• When is a building permit required?

    No structure is to be used, erected, moved, or structurally altered until a Building Permit has been issued.

    A building permit is not required for ordinary repairs and services, including roof and siding repairs not exceeding 25 percent of the gross surface. An application for a building permit is required when ordinary repairs include:

      1. (1) Cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof;

        (2) Removal or cutting of any structural beam or bearing support;

        (3) Removal or change of any required means of egress;

        (4) Rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the existing requirements;

        (5) Repairs including addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electrical wiring or mechanical repairs;

        (6) Any work affecting public health or general safety.

  • How can I be sure the contractor I hired is licensed?

    Ask to see his/her license or for his/her license number. Any reputable builder will be glad to give you this information. You can then check the license accessing the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation at https://www.idfpr.com to check the status, or simply contact the building department for assistance.

    Additionally, you may wish to ask the contractor if he/she is a member of the local Home Builders Association or Remodeler’s Council. Reputable contractors are interested in maintaining professionalism in the industry.

  • I received several pieces of paper when I got my permit. Which is the actual permit?

    You received either a physical or electronic “RECEIPT FOR PERMIT NO: XXXXX” which is your receipt for your Building Permit purchase.

    You also received, in the same format as the receipt, a form with bold “BUILDING PERMIT” at the top. The “BUILDING PERMIT” should be posted in a window of a residence or at the jobsite, either of which should be visible from the street.

    You may also have an approved set of construction drawings, depending on the project. Approved construction drawings should be kept at the job site for you and the Inspector to refer to until the project is completed.

  • Who do I call to get an inspection?

    Call the building department at (815) 561-2022 to schedule an inspection.

  • When is a permit not required?

    A building permit is not required for ordinary repairs and services, including roof and siding repairs not exceeding 25 percent of the gross surface. An application for a building permit is required when ordinary repairs include:

      1. (1) Cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof;

        (2) Removal or cutting of any structural beam or bearing support;

        (3) Removal or change of any required means of egress;

        (4) Rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the existing requirements;

        (5) Repairs including addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electrical wiring or mechanical repairs;

        (6) Any work affecting public health or general safety.

  • What inspections are required?

    A required inspections for your project are checked off in the inspection checklist on your receipt.

  • How deep must footings be?

    The bottom of footings must be on undisturbed soil a minimum of 42 inches below finished grade (except for certain detached accessory buildings. Call or email the building department for further information.

  • Where are emergency escape and rescue openings (egress windows) required?

    Basements and sleeping rooms below the fourth story above grade plane shall have at least one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency escape and rescue openings are required in each sleeping room, but are not required in adjoining areas of the basement.

  • When and where are smoke detectors required?

    For Residential applications, Smoke alarms should be installed in the following locations:

    1) In each sleeping room.

    2) Outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.

    3) On each additional story of the dwelling, including basements and habitable attics and not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed in the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.

    4) Smoke alarms shall be installed not less than three feet horizontally from the door or opening of a bathroom that contains a bathtub or shower unless this would prevent placement of a smoke alarm in the other required locations.

  • I would like to build a deck at my home. What information do I need to bring to the Building Department Office to get my permit?

    A completed building permit application, a site plan showing the proposed location (fill in the various dimensions of the existing structures, etc, and sketch in the proposed deck), a basic sketch of the design of the deck including the sizes and spacing of posts, beams, joists, and decking, as well as steps and guardrails etc.

    The Building Department has helpful literature available in our office.

  • Must I be a licensed Builder to obtain a Building Permit?

    A property owner may obtain a building permit for work to be done at his or her own property without being licensed.

    If the work is being done on someone else’s residence or by someone else on your residence, then the permit must be obtained by a licensed contractor for roofing, electrical, or plumbing (including fire sprinkler systems) work. Occasionally a contractor will suggest that the homeowner obtain the permit because it’s cheaper or easier. BE CAREFUL, permit fees are the same regardless of who obtains the permit, and the applicant to whom the permit is issued is legally responsible for compliance of the work with the Code.

  • I would like to build a garage at my home. What information do I need to bring to the Building Department Office to get my permit?

    You will need to bring a completed building permit application, a site plan showing the proposed location (fill in the various dimensions of the existing structures, etc, and sketch in the proposed garage), a basic sketch of the design of the garage including the sizes and spacing of studs, posts, beams, rafters, and roof decking, as well as footings and siding etc

    If you are building your garage from a kit or package from a local lumberyard, just bring the kit information supplied by the lumberyard along with the site plan and application.

    The Building Department has helpful literature available in our office.

  • I would like to build an addition to my home. What information do I need to bring to the Building Safety Office to get my permit?

    A completed building permit application, a site plan showing the proposed location (fill in the various dimensions of the existing structures, etc, and sketch in the proposed addition), a basic sketch of the design of the addition including the sizes and spacing of studs, posts, beams, floor joists, ceiling joists, rafters, and roof decking, as well as footings and siding etc.

  • I’m working on the addition to my home for which I already have a building permit. But I realized I’m going to have to notch some studs and floor joists as well as bore some holes in a few. Are there limits on the amount of notching and boring that c

    Yes, there are limitations to the amount of notching and boring you can do before you compromise the structural integrity of the building. The Building Department has helpful literature available in our office to address this issue.