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Building Permits and Construction

COVID-19 Response: Building Permit Process Adjustments

In response to the Governor’s shelter in place order, the Community Development Department has made temporary service adjustments.

The Village Hall, including the Community Development Department, is currently closed to the public. The Community Development staff will be working remotely from home with limited visits to the Village Hall. Staff will continue to be available by telephone and email during regular business hours: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. You may reach the Community Development office by calling either 847-716-3520 or 847-716-3527.

Permit Application Submittal

During this time, the Village will continue to receive and process building permit applications.

  • Applications consisting of materials less than 11” x 17” in size are encouraged to be submitted via email to the Village. Paper copies may also be submitted.
  • For applications requiring printed-to-scale large plan sheets, such as those that are 24”x36” or larger, paper copies are required to be submitted.

Paper permit application materials may be delivered to the Village:

  • By Mail, UPS, FedEx, or
  • By placing the application materials in a “permit box” provided near the west (rear) entrance to Village Hall. To protect the materials from the elements you may wish to place them in plastic bags.

Paper copies of permit applications will only be accepted in the “permit box” Monday through Friday between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM.  Once you have placed your permit application in the inbox, please call 847-716-3520, 847-716-3527, or email us to inform the Village of your submittal.

Inspections Associated with Building Permits

The Village encourages all residents, business owners, and contractors to delay calling for inspections that can be postponed.  If an inspection cannot wait, the Village will be conducting only the following:

  • inspections from the exterior of a building  and
  • limited inspections of unoccupied buildings.

During this time, Village inspectors will not be entering any occupied buildings.  In such situations, the inspector will attempt to conduct inspections where feasible using photographs or other video conferencing, such as FaceTime, that are provided by the contractor or the property owner.    

Please contact the Community Development Department at 847-716-3520 or 847-716-3527 to learn if your inspection can be scheduled.

Work Requiring a Permit & Application Forms

Licenses, permits and inspections are required for most construction activity, including many repair or replacement projects, in order to assure that work is performed in compliance with Village code requirements.  Building codesadopted by the Village of Winnetka establish minimum requirements for the safety and well-being of the property owner, occupants and the general public.

The following permits listed below may be required for residential, commercial or institutional building projects in Winnetka.  For assistance in determining whether your project requires a permit, contact the Permit Desk at (847) 716-3520.

Accessory Structure Permit [Application]
A permit is required for accessory structures such as detached garages, sheds, gazebos, greenhouses, arbors & trellises, and children’s play houses.

Addition Permit
A permit is required for addition on a building, regardless of the size.
[Single Family Residential Addition Permit Application]
[Commercial/Multi-Family/Institutional Permit Application]

Air Conditioning Permit [Application]
A permit is required for new, additional, or replacement furnaces or air conditioning systems.  

Basement Finish or Remodel Permit [Application]
A permit is required for construction or alteration of walls, installation or extension of electrical circuits, plumbing drains or vents, or ductwork.

Chimney, Fireplace or Similar Heating Appliance Permit [Application]
A permit is required to alter, install or construct a fireplace or chimney, or to install or replace any other similar fuel burning appliance.

Deck or Balcony [Application]
A permit is required for new decks and balconies, or replacement or modification of existing decks or balconies.

Demolition Permit [Application]
A permit is required to demolish an existing structure.  Before the demolition may begin either a permit for the construction of a new structure or a permit for site restoration must be approved by the Village.

Electrical Miscellaneous Permit [Application]
A permit is required for new branch circuits or extension of branch circuits or placing additional fixtures or receptacles on an existing circuit.  

Electrical Service Permit [Application]
A permit is required to add or upgrade an existing electrical service.  

Elevator Permit [Single Family Residential Application]
A permit is required for installation of elevators, platform lifts and stairway lifts in existing buildings.

Fence or Wall Permit [Application]
A fence permit is required to install a new fence and for substantial updates to existing fences and walls.  Minor repairs including limited replacement of individual posts, boards or pickets do not require a permit. 

Floodplain Development Permit [Application]
A permit is required for any work within the FEMA-designated floodplain. This is a supplemental permit that is processed together with another permit type such as a building permit for an addition.

Foundation Repair & Foundation Drainage Permit [Application]
A permit is required for all foundation repairs except minor maintenance and repair, such as epoxy injections. Depending on project scope, foundation projects may also require application for approval of a Sump Pump Discharge Permit.

