Building & Sign Permits

Building Permit Application Information and Guidelines

  • Why is it important to secure a building permit?
    A building permit ensures that your building project is structurally sound, that it complies with the building and zoning codes and more importantly to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all occupants.
  • How do I obtain a Building Permit?
    The Building Permit Application and information package may be picked up from the Clerk’s Office at Columbia City Hall or click here to print a copy. If all requirements are met, the Building Permit will be approved.
  • What are the Building Permit Application Requirements?
    The applicant must submit the completed building permit application, specifications, site plan, legal description of property, cross section of wall, and floor plan, as well as the utility applications included in the information package to the City Clerks office. Please note, City approval does not constitute subdivision approval. The City recommends you contact trustees in your subdivision for any subdivision requirements.

  Permit Application Requirements Checklist

  1. Please COMPLETE and submit the following applications/forms & site plans to the City of Columbia Clerk’s Office:
    • Building Permit Application (MUST include roofing, plumbing & electrical contractor info)
    • Building Specifications Application
    • One set of Site Plans (see “Site Plan” page of Permit Application for details)
    • Legal description of property
    • Cross section of wall and floor plan
    • Water Service Application
    • Utilities Application
    • Sewer Connection Application
  2. After submitting all completed forms to the Clerk’s Office your proposed project is:
    • Reviewed by the Building Commissioner for zoning compliance so that the location of the structure is within the setback regulations for your property.
    • Reviewed by plan reviewers who will verify proper materials are used and that the City of Columbia Building Code is enforced.
  3. If all requirements are met, permit is approved.
  4. Applicant will be informed by Clerk’s Office of permit status. If approved, you can pick-up the approved permit upon fee payment at the City Clerk’s Office.
  5. Construction may begin.

How long will it take to get a building permit?

In most cases, if the application meets all requirements, the Permit will be issued within five (5) to seven (7) working days after the information has been submitted. Larger commercial-type construction projects would need additional time as the review process is very extensive.

How much is the Building Permit fee?

The fee amount is determined by the square footage of project, water & sewer connection costs, etc. (A complete fee schedule can be requested from the Clerk’s Office.) Once the Building Permit has been approved, the Clerk’s Office will call to let you know the Permit is ready to be picked up and will also inform you of the total fee amount due.

What happens if I don’t have a building permit? 

Per the City of Columbia Building Code, a building permit is required. If a building permit is not secured, you will be cited with a no permit penalty.

What inspections are required, once the building process begins?

Below is an inspection schedule which the City of Columbia requires during the building process. Please call the phone numbers listed to schedule the inspections. 

 Inspection Schedule

Type of Inspection
Phone #
Footing – Inspection to be scheduled before footing for building is completed.Building & Zoning Dept.618/281-7144
ext. 105
Framing - Call for inspection when framing, boxing, and roofing are completed.Building & Zoning Dept.618/281-7144 ext. 105
Water Tap-In – Inspection needed for water tap-in before closing excavation of water tap.Public Works618/281-4264 ext. 300
Sewer Tap-In – Inspection needed for sewer tap-in before closing excavation of sewer tap.Public Works618/281-4264 ext. 300
Plumbing - Inspection on plumbing rough-in needed before covering.Randy Rudloff
Plumbing Inspector
* Electrical – Inspection needed for rough-in of electrical wiring before inside walls are insulated/ covered.Mike Sander
Electrical Inspector
618/281-4264 ext. 303

Plumbing Final Inspection – must be approved before building can be occupied.Randy Rudloff
Plumbing Inspector
Electrical Final Inspection – must be approved before building can be occupied.Mike Sander
Electrical Inspector
ext. 303
Final Building Inspection – must be approved before building can be occupied.Building & Zoning Dept.618/281-7144
ext. 105

* Electrical - Illinois Power Company will not install an electric meter until a rough-in electrical inspection is completed. Upon completion of the rough-in inspection:

  1. Sticker will be placed on the meter base advising the power company to inspect the service entrance and to install the meter.
  2. A sticker is placed on the front window advising the insulators and dry wallers to proceed. Do not insulate or cover until an electrical rough-in is complete. 

What building codes are enforced in Columbia?
The codes governing construction within the city limits of Columbia, Illinois are as follows:

Enforced Codes
Building CodeAll 2006 International Building Codes (IBC)
Electric CodeNational Electric Code 2005, Columbia 1997, Ch. 15.32
Plumbing CodeState of Illinois 2014, Columbia 1997, Ch. 15.40
Street GraphicColumbia Street Graphics 1997, Ch. 15.44
Zoning OrdinanceChapter 17 of the Columbia Municipal Zoning Code
Fire Prevention2006 International Fire Code

 Important Reminders

  • Storm Water and Soil Erosion Control Regulations
    According to the City of Columbia City Ordinances, the amount of soil erosion must be kept to a minimum. This can be accomplished by the use of straw bales or silt fencing.
  • Burning Ordinance
    The City of Columbia prohibits the burning of building construction debris, materials, or other substances created by the construction of buildings or other structures. Failure to comply could result in the issuing of a “stop work” order and/or fines.
  • Water & Sewer Tap – In
    Water & Sewer tap-ins must be inspected BEFORE closing excavations.
  • Building / Home Identification
    All buildings are to have the proper street number, three (3) inch high, easily visible from the street.
Local Utilities
Company Name
Phone Number
Power Company (Electric and Gas)

Illinois Power CompanyN/A1 - 800/755-5000
Monroe County Electric Co-Operative
907 N. Illinois Route 3
Waterloo, IL 62298
Telephone Company
Harrisonville Telephone Company
P.O. Box 149
213 S. Main Street
Waterloo, IL 62298
Water Company
City of Columbia (Water, Sewer & Trash)
P.O. Box 467
208 S. Rapp Avenue
Columbia, IL 62236-0467
ext. 100
Illinois American Water Co.N/A618/277-1151
Country Crossings Subdivision Only
Storm / Sanitary Sewer
City of Columbia
P.O. Box 467
208 S. Rapp Avenue
Columbia, IL 62236-0467
ext. 100
Underground Locator

JULIE (Utility Lines, etc.)N/A1–800/892-0123
Charter Communications Cable TelevisionN/A

How do I get a Certificate of Occupancy? 

After it has been determined by the Building Inspector that all inspections have been approved, a Certificate of Occupancy can be picked up from the Building Permit Office at the Columbia City Hall.

This is a general guide for the Building Permit Application within the City of Columbia, IL. All code requirements are too extensive to list within this guide. For specific questions or further information, please contact the BUILDING PERMIT OFFICE AT (618) 281-7144 EXT. 105.