Repair and maintenance items should not need a permit

Repair and maintenance should be encouraged on all property. Forcing property owners to get a permit for routine repair and maintenance is detrimental because most people just do the repair or maintenance because they did not dream they need a permit. Some people can’t afford the repair let alone the permit, so they do nothing. Some people know they need a permit but do the repair without it hoping they won’t get caught. Almost everyone thinks of the permit as just another way for the Government to take their money.

I am trying to make Will County Land Use Regulations more people friendly by exempting  routine repair and maintenance items from needing a permit. People, don’t for the most part follow the current law which needs to reflect common sense.


This is an example of a situation that could easily occur. A carpenter comes home from work Friday night and gets into the shower. Cold water is all that will come out. After checking the Hot Water Tank, the nightmare begins because it is no longer operational. Does he wait till Monday to get a permit and hire a licensed contractor, taking cold showers  till Tuesday or does he solve the problem with a  call to a friend that can help him install a new one that night. The installation may involve putting in a shut off valve.

Installation of windows and doors are not exempt even if they are put in the same opening and the dimensions or framing of the original opening are not altered.

  1. To ensure life safety
  2. To ensure ensure structural changes are done properly
  3. To ensure manufacturer installation spec’s are met
  4. To ensure compliance with the 2015 Energy code
  5. To ensure safety glazing when required
  6. To insure contractors are licensed, insured, and bonded.

Replacing a door or a window in the same opening with no structural changes should be exempt from a permit. The reasons listed are just a way to justify forcing property owner’s to get a permit. Reasons include structural changes which are not happening with this routine repair and maintenance. The County adopted the 2012 Building Code not the 2015 code, but can opt out of the portion of the Energy code that requires a permit. In fact the County does not have to adopt any code. The idea that government is going to make sure the property owner has the work done by a licensed contractor is saying it is the Job of the County to protect property owners from hiring a bad contractor to do repair and maintenance to their property. The cost of the permit just adds to the cost of the repair and in some cases will stop the owner from doing the repair.


If a piece of siding on your house is damaged in a storm, you can just leave it damaged or get a permit to repair or replace it. Again this is just an added cost to the owner. The reasons given in my opinion are really pushing the line of what is sensible and what is just absurd. Will County Land Use under the leadership of Mr. Padock use the following reasons:

  1. To insure manufacturer spec’s are met. I cant see how this can even be said when all that is happening is a repair or replacing of damaged siding.
  2. To make sure the contractor is licensed etc.
  3. To make sure the proper material is used, and the repair meets the 2012 residential code and national standards code.

Property owners doing repair or maintenance on their property have to pay for a permit for these reasons????  Is it any wonder people think getting a permit is just another way for government to make money.


Rain Gutters and leaders are not exempt. This is by a rule set by the Will County Chief Building Official. So you can replace the gutter and pay for a permit or leave the old one in place. So either buy a permit and the gutters or let your property alone with old or inferior gutters.


Bet you did not know according to State Statute you can’t use battery powered smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You need to get a permit and get them hard wired. So I guess people will be breaking the law rather than pay for a permit and the cost to hardwire the detectors. Most people just buy them in the store and replace the battery’s. But I get it, people are not smart enough to replace the battery’s. but they sure won’t take on the expense of a hardwire unless they are caught.


Other items needing a permit are:

Repair or replacement of Ductwork, Replacement of air conditioning equipment and systems, you can fix a leak in a pipe if it does not require any type of replacement. This applies to faucets or working parts of faucets.. So I understand a permit is needed to put in a new sink, a shut off valve, or new parts inside your toilet tank. Remember you can’t even replace a valve that is leaking without a permit. Oh my God I almost forgot you need a permit to replace traps under your sink and a permit to replace your toilet.


Currently all roofing work requires a permit.This is due to the absence of any formal exemption in adopted codes and due to the Ill. Roofing Industry Licensing act stating a licensed roofing contractor is required. So Land use is telling property owners they must hire a contractor. If you repair a leak yourself you are breaking the current law. This is not talking about an entire roof, it is just talking about 25% or less of the roof. If the structure is not changed it is crazy to think a property owner can’t fix it themselves.

Send the Will County Board your opinion. They need to hear what the people think.



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