[PART 1] Guide To Getting Permits In Chicago: Residential Remodeling

Guide To Getting Permits In Chicago: Residential Remodeling

Are you planning to remodel or renovate your home? If so, you may have to secure a permit.

To get you around all the ins and outs of getting the necessary permit, Lugbill Designs, a high-end residential remodeling and interior design firm in Chicago, prepared this article to guide you on the different types of permits, the how to’s and the requirements before starting a residential remodeling project.

Important Facts About Residential Remodeling That You Must Know

Important Facts About Residential Remodeling That You Must Know

I. Why a Residential Remodeling Permit is Required

Generally, a permit is required to ensure that builders follow the minimum requirement of the association/building, as well as the safety standards under the Chicago Building Code, in order to ensure the safety of the public.

II. Residential Remodeling Types that Don’t Require a Permit

Although the Chicago building code requires strict compliance, not all residential remodeling projects require permits. Below are cases where building or remodeling permit is not required:

1. Repair or replacement work at any building:

This involves works done inside the home or building including, but not limited to:

  • Minimal interior changes such as new carpet, hardwood flooring, installation of paneling and crown molding, baseboard, casing and new paint.Repair of interior non-fire rated ceiling tiles
  • Furnitures and cabinets that don’t include electrical and plumbing connections
  • Non-combustible walkways and patios
  • 5’-0” maximum private property fences
  • Change of nonstructural exterior finish including vinyl, aluminum, wood, and exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS)
  • Porches less than 50 sq. ft. (excluding the steps) with a maximum of 6 ft above ground level for the flooring

2. Construction or alteration work at any building:

  • 400 sq. ft. temporary tents that comply to all zoning and construction setback requirements. These tents should not be less than 2 feet from all property lines and not less than 6 feet from all residential properties. Further, it should be built for not more than 60 days.

3. Repair or replacement work in non-mixed use residential buildings (excluding hotels):

  • Replacement of non-fire rated doors and windows, water heaters, furnaces, boilers and AC condensers for buildings with maximum of 3 dwelling units and 3 stories.
  • Replacement of toilets, faucets, sinks and tubs
  • Shingle roofing with 5 in 12 or steeper slopes for residential buildings with a maximum of 3 dwelling units and 3 stories
  • Interior stairs of a single dwelling unit
  • Drywall that measures not more than 1,000 sq. ft.; with no alterations made for structural, plumbing, ventilation, and electrical systems
  • Phones, speakers, door bells, burglar alarms, thermostats and computers that have low voltage wiring (excluding fire alarm system.
  • Change of nonstructural exterior finish including vinyl, aluminum, wood, and exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) on not more than 3 stories residential buildings
  • Replacement of bricks (not more than 250) on buildings with a maximum of 3 dwelling units and 3 stories

4. Construction or alteration work in residential buildings with 1-3 dwelling units:

  • Performing alterations for interior stairs without changing the existing stair opening in detached single family residences
  • Alterations of low voltage wiring inside non-mixed use buildings.
    150 sq. ft. gazebos (open air with roof and no walls) that comply to all zoning and construction setback requirements. Gazebos should be not less than 2 feet from all property lines and not less than 6 feet from all residential properties.
  • Enclosed sheds that are 70 sq. ft. and compliant to all zoning and construction setback requirements.
  • Height shall not exceed to 3 ft from interior property lines. Further, only one enclosed shed allowed per lot.

In conclusion, before starting your home remodeling project, be sure to double check you don’t need to pull any permits. That said, there are a lot of home improvements you can do without one. For example, basic flooring, painting, and installing new cabinets.

Now that you know which types of projects require permits, check out the next article in this series, which outlines which specific permits you may need.

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