Building Permits

Permits Required

Any owner or owner's agent authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the building code, or to cause any such work to be performed, shall first make application to the Building Official and obtain the required permit.

Once your drawings, specifications, and permit application have been reviewed and approved, you will be issued a building permit. The review process can take time so submit your application and plans as soon as possible before you plan to begin work. Once you receive the permit, you may start construction of a building project in accordance with the plans you submitted.

Permits are valid for 180 days, provided that work is started within 30 days of the issuance. The Building Official may extend a permit for an additional 180 days, pending a written request from the permit holder.

The following are the steps for obtaining a permit and having the project approved by the County.

Step 1: Fill out Permit Application

All permits are done digitally in our office. The property or homeowner should be listed as applicant. For most projects, you should also submit detailed plans for the work to be done.

Step 2: Application & Plans Are Reviewed

Once your application and detailed plans are submitted, the Building Inspector will review your application and plans. If the application or plans are incomplete, you will be notified by the Inspector and informed of what is still needed. Once the complete application and plans are submitted, the Inspector will review the plans and approve them if they meet code requirements. If your plans meet these requirements, a permit is issued. If not, the Inspector may suggest solutions to help correct the problem. You may also need approval from the Zoning Department for setbacks and stormwater.

Step 3: Obtain Permit

Once your plans and application have been approved, you may receive a permit. There are fees associated with permits to cover the cost of the review and inspection process.

The Illinois Licensed Plumber doing the work must pay the plumbing fee.

After you receive a permit, you must post it in a visible place at the job site at all times.

Step 4: Inspections Are Done

Once work has begun, the County's inspectors will inspect the work to ensure that it is being performed in accordance with the plans submitted and with applicable codes. Contractors may schedule inspections by calling the Zoning and Building Department and speaking to office staff or by leaving a message on the appropriate inspector's voicemail. Inspections called in after 10 am will be performed the following business day. Here is a minimum required list (PDF) of inspections.

Step 5: Construction Is Approved & Certificate of Occupancy Is Issued

The building official will provide a certificate of occupancy or other certificate when construction is complete and code compliance is determined. This certificate verifies that your project has been completed to code and to the County's satisfaction. You may not occupy a structure until an occupancy permit has been issued. Failure to comply may include fines of up to $1500 per day. Even storing belongings in a structure is considered occupying.

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