Building FAQ’s

  • What types of projects require a permit? See Permit Requirements. Cosmetic improvements such as window, siding and shingle replacement, painting, carpet replacement and trim work do not require a permit.
  • Where do I submit my permit application? You may submit your application to the Building & Engineering Department. The Building & Engineering Department is located at 541 DeKalb Avenue. We are located directly behind Sycamore Fire Station #1. Look for the green “Building & Zoning” awning.
  • How long does it take to get a permit once I submit the application? Standard lead times for permits are as follows:

Commercial and industrial projects:   3-4 weeks*

Residential projects:   2-3 weeks*

All other permits: 5-7 business days*

*Standard lead time. Permit may be issued sooner as time permits.

  • How do I know when my permit is issued and where do I pay for it? Someone from the Building & Engineering Department will contact you when your permit has been issued. You pay for and receive your permit at the City Clerk’s Office located at 308 West State Street.
  • How many sets of drawings should I submit with my application?

New commercial or industrial construction: 3 sets of drawings

New residential construction: 1 set of drawings

All others: 1 set of drawings

  • What types of projects require that the drawings be sealed by an architect?

See the Summary of the Illinois Architecture Act of 1989 (225 ILCS 305/1).

  • Do you have a list of contractors that you recommend?

We do not make specific recommendations but we are able to provide you with a list of electrical contractors who are licensed in the City of Sycamore, as well as a list of plumbing contractors who are licensed with the Illinois Department of Public Health.

  • How are building setbacks measured? Setbacks are measured from the property line. Setbacks are not measured from the street, curb or sidewalk. If you are unsure of the location of your property lines, you should refer to your plat of survey or have a licensed land surveyor locate your property pins.
  • How do I get a plat of survey for my property? You may have received a plat of survey when you purchased your property so it’s always a good idea to check your records first. If you are unable to locate your plat of survey, you should contact a licensed land surveyor to perform a survey and create a plat of your property. The City of Sycamore does not provide plats of survey for private properties.
  • Does the City replace sidewalks that are in need of repair? In most cases, the maintenance of public sidewalks is the responsibility of the owner on whose property the sidewalk exists. In certain cases, the City does replace public sidewalks but such maintenance is typically completed in conjunction with a City funded street maintenance project. The City does, however, offer a Public Sidewalk Replacement Program that pays $4.00 per square foot toward the replacement of qualifying sidewalks. Please see the “Public Sidewalk Replacement Program” on the Home Page for additional information.