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Helpful Information / Construction Guidelines


Frequently Asked Questions

This page provides answers to the questions most frequently asked about Building, Planning & Zoning issues. If your question is not listed here, please call us at 847-872-8699, and we'll be glad to help.

 

Q: Can I do my own electrical work at my house?
A:
Yes you may do your own electrical work at your house, except working on the Service panel. For that work you will need an Illinois licensed electrician. You also must live at the house after you have done the work yourself, for two years.

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Q: Can I re-roof my own house or do I have to hire a contractor?
A:
If you own the house and live in the house, you may do your own re-roofing.

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Q: I want to upgrade my electrical service from 60 amps to 100 amps. Can I do that work myself?
A:
No, you may not do work yourself on the electrical service panel. A licensed electrician is required for that type of work.

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Q: How do I obtain a plat of survey for my property?
A:
There are a couple of ways to get a plat of survey. When you purchased the property it had to be surveyed and at closing time a copy of that survey would have been given to you. Alternatively, you can hire a surveyor to survey your property.

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Q: What Building Codes has the Village adopted?
A:
The Village of Winthrop Harbor has adopted the following codes:

  • The 2006 International Building Code
  • The 2006 Residential Code
  • The 2005 National Electrical Code
  • The 1993 Illinois Plumbing Code with 2004 Revisions
  • The 2006 International Mechanical Code
  • The 2006 International Fuel Gas Code
  • The 2006 International Energey Conservation Code

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Q: What is the permit fee schedule? What will it cost me?
A:
The permit fee schedule is published in the Municipal Ordinance book under Section 1990-0-08 and it is too numerous and involved to publish here. However, for repair work, it is generally 2% of the construction cost with a minimum of $50.00. Detailed breakdown for other work can be obtained by calling 847-872-8699.

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Q: What are the insurance requirements of sub-contractors to work within the Village?
A:
The following chart shows the insurance requirements for sub-contractors by type:

Type

Certificate of Insurance

Copy of IL License

Bond

Electrical

Yes

Yes

-

Excavating

Yes

-

$15,000

Plumbing

Yes

Yes

$5,000

Mechanical/HVAC

Yes

Yes

-

Roofing

Yes

Yes

-

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Q: What is the minimum size of habitable room?
A:
Habitable rooms shall have an area of not less than 100 square feet.

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Q: Can I put plastic reinforcing into the concrete slab?
A:
No, all concrete slabs shall have six inches by six inches wire mesh for reinforcing with four inches of concrete and four inches of compacted gravel or sand. Exception: Basement floors are not required to have wire mesh.

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Q: What is the minimum foundation area of a single family or two family dwelling?
A:
Each single-family unit and each two-family dwelling unit shall have a minimum foundation area of 900 square feet.

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Q: I have a deck attached to my house, I would like to put a roof over it. Can I do that?
A:
Whenever a permanent roof is constructed over a deck or structure, where such roof structure is attached to any other structure having a full foundation, the structure upon which the roof is being constructed shall be supported by a foundation or trench footing wall to below the frost level, which is 42 inches below grade.

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Q: My house was condemned, can I just repair it and move back in?
A:
Whenever a building or structure has been condemned, it must be repaired and brought into compliance with all applicable codes prior to further occupancy.

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Q: I received a compliance ticket for not having the house numbers displayed on my house. Don't they have better things to do than harass me with trivial stuff like that?
A:
It shall be the duty of the owner or occupant of every house or residence in the Village to have placed thereon, in a place visible from the street and on the mailbox in color contrast to background, figures showing the number of the house, which figures must be a minimum of three inches in height. Numbers must be fastened with screws or nails; self-adhesive numbers are not permitted. This will insure that an emergency vehicle will be able to find your house, should it become necessary.

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Q: Can I use Romex wiring in my house?
A:
No, only Thin Wall or rigid conduit shall be installed where such work is open and accessible. Flexible metal conduit is limited to 18 inches exposed.

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Q: Do I have to have a sump pump in my house?
A:
A minimum of one sump pump, crock and cover, shall be installed in any basement or crawlspace.

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Q: Do I need a permit to install a small kiddie pool in my backyard?
A:
No permit is required for erection of a portable pool, if the capacity of such pool is 1,000 gallons or less.

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Q: Do I need a fence around my pool?
A:
Yes, a fence or wall shall be installed and maintained to completely surround a pool, except in the case of a portable, above ground pool. The fence or wall shall be an effective barrier to small children and shall be at least 48 inches high. Gates shall be equipped with self-closing and self-latching devices placed at the top the gate.

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Q: I received a compliance ticket for parking on the front lawn. Why can't I do this? It's my property.
A:
In any residential district, off street parking, whether temporary or permanent, shall not be permitted or located in any required front yard or any lawn area, including any yard area not improved for off street parking.

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Q: I want to attach a small shed to the backside of my house, can I do that?
A:
Detached accessory buildings shall be separate from any principal building by at least ten feet.

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Q: I want to have a garage sale this summer. Do I need a permit?
A:
You do not need a permit. Only two such sales shall be allowed within one twelve-month period.

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Q: I have insufficient heat in my apartment, what can I do?
A:
First, call your landlord and find out why the heat is insufficient. Maybe he is working on the furnace. If you cannot get satisfaction form your landlord, call the Building Department at 872-8699 and we will compel the landlord to furnish you with a minimum temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit at 6:30 a.m., 65 degrees at 7:30 a.m. and 68 degrees at 8:30 a.m. and thereafter until 10:30 p.m., averaged throughout the room or apartment.

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Q: My new home is finished, except for grading and seeding and hard surface of driveway. Can I get a temporary occupancy permit and move in?
A:
A temporary Certificate of Compliance and Occupancy may be issued by the Building Department for the use of the building prior to its completion. No temporary Certificate of Occupancy shall be issued until the Building Department receives a cash bond in the amount of $5,000.00. The final deadline for completion of grading and seeding or sod shall be no later than May 15.

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Q: We have a major construction job coming up and would like to bring a construction trailer onto the site. What do we have to do to obtain permission?
A:
Any person may obtain a temporary special use permit or variance from the Building Department. Such application shall be made at least ten days prior to bringing such vehicle to the construction location within the Village. A fee of $10.00 shall be charged for such a permit if application is made prior to bringing a construction trailer to the construction location. If such application is made after bringing the construction trailer to the construction site, a $500.00 penalty shall be added to the fee.

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Q: When is a Building Permit required?
A:
Please click here for the list of projects which require a permit.

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Didn't find the answer to your question? Please call us at 847-872-8699, and we will be happy to help.


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Village of Winthrop Harbor, 830 Sheridan Road, Winthrop Harbor, IL 60096