How to Apply for Chicago Building Permits

Planning Permissions How to Apply for Chicago Building Permits

How to Apply for Chicago Building Permits

As more individuals spend time and work at home, there's been an increase in home remodeling and renovation projects. Many homeowners are renovating their homes with do-it-yourself (DIY) resources and tools from Home Depot, whether it's adding in a new pool, building a new deck, or converting the garage into a guest room.

But, Chicago building permits are required before you start any remodeling project involving home structural changes, even though you own the property. And, although there are homeowners who choose to ignore these requirements, doing so is very risky since there are hefty fines associated with building permit violations (just check different Chicago building permits records), including being sued for unpermitted construction should you decide to sell your property. To avoid any violations, you'll want to ensure you go through the application process correctly. To save time, you can have DoNotPay walk you through the process.

When Is a Building Permit Required in Chicago

Your local government agency requires and issues building permits for certain remodeling and construction projects. It's important you obtain these permits because they ensure your project plans stay in compliance with local standards for zoning, land use, and construction.

Some examples of jobs that will require you to obtain a building permit are:

  • Change the use of a room (i.e. turning your garage into a living space)
  • Remove or add walls
  • Demolish a portion of your home
  • Re-roof your home
  • Change the piping in your home

You'll need a permit before beginning most demolition, repair, or construction work, or you could be in violation. You'd have to check the Chicago building permits records to see any violations.

How to Get City of Chicago Building Permits

There are various steps to follow to apply for a building permit in Chicago, IL.

How to Apply for a Building Permit in Chicago?

The typical steps to obtaining a building permit are:

  1. Complete a building permit application.
  2. Prepare a site plan for your project. You may have to hire an architect or other professional if your project is extensive to draw out your project as it will be constructed (to confirm it will meet zoning and building codes).
  3. Schedule an appointment for plan approval. You may be able to obtain a quick "over-the-counter" review and approval in person. Or, you may have to wait a few days or weeks for the city to review your plans.
  4. Obtain the permit.
  5. Schedule inspections. As you do construction, you'll have to schedule periodic inspections during the process to help the city verify that you're working according to your plans.
  6. Finish your project and get the city's final approval.

What Are the Required Documents for a Chicago Building Permit Application?

The type of documents you'll require for your project will depend on what you're building.

If you're repairing existing building components, you might be able to go with the Easy Permit Process. You'll have to obtain the right building permits and go through a Standard Plan Review if architectural drawings are required for your project.

Easy Permit Process (Small Replacement and Repair Jobs)

The Easy Permit Process enables you to obtain a building permit for smaller jobs that don't require drawings or an architect. EPPs are for the replacement or repair of existing non-structural building components.

Common EPP project examples include:

  • Replace light fixtures
  • Replace limited drywall
  • Roof replacement
  • Replace a single furnace
  • New non-brick fences (not more than 6 ft. high, but greater than 5 ft. high)
  • Replace a single hot water heater
  • Scaffolding Wrecking Permit
  • Masonry tuckpointing
  • New wood trash enclosure
  • New wood frame garage

Standard Plan Review

This SPR process is designed for smaller to mid-size alterations and new construction projects. They're required to have a licensed architect prepare the architectural drawings. Applications for building permits need to be created online and you'll need to submit architectural plans online as well through e-plan. Only structural engineers, architects, and expediters are able to submit their applications for their building permits for the SPR process.

Who to Contact to Get a Building Permit?

To apply for a building permit or check your Chicago building permit status, here is the contact information for the official Chicago government page:

MailSend correspondence to:

City Hall

121 N. LaSalle Street

Chicago, Illinois 60602

PhoneWithin Chicago — dial 311. If you're calling somewhere other than Chicago, dial: 312-744-5000.

If you're wondering how long does it take to get a building permit in Chicago and you'd like to check the Chicago building permits database to find out the status of your application, you can visit the official Chicago.gov website.

What Fees Are Associated With Getting Chicago IL Building Permits?

Typically, a building permit will cost you anywhere from $50 to $300 for smaller projects like fences, electrical, windows, plumbing, and decks. For larger jobs, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for a building permit for kitchen and bathroom remodeling, construction, building a house, basement finishing, or room additions.

The fees associated with your Chicago building permit will depend on your particular project. You can use the city of Chicago building permit lookup calculator to estimate this cost.

This online calculator will help estimate the price of a building permit that's based on Chicago Building Code provisions. The factors required for using the calculator are occupancy type, construction type, project scope, and area in square feet.

While beginning your home renovation job can be very exciting, having to apply for a building permit isn't as easy as you might think. The process doesn't just require you to fill out forms and check the Chicago building permit database for status and/or to print out your copies. You'll have to interview neighbors, prepare site surveys, have blueprints on hand, seek HOA approval, and have a good understanding of your zoning district's regulations. This all can be very overwhelming and even a small fence involves a lot of bureaucracy.

Applying for building permits in Chicago or even having to research City of Chicago building permit records or the Chicago building permits database can be a frustrating and lengthy process, but there's an alternative solution -- DoNotPay.

How to Easily Apply for Your Chicago Building Permit Without Hassle With DoNotPay

If you want to apply for a building permit fast and easily without the hassle in Chicago, but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered. Create your own cancellation letter in 6 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Planning Permissions product on DoNotPay.
  2. Choose one of the following options:
  3. Check whether your project needs a building permit or if it's exempt
  4. Generate a permission request letter to send to your HOA
  5. Generate a guide on how to complete the building permit application
  6. Choose the focus of your project (new ADU, pool, shed, fence, etc.) and answer a few questions about your plans, including the size of the structure and estimated cost.
  7. Indicate whether you're hiring a contractor and include the estimated start date and the timeline for the project.
  8. Indicate whether any public sidewalk/street space will be used during construction.
  9. And that's it! DoNotPay will help guide you through the building permit process by checking if your project needs a building permit, contacting any HOAs you're a part of to request building permission, or generating detailed instructions on how to start and complete your building permit application process.

Why Use DoNotPay to Help You Apply for Your Chicago Building Permits

There are various reasons why you should allow DoNotPay to help you with your building permit process, including:

  • It's Quick: There's no need to spend hours trying to figure out the application process.
  • It's Simple: You don't have to deal with filling out long and tedious forms or having to keep track of each step involved in the application process.
  • It's Successful: You can rest assured knowing DoNotPay will get the job done for you right so you can stay in compliance with regulation codes in Chicago.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

In addition to helping you apply for a building permit in Chicago, DoNotPay offers numerous other great services, including:

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