3-1-1 Agent: "If you need information about the permitting process, I can create a service request for you to have a staff person of the Permitting Division contact you."  
If you are ready to begin the process of obtaining a residential or commercial building permit, please visit the Department of Public Works & Engineering, Houston Permitting Center at  1002 Washington Avenue, Houston, TX   77002, 1st floor. The staff will help you determine what paperwork and documents you need.   The Permitting Center is open Monday - Friday from 8 Am to 5 PM, but it is advisable to arrive for the permitting section by 4:00 PM.
Long Term Objectives of the Houston Permitting Center

  •  Make it possible for a citizen or a business to apply for and pay  for  a permit - online, over-the-phone, via snail mail, or in person - and receive the same level of service
  • Create a standardized, electronic application process that  recommends  required permits based on the applicants answers to  a set of  standard questions
  • Integrate all City permits into a single 1-Stop Permitting software product

The permit requires a complete application, a complete set of construction documents (plans, elevations, surveys, etc.) and letters from certain city departments approving the construction.   You may need a registered engineer to review and approve the construction plans.   City staff reviews and approves applications.   It will take from just a few days to three to five weeks for city staff to review and approve the documents.  
Help with permits, permit fee estimator, check permit status,  and scheduling inspections:
All projects must meet the minimum building codes; there is no process to appeal the requirements.   Permit applications are also available online from the City web page at

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