Furnace Permit [Application]
A permit is required for new, additional, or replacement furnaces or air conditioning systems.  

Garage Permit[Application]
A permit is required for installation of an attached or detached garage.

Gas Line Permit [Application]
A permit is required for installation of a new or replacement gas line or extending an existing gas line.  

Generator Permit [Application]
A permit is required for installation of a new or replacement electrical generator.  

Impermeable Surface Permit 
A permit is required to install, alter or replace any impermeable surface such as driveways, patios, terraces, walkways, parking lots.
[Single Family Residential Impermeable Permit Application]
[Commerical/Multi-Family/Institutional Impermeable Permit Application]

Irrigation Permit [Application]
A permit is required for installation or replacement of lawn sprinkler systems.  Irrigation permits may also require application for a right-of-way permit if system components will be located within public a public street right-of-way.

Land Grading Permit [Application]
A permit is required for alteration to existing site topography to remove existing soils, add fill, or otherwise alter the terrain of a parcel.

Mechanical Miscellaneous Permit [Application]
A permit is required for mechanical work not covered in other permit types. A scope of work will be required to determine permitting requirements.  

New Single Family Building Permit [Application]
A permit is required for construction of a new single-family dwelling.

New Commercial / Multi-Family / Institutional Building Permit [Application]
A permit is required for construction of a new single-family dwelling.

Outdoor Fire Structure or Outdoor Cooking Source [Application]
A permit is required for any outdoor fire pit, fire place, outdoor kitchen, pizza oven or similar fire sources.

Patio, Terrace or Sidewalk Permit 
A permit is required to install, alter or replace any impermeable surface such as patios, terraces, walkways. 
[Single Family Residential Application]
[Commercial/Multi-Family/Institutional Application]                                       

Plumbing Miscellaneous Permit [Application]
A permit is required for new water lines, extending existing water lines, placing additional fixtures, repairs under floors, and repairs involving changing materials. A permit is not required to replace existing plumbing fixtures utilizing existing water supply or drain lines.

Pool, Spa, or Hot Tub Construction Permit [Application]
Swimming pools or other similar water features with a depth of more than 18 inches at any point require a permit.  All spas and hot tubs require a permit. Pools, spas and hot tubs also require enclosure by a fence or wall to restrict unauthorized access.

Repair/Remodeling Permit
A permit is required for construction of new walls, removal of existing walls, or removal and replacement of existing wall or ceiling covering (drywall, plaster) with an area of 100 sq. ft. or greater. 

A repair/remodeling permit is also required for the installation of new electrical circuits, extension of existing electrical services, or installation of new hard wired electrical devices.

A repair/remodeling permit is also required for installation or modification of plumbing waste, drain or vent lines, water supply lines, or mechanical ductwork.
[Single Family Residential Remodeling Permit Application]
[Commerical/Multi-Family/Institutional Remodeling Permit Application]

Retaining Wall Permit [Application]
A permit is required for all retaining walls.  Walls with a height of 48” or greater must be designed by an Illinois licensed engineer or architect. All retaining walls should be setback a minimum of two feet from any right of way line and one foot from any other property line.

Right of Way Permit [Application]
A permit is required for any work in the public right of way, including sprinkler systems, driveway, and driveway approach replacement.

Roof Replacement Permit [Application]
A permit is required to recover or replace an existing roof. 

Sewer Permit [Application]
A permit is required for installation of new or repair or replacement sewer lines.

Shed Permit [Application]
A permit is required for installation of storage shed or similar building.

Solar Panels
A permit is required for installation of rooftop solar panels and related systems.
[Single Family Residential Solar Application]
[Commercial/Multi-Family/Institutional Solar Application]

Sump Pump Discharge or Downspout Alterations [Application]
A permit is required to install or alter systems intended to pump or redirect groundwater or roof drainage.

Temporary Tent Permit [Application]
A permit is required for installation of a tent on a temporary basis for events. Permit applications should be submitted a minimum of 5 days prior to installation.

Trampoline Permit [Application]
A permit is required to install any trampoline on private property, and includes requirement for the securing of such areas to prevent unauthorized use.

Tree Removal Permit [Application]
A permit is required to remove any tree greater than 8” in diameter.

Water Heater Permit [Application]
A permit is required to add or replace a water heater.
 

