In the previous article, we covered the types of projects that require securing a building permit in Chicago. In general, things that do not involve electrical, plumbing or excavation work, are often waived from the permit requirement. That said, it is important to check the requirements, per your unique situation.
If you decide that you need a permit for your next home improvement project, this article from Lugbill Designs, a Chicago-based high-end residential remodeling and interior design firm, will help you identify the permit application process you have to apply for.
As a rule of thumb, a home improvement project that does not need an architectural plan will fall under the Easy Permit Process. This is a streamlined process of securing building permit for small and simple improvement projects. It allows replacement or repair of some or existing features of the building.
You can use the Easy Permit Process for the following project types:
A. Interior Projects :
- Replacement of drywall that measures more than 1,000 sq. ft.
- Replacement of existing plumbing fixture
- Electrical work from a licensed electrician
- Replacement of cabinets and countertops
B. For Projects Outside the Building:
- Replacements of doors and windows in same location within buildings with 4 or more dwelling units
- Non-masonry fences with a height of greater than 5 ft. or above
- Sheds that have electrical permit and greater than 70 sq. ft.
- Detached garages
- Wood trash enclosures
- Masonry work from mason contractors
- Tuckpointing from mason contractors (may require a pollution prevention permit for masonry cleaning and grinding)
- Roofs (For additional layer, hire a general contractor to perform the work. For total tear-off, employ an Illinois-licensed roofing contractor)
- Fire damage to buildings with 24% damage or less
- Repairs for lintel with a maximum opening of 6’-0” (may require mason contractor)
This is for renovation projects that require drawings and plans. A standard plan review is needed when there is new construction, additions, alterations, rehabilitation, and repairs for all building types, with the exception for residential hi-rise and commercial buildings that are 80 ft high. It requires architects to prepare drawings and documents for the review process
Note: *Remember that all building permit applications require a Zoning approval.
All Standard Plan Review applications are submitted through the city’s Electronic Plan review system, E-Plan. To ensure compliance, each project is assigned a Project Manager, who serves as the applicant’s point-of-contact throughout the permit process.
For the steps in the Standard Plan Review, see the Standard Plan Review Flowchart.
These are the general projects that requires a Standard Plan Review:
- Buildings that not exceed 80 feet high
- 150,000 sq. ft. (maximum) business and mercantile projects
- Residential projects with a maximum of 40 dwelling units
- Foundations and excavations of up to 12 feet deep only
- Removal of non-load bearing walls
- Includes the Small Project Program and Self-Certification Permit Program
- Green elements are required to use Green Permit Program
- Green roof, wind turbines, solar panels, rainwater harvesting, geothermal heating and cooling are not allowed.
Moderate to complex construction projects require special needs, and Developer Services is designed to meet them. To manage the application process, a Project Administrator is assigned to serve as a single point of contact. The process also requires the plan to be reviewed by a third party plan review firm, the cost of which is additional to the building permit fee.
E-Permits is a faster means of processing applications. Use this portal to process any of the following.
- Online Intake
- Appointment Scheduling
- Creating a Permit Application
It requires an individual to establish login information, in order to access these files. It can be used by the homeowner, licensed contractors (i.e. architects, structural engineers, expeditors, electric companies, electricians, plumbing journeyman, etc.
Next up is filling out the necessary paperwork needed to obtain the needed permits for your Chicago remodeling project. This will be the topic of our final article in this 3-part series.