Demolition Permit : Common Questions Answered

Demolition is much more than knocking something down. To keep everyone physically and financially safe, many regulations must be followed, and permits acquired. If you are relatively new to the demolition space, especially in the Chicago area, the many wrecking requirements may seem tedious, or even overwhelming. But do not worry, Alpine Demolition is here…

demolition permit

Demolition is much more than knocking something down. To keep everyone physically and financially safe, many regulations must be followed, and permits acquired. If you are relatively new to the demolition space, especially in the Chicago area, the many wrecking requirements may seem tedious, or even overwhelming. But do not worry, Alpine Demolition is here to answer some of your most common Chicago demolition questions with our professional demolition expertise.

Demolition Permit Questions

Question 1: What permits do I need?

Depending on the scope of your demolition project, the required permits can vary. If you are removing or demolishing any building or structure, or any portion of that structure, you must obtain a wrecking permit. Surety bonds and a general contractor’s license are also required.

The application for a wrecking permit is a two-page document containing basic details including:

  • The address of the job
  • Estimated costs
  • Information on the property owner and bonding company
  • Size of the building

There are also permits relating to electrical work, plumbing, elevators, scaffolding, and even ventilation, all of which will need to be planned for and submitted before work can begin.

Question 2: Do I need still need a permit if no plumbing or electrical work is being done?

Oftentimes, a project will be confined simply to the interior of a structure, and the electrical or plumbing work will not be touched. Even in these cases, permits are required which will influence the work being done on site. Specifically, be sure to apply for permits relating to the removal of plaster, lath, or drywall.

Questions 3: Does the size of my building matter for my permits?

Yes, the size of your building impacts what permits you will need. If your building measures less than 625 square feet, you will need to submit a copy of your Certificate of Insurance (COI).

If your project is estimated to cost less than $1,000, and you are registering as the contractor yourself, then the required coverage limits listed on the Certificate of Insurance will be lower. For example, required coverage limits listed on your COI could be $250,000 to upwards of $1 million.  

Structures over 625 square feet, including all commercial or industrial zoned properties, must have a registered demolition contractor. Your contractor will have to submit a letter of intent, signed by the company owner.

Question 4: What is a Plat of Survey and why is it important?

A Plat of Survey is created by an Illinois licensed land surveyor that depicts the property which has been planned for demolition. This survey must be signed and sealed by a registered Illinois surveyor and cannot be more than five years old. It must also indicate whether the property in question has public sewer and water service, or if it uses a well and septic.

If the property has a well and septic, you must also indicate if the well is going to be plugged or capped. In either case, you will need a signed letter or intent from a registered contractor. 

Question 5: What additional permits or waivers are required to meet demolition standards?

All demolition permits require a waiver of permit from the Cook County Environmental Control Department. Additionally, both industrial and commercial properties require a permit from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Finally, once your demolition has been completed, you will need to submit a document which demonstrates the condition of the site.

Question 6: Is there someone who can help me through this process?

In the Chicago area, there are so many permits, and variations of permits, that it would be impossible to cover them all in this short article. However, Alpine Demolition has the experience and insider knowledge to help you acquire all your demolition permits quickly and easily. In fact, facilitating a smooth demolition process is one of our specialties.

If you’d like to get started on your next demolition project with Alpine, please contact our team online, or call us at (630) 761-0700.

From our Clients

  • Spoke with Marie Portis, District 1, who wanted to pass on they were very pleased with the performance of your staff. They raved about the professionalism and quality of service received.

    Patrick Kelleher - IDOT
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    Dave Haas - Pepper Construction
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