Additional Permits for Commercial, Multi-Family & Institutional Buildings and Uses

In addition to the permit types listed in the previous section, there are certain additional permit requirements specific to Commercial, Multi-Family and Institutional buildings and uses.

A building permit is required for any new commercial, multi-family or institutional building, or addition, alteration or demolition.   A permit is also required for the installation or replacement of any building wiring or equipment, including but not limited to new electrical devices, branch circuits, electrical panels, water heaters, furnaces air conditioning and more.

All work on the exterior of commercial, multi-family and institutional buildings and sites requires an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness.  The application for Certificate of Appropriateness details the review process for exterior building alternations, and typically includes review and approval by the Design Review Board.  The Design Review Board evaluates such applications for consistency with the Village’s adopted Design Guidelines.

Awning Permit [Application]

A permit is required to install an awning on any commercial building.  Application materials include reference to applicable Design Guidelines, meeting calendar and submittal deadlines.

Certificate of Appropriateness [Application]
Alterations to the exterior of any commercial, multi-family or institutional building or site requires issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness by the Design Review Board. 

Fire Alarm [Application]
A permit is required for installation of new fire alarms and extensions or upgrades to existing fire alarm systems.

Fire Sprinkler / Suppression Permit [Application]
A permit is required for new fire sprinkler systems and extensions or upgrades to existing fire sprinkler systems.

Restaurants [Application]
The Village has developed specific guidance in order to assist restaurants and other specialty food businesses with permitting, inspection and approvals. 

Sign Permit [Application]
A permit is required for installation of new fire alarms and extensions or upgrades to existing fire alarm systems.

Valet Parking Permit [Application]
A permit is required for valet installation of new fire alarms and extensions or upgrades to existing fire alarm systems.

Wireless Communications Equipment Permit [Application]
A permit is required for construction of a new tower or the addition, replacement, or upgrade of an existing communication tower or antenna.

 

Work Not Requiring Permits

The following residential construction and maintenance projects do not require a permit or inspection.

Basketball Goals
A permit is not required.  Free standing structures should be located a minimum of 6 feet from a side property line.

Cabinet Replacement
No permit is required for replacement of existing kitchen bath or similar cabinets, provided that (i) no electrical work is included, and (ii) plumbing fixtures utilize existing supply and drain lines.  All electrical or plumbing modifications associated with cabinet replacement require a permit.

Electrical Low-Voltage Wiring
A permit is not required for electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus or equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy, and not part of a fire alarm system or a landscape lighting system.

Flag Pole
A permit is not required.

Garage door openers
No permit is required unless a new electric source needs to be provided.

Garbage disposal
A permit is not required unless it is a new installation, which requires a separate circuit and an electrical permit.

Playground Equipment/Swingsets
A permit is not required, provided that such equipment is not equipped with a roof or otherwise fully enclosed.

Routine maintenance
A building permit is not required for routine maintenance such as replacing plumbing and lighting fixtures, carpeting, floor refinishing, painting, installing cabinets and shelving.  Selective replacement of existing individual elements such as decorative trim, stair treads, hand rails do not require a permit, provided that such work does not involve removal of greater than 100 square feet of wall finishes (drywall, plaster).

Satellite Antennas
A permit is not required. Dishes 38 inches in diameter (8 sq. ft.) or smaller may be attached to the house. Ground-mounted dishes must be in the backyard.

Siding Replacement or Repair
A permit is not required except when replacing with stucco or EIFS which requires a permit. Siding repair and replacement are considered maintenance and do not require issuance of a permit.  The building code contains requirements regarding siding applications and flashing.

Window Replacement
A permit is not required for in-kind replacement with existing window openings.   The Illinois Energy Conservation Code contains requirements for minimum thermal efficiency of all windows, and homeowners are advised to discuss with window contractors or suppliers.  

 

Contractor Licensing & Bonding Requirements

Licensing

The Village of Winnetka does not maintain a contractor licensing program; rather the Village accepts licenses issued by the State of Illinois (i.e., plumbing, irrigation and roofing contractors) or licenses issued by other municipalities which test licensees (electricians).   

Electrical, plumbing, irrigation and roofing contractors must have on file, or supply prior to permit issuance, a copy of current licenses.

Contractor Bonds

Prior to the issuance of any permit, all contractors and subcontractors identified on the application for building permit must file a License and Permit Bond with the Department of Community Development in the amount of Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000).

