Apply For An Illinois Building Permit

When do I need a building permit in Illinois?

Building permits are issued on the local level in Illinois and therefore when you need a permit will depend on your city’s local regulations. Generally all projects that involve construction will require a building permit, while finishing work such as painting, wallpapering, and tiling do not. Minor construction projects such as cabinet installation and fence building may require a permit depending on the size and scope of the project. To avoid fines and penalties, it is best to check with your local Building Department before starting any project that may need a permit.

How do I obtain a building permit in Illinois?

To get a building permit for your project in Illinois you will first need to determine what permits you need. There are several different types of permits and approvals that may be required for a single project. These include electrical permits, plumbing permits, zoning use permits, septic permits, HVAC permits, and demolish permits, among others. Once you know what permits you need and get any required pre-approvals, you will need to fill out a building permit application and submit it to your local city Building Department along with the permit fee and drawn schematics of the project. The application and plans will be reviewed and either approved or returned to you for modification. Many towns and cities in Illinois now have the application forms and information on requirements for common building projects available on their websites.

Do I need a permit in Illinois if I am working on my own house?

Generally if the project is the type that would require a permit for someone else to complete the work, then you must get a permit for the project even if you are doing the work yourself and it is your house. Ordinary repairs are normally exempted from permit requirements, but any major project like interior or exterior remodeling, building an extension or a deck, installing a swimming pool, and construction of sheds or detached garages over a certain size do require permits and are usually subject to city inspection.

How much do building permits cost in most cities in Illinois?

Permit fees are set by the municipality where the property is located. There are different methods of calculating the total fee. Some places in Illinois like Bartlett Village determine the fee for your building permit based on a sliding scale of the estimated value of the proposed work. In other places like Chicago, the cost of your permit is determined by a complex calculation that takes into account the type, size, and scope of your construction project. Many cities have a set fee schedule for smaller projects such as deck and fence building. Your local Building Department will have more information on permit fee schedules.  


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