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Building Permit Information


It’s Construction Season!

Business can be conducted through our website, in person, via email or over the phone as well.  We are also continuing contactless document exchange and business transactions through the drop box located to the left of our front entrance.

Permitting Process

Permits are required before beginning new construction, repairs, additions, alterations, or demolition projects.  Only legible, complete and signed applications for permit (link) will be processed.

Permits are not required for cosmetic improvements such as removal and replacement window, siding, roof shingles, painting, flooring, tiling, trim work, changing out cabinetry, and replacing electrical and plumbing fixtures in the same location.  Non-structural repairs to interior surfaces don’t require permits provided no changes are made to the structural framing, electrical, or plumbing. Emergency repairs may be addressed without immediately obtaining a permit, but the permit must be applied for within 7 days of the emergency repair work being performed.

The Community Development Department is available to assist with any questions as to whether or not your project requires a permit.

Standard lead times for issuance of permits are:

  • Commercial and industrial projects:  3-4 weeks
  • Residential projects:  2-3 weeks
  • All other permits: 5-7 business days

Sets of drawings to be submitted with application: 

Scheduling Inspections:  Call (815) 895-4434 a minimum of one day before the desired inspection date during normal business hours.  Provide the permit number, job address, name and phone number to secure a date and time on the inspection schedule.  If calling during normal business hours and you receive a voicemail, please leave your name and phone number and your call will be returned as soon as available.  Inspection requests left on the voicemail before 7:00am and after 3:00pm will not be honored.

Permit Informational Brochures

Please click on the applicable work type below for information to assist you with questions about various construction types. These brochures are for informational purposes only.  Where differences between these brochures and the City’s adopted codes occur the provisions of the City’s adopted codes (link) will prevail.  (create links for all below)

  • Basement Conversions

  • Decks

  • Demolition Work

  • Detached Garages

  • Electrical Work

  • Fences

  • Irrigation Systems

  • Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling

  • Open Burning

  • Patios

  • Residential Construction (additions and new construction)

  • Sheds

  • Sidewalk Replacement Program

  • Solar and Photovoltaic Installations

  • Swimming Pools and Spas

  • Water, Sewer, and Plumbing Work


  • Do you have a list of contractors that you recommend?  The City does not make specific recommendations but we are able to provide you with a list of electrical contractors who are registered in the City of Sycamore.
  • 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?  First, check your records from when you purchased your property to see if you requested a plat of survey at your closing.  If you are unable to locate your plat of survey, contact a licensed land surveyor to perform a survey to create a plat of your property.  The City of Sycamore does not provide plats of survey for private properties.

Please contact the Community Development Department at (815) 895-4434 with any questions or for additional information.