Preparatory Demolition (Nonstructural Interior Work)
(Nonstructural Interior Work)
The Express Permit Program offers a streamlined way to obtain a permit to begin nonstructural preparatory interior demolition work while a plan-based building permit application is under review for several types of projects.
Additional terms, conditions, and limitations may apply.
With drawings prepared by an Illinois-licensed architect or structural engineer (uploaded to ProjectDox as part of a related plan-based building permit application):
- Applying for this permit after demolition plans have been uploaded for review as part of a plan-based building permit application using Standard Plan Review
- Removing mechanical, electrical, or plumbing equipment that only serves the part of the building covered by the permit
- Applying for this permit before demolition plans have been uploaded for review as part of a plan-based building permit application
- Applying for this permit if the plan-based building permit application is self-certified
- Applying for this permit if the plan-based building permit application is using Developer Services
- Removing or altering mechanical, electrical, or plumbing equipment that serves occupied areas of the building outside the area covered by the permit
- Demolishing structural elements of a building
- Demolishing exterior elements of a building or removing exterior windows or doors
When is a building permit not required?
Before beginning an Express Permit Program application for preparatory demolition, please review:
Before You Apply
You must apply for a plan-based building permit, using the Standard Plan Review process, upload interior demolition drawings as part of that application, and submit those drawings for review through the City of Chicago’s ProjectDox system before applying for a “Preparatory Demolition” permit.
You should also know your associated plan-based building permit application number, gather required documents, select required contractors and professionals, and have their license or registration numbers before starting the online permit application.
For all applications, you must upload:
- Existing condition photograph (at least 1)
You must also ensure that interior demolition drawings have been uploaded to ProjectDox as part of the related plan-based building permit application. Do not upload demolition drawings as part of this application.
Work on condominium property
If the work to be permitted is on property that is part of a condominium association (including work in an individually owned condominium unit) you must upload:
- Condominium association approval letter
This letter must briefly describe the work to be performed (example: interior renovations in unit 9A) and be signed by an authorized representative of the condominium association, such a property manager or officer of the association.
Project owned by a government entity
If the work to be permitted in being undertaken by or for a local, state, or federal government entity (such as Chicago Public Schools) you must upload:
- Government ownership or funding letter
If the government entity has a permit fee waiver ordinance, include a copy of that ordinance as part of this upload.
Project receiving construction funding from a government entity
If the work to be permitted or is receiving construction funding from a government entity (such as a Small Business Improvement Fund grant) you must upload:
- Government ownership or funding letter
The letter must be from the government entity providing the construction funding.
Work required to address fire damage
If work is required to address fire damage, you must have the Department of Buildings assess the scope of fire damage before you apply for a building permit. The Department’s assessment will be documented on a form called the “Tax and Demolition Form,” per the Illinois Insurance Code. You must upload:
- Tax and demolition form
Property owner as general contractor or property owner as plumber
If the property owner will be acting as general contractor or self-performing plumbing work, you must upload:
- Owner as contractor form (Form 401)
- Copy of government issued identification
The government issued identification must show that the property owner lives at the address where work will be performed.
A licensed general contractor (any class) is always required. In some cases, an owner may act as general contractor.
If the scope of work includes electrical work, a licensed electrical contractor (general) is required.
If the scope of work includes plumbing work, a licensed plumbing contractor is required. In limited cases, an owner may self-perform plumbing work.
Required Design Professionals
The Illinois-licensed architect or structural engineer who prepared the demolition drawings uploaded to ProjectDox as part of the plan-based permit application must be identified in the Additional Applicants section of the application.
Ordinances and Rules
Chicago Construction Codes Administrative Provisions, Section 14A-4-411.5 (Phased approval)
Chicago Construction Codes Administrative Provisions, Section 14A-12-1204.3 (Permit fee factors)
Chicago Building Code, Chapter 14B-33 (Work site safety and operations)