License and Bond Requirement Summary
 

Step-by-Step Guidance for Approved Permit Holders

The Village of Winnetka places a high priority on working proactively with contractors in order to help you complete your project in a timely manner.  At the same time, the Village asks all contractors and subcontractors to be sensitive to the needs of surrounding property owners and take all appropriate steps to maintain a clean job site, and minimize safety, noise, parking and pollution impacts

Permit has been issued – what’s next? (New single family residence)

Permit has been issued –       “ “             (Addition or major remodel)

Permit has been issued –      “ “               (Interior remodel)

Permit has been issued –      “ “               (Site work, or other)

Permit holders should also consult the Village’s Construction Site Management Requirements for more detailed information on that topic.

If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact the Permit Desk at (847) 716-3520, or the Code Enforcement Desk at (847) 716-3521.  
 

Construction Site Management Requirements and Guidelines

Inspections

Inspection requirements vary depending on the type of project, and can be scheduled by phoning the Permit Coordinator at (847) 716-3520.  Inspection requests must be placed at least 24 hours in advance.  Persons calling to request inspections are requested to provide (a) Village Permit number, (b) job site address, (c) contact name, (d) contact telephone number, and (e) type of inspection.

 
Permit Fees

The cost of a building permit varies—depending on the type of building and construction. 

Please contact our Permit Desk at 847-716-3520 regarding required fees specific to your project.

The following is a sampling of permit fees for related work:

 

Permit Type

Fee

Permit Detail

Fence

$65

 

Shed

$30/$1,000 of construction cost

$70 minimum 

Impermeable Surface

$75

Driveway, sidewalks, patios

Remodeling

$30/$1,000 of construction cost

 

New Construction

$1.30/square foot of new gross floor area

 

Plumbing

$70/5 plumbing fixtures base fee

Over 5, additional $10/fixture

Electric Service

$9,800 (200 amp service) / $21,000 (400 amp service)

 

Furnace and AC

$70 base fee

Additional $90 per unit

Deck

$30/$1,000 of construction cost

$70 minimum 

Pool

$515

 

Roofing

$65

 

 

Fees are updated annually by resolution, following adoption of the Village Budget. 
 

Adopted Building Codes

The Village has adopted new model building codes effective August 1, 2019.

All building and fire safety permit applications submitted on or after August 1, 2019, will be reviewed for compliance with the new model codes, local amendments to these codes, as well as other existing Village and other applicable governmental regulations. 

When reviewing model codes through the links below, it is IMPORTANT to cross reference the linked model codes with the Village’s local amendments for an accurate picture of the Village of Winnetka’s building codes.

Adopted Model Building Codes with local amendments (effective August 1, 2019)

International Code Council (ICC) Codes

Winnetka Amendments 

  • 2015 IRC Appendix F:  Radon Control Methods (New!)

 

  • 2015 IRC Appendix J:  Existing Buildings and Structures (New!)

 

  • 2015 IRC Appendix O:  Automatic Vehicular Gates (New!)

 

  • 2015 IRC Appendix U:  Solar Ready Provisions  for Detached One- and Two-Family Dwellings & Multiple Single-Family Dwellings (Townhomes)  (New!)

 

Winnetka Amendments

Winnetka Amendments

Winnetka Amendments

Winnetka Amendments

  • Appendix B: Fire-Flow Requirements for Buildings

 

  • Appendix C: Fire Hydrant Locations and Distribution

 

 

  • Appendix I:  Fire Protection Systems - Noncompliant Conditions

 

Winnetka Amendments

Winnetka Amendments

Winnetka Amendments

State of Illinois Codes

Winnetka Amendments

Winnetka Amendments

 

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Codes

Winnetka Amendments

Winnetka Amendments

 

 

 

Winnetka Amendments

 

Other

 

 

  

Winnetka Village Code sections pertaining to Buildings and Construction

   1  

Winnetka Village Code, Title 15 – Buildings and Construction

   2  

Chapter 15.24 – Sewer Code

   3  

Chapter 15.28 – Tree Enhancement and Protection

   4  

Section 15.32.140 – Construction hours

   5  

Section 15.32.150 –Construction site management

   6  

Chapter 15.36 – Certificates of Occupancy Required

 

Miscellaneous Building and Permitting Forms

Change of Contractor Form

 

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