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Permits. Worth Asking For.

Imagine this Friend,


You are so close to your finalized landscape design and your contract is almost signed. You’re ready to get it going. You want to see progress made in your back yard or on your rooftop. I mean get the dumpster dropped off and let’s see some debris!

I totally get this.

But . . . pump, pump the breaks. (Not the jam! LOL) Why? Because it’s time for permits! YAAAAY!!

We are asked this all the time. “Do I need to have a permit?”

The short answer is yes for major renovations.

At least in Chicago, it is NOT easier to ask forgiveness after the fact when you are caught without a permit. And yes, homeowners, you can get caught.

Let’s say your neighbor doesn’t like what they see happening, what’s the first thing they’re going to do? They’re going to look for posted permits or contact the city to find out if you have one (or report you). (True – not all neighbors are this way, but there seems to be that person in every neighborhood, right?)

Permit acquisition may be frustrating because it costs money and additional time. But since it is an important step, just consider it all part of the process. Anticipate that this will be part of the whole kit and caboodle. If you know what the rules are (and permits are dem rules) it’s much easier to play the game.

In our world of landscape design and construction, permits in Chicago are generally needed for planting parkway trees, building any kind of structure on a rooftop (e.g., pergola, screen walls), irrigation, concrete work, driveways, city sidewalks, or electrical upgrades.

In special landmark districts the permitting process can take longer because there may be other components that need to be considered such as setbacks or site lines.

Here’s the deal: When working with us, we partner with an architectural firm that handles the permitting process which is typically done quickly and in conjunction with the start of your job. Our goal is to make this process as painless as possible for you (and your neighbors).

We want to get you living beautifully outdoors ASAP!

Pump up the jam . . . 

Sara J-S

P.S. Over June, I’ve laid out some major solutions to various questions we get all the time. Check out our blog for the full run-down. Irrigation. BudgetCodesRats.

P.S.S. For a comprehensive explanation about permits please refer to Chicago’s city code.

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