To get a building permit for most construction projects, Building and Zoning division staff need to review your plans and application. This process applies to building, pool, sign, and demolition permit applications.
Before you start
Getting approval for a construction project can take time. Before you can get a building permit, you may be required to get planning approvals. This could involve the Zoning Board, Plan Commission, and City Council.
Other agencies and departments may need to be involved besides the Building and Zoning division. That might include the Engineering division, Fire department, and the County Health department. Each one may have its own requirements and fees.
We want to help make your project a success. If you have any questions during the process, call, email, or visit our office. We’re here to help.
What to do
1. Find the permit you need
Review the building permit page to learn about different types of permits. If you need an over-the-counter permit, you do not need to follow the steps on this page. You can just apply at our office in City Hall and your permit is usually issued to you the same day.
2. Contact the Building and Zoning division
This is an optional, but recommended step. We can help you understand if your project requires a permit and if so, what kind.
We can also let you know about any additional documents or samples you need to submit with your application packet.
You may also want to discuss your project with the Engineering division, Fire department, or the County Health department to see if they have rules or requirements that apply to your project.
3. Make sure you’re qualified to get a permit
Depending on the size and type of your project, you may need to hire a licensed professional. State law may require that a portion of your entire project be prepared by a licensed architect or structural engineer. Almost all commercial construction projects fall