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What you need to know: General Chicago Permit Information
General Chicago Permit Information

What you need to know: General Chicago Permit Information

General Chicago Permit Information

The city of Chicago continually improves its excellence. The Department of Buildings is committed to maintain safe standards in design, construction, and materials across the city. This article will give you valuable information on permits, discussing such topics as the permit process, what is legally required or not required for your project and the does and don’t of home improvement. We shall provide you with the most useful advice to make sure your project is a success.

Why do I need to get a permit? 

Building and electrical permits in the City of Chicago are equally important. New construction, roof replacements, additions and remodels, as well as commercial and residential installations use the services of a licensed contractor. The building permit process is a series of inspections that ensure that your construction project complies with minimum safety standards.

Some common projects for single-family homes: do I need a permit?

• Building garages, porches, decks

• Moving walls, doors, columns, beams

• Changing the location of or adding new windows and doors

• Installing new boiler system

No need for permit:

• Replacing windows or doors * (same size and location)

• Replacing plumbing fixtures (same size and location) • Replacing siding • Replacing furnaces • Fences up to 5 feet high • Painting

Are there different types of permits?

When it comes to construction, the Department of Buildings has a number of licensing and permitting requirements that must be followed in order to protect the public’s health and safety. The DOB provides a variety of building permits. You can apply for them in different ways, depending on the type and size of the structure.

• Easy Permit (EPP): modest and straightforward house and building renovation jobs, including replacement and repair work

• Homeowners Assistance: Single-family homeowners who also live in their homes have access to a variety of unique permit services, including design assistance for some home improvement endeavors.

• Standard Plan Review (SPR): For new building and remodeling projects ranging from modest to medium-sized that are employing the E-Plan system.

• Self-Certification Permit Program: Enables certified design professionals who have undergone specific departmental training to certify that certain residential and small commercial buildings conform to the Chicago Building Code.

•Developer Services: for larger and more complex construction and renovation

Do I need to hire a professional architect or engineer?

Simple home remodeling tasks do not require the hiring of an architect or engineer. If you are the owner-occupant and your project involves the remodeling of a single-family house, you may often produce your own plans through the Homeowner Assistance Program. For all other permit applications that involve plans or drawings, they must be completed by an architect or structural engineer with a valid Illinois license. The project must always conform to the Chicago Building Code and other municipal codes.

Do I need to hire a general contractor?

This depends on the sort of task being performed. In many circumstances, if you are the owner-occupant of a single-family house or residential structure with up to three floors and six units, you can operate as your own general contractor. In this situation, the Certification of Responsibility section of the permit application must be completed for carpentry and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) work. This certifies that you are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Chicago Building Code and other municipal code standards, as well as fixing any defects.

Any work involving masonry construction, plumbing, or electricity must be carried out by a licensed contractor. There is a special provision for those who live in their own single-family houses. By filling out the Certification of Responsibility portion of the application for a construction permit and having it notarized, they will be able to accept responsibility for the work relating to plumbing and masonry.

The Department of Buildings will check to see if any citations for building code violations or stop work orders have been issued against your property before deciding whether or not to evaluate your permit application. You are required to settle any unresolved issues before applying for a permit, or you are required to address them as part of your application for a permission.

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