Masonry Work

Masonry Work

A building permit is not required for the following types of work at any property:

  • Installing, altering, or removing a noncombustible (concrete or brick) sidewalk, patio, or walkway that is not located in or on the public way, not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below
  • Maintaining or removing and replacing (in-kind) a noncombustible (concrete, brick, or asphalt) parking surface or driveway (A building permit is required to establish, expand, or eliminate an off-street parking or loading area.)

A building permit is also not required for the following types of work in a residential building up to 4 stories above grade or an associated accessory building (such as a garage) on the same lot:

  • Removing and replacing (in-kind) up to 50 square feet of masonry (brick, stone, or concrete)

“In-kind replacement” means replacement of existing materials, objects, or elements using new materials, objects, or elements of the same type, size, and shape.

Historic Buildings

These exceptions may not apply to work on a property that is a proposed or designated Chicago Landmark or part of a proposed or designated Chicago Landmark district. For more information, contact the Historic Preservation Division in the Department of Planning and Development.

Dust Control

Masonry repair, cleaning, or grinding and other construction or repair activities that generate dust must comply with dust control practices required by city, state, and federal laws. This type of work may also require an air quality permit from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Stormwater Management Plan

Excavation or grading that disturbs 15,000 square feet or more, or site work or paving activity that creates a new or reconfigured at-grade impervious surface of 7,500 square feet or more, may require a Stormwater Management Plan under the Stormwater Management Ordinance. In-kind replacement, restoration, or repair of existing infrastructure, pavement, or facilities (“maintenance activity”) does not require a Stormwater Management Plan. Excavation and grading work may begin at the property owner’s risk while a Stormwater Management Plan is under review by the City. The owner is responsible for ensuring that all work complies with the approved Stormwater Management Plan prior to the completion of work.

Code Compliance Required

Any work performed without a building permit, as allowed by Section 14A-4-402 of the Municipal Code, must still comply with all applicable requirements of the Chicago Construction Codes. Section 14A-4-402 does not waive any applicable requirements of the Chicago Construction Codes or of the Municipal Code other than the requirement to obtain a building permit.

If you have a question about whether proposed work is code compliant or requires a building permit, please visit the Department of Buildings assistance counter on the 9th floor at City Hall.