6’ 6” headroom.

Can I do my own plumbing?

If it is a new home, you must first pass the plumbing homeowners test available by calling 660-1840.

If it is repair work, yes.

If it is a room addition, yes, if done by code.

What kind of material can be used for waste lines and vents?

ABS/Schedule 40

PVC/Schedule 40

Cast Iron

Lead, Copper or Brass

How deep does PVC conduit have to be buried at my residence?

A minimum of 18” of dirt needs to be over the pipe.

Do I need a permit to install a culvert?

Yes.  Call 660-1840 for a culvert permit.

Can I build a permanent structure in the utility easement?

No, you may not.

As the owner, can I be a general contractor of my own residence?

Yes, once every three years.

A detached residential structure of less than 200 square feet will not require a building permit.
When building a new residence, how many feet can the residence be from the edge of the road before a fire road approval is required?

Call the Sedgwick County Fire Department at 744-0471 for current information.

How do I obtain a road approval?
  1. Apply for a fire road approval at the MABCD and pay a $50.00 fee.
     

  2. Call the Sedgwick County Fire Department at 744-0471 for an inspection.

Can I have a septic system or a lagoon for my sewer system?

Call 660-1840 to inquire about wastewater systems.

What should I do to make sure a contractor is licensed in Sedgwick County?

Contact the MABCD at 660-1840 and ask if contractor is licensed before signing any contract or hiring the contractor.

Do I need a permit to replace my furnace or water heater?

Yes, a permit is required, and an inspection is performed to ensure the safety of the installation.

If installing a furnace or water heater yourself, call 660-1840 for advice, assistance and a permit.

If you are paying someone else to install it, call 660-1840 to make sure he or she is licensed to perform such work in Sedgwick County.  After it is installed, make sure your contractor calls us for an inspection.

Do you have questions that are not answered in this section?

Please call us at 660-1840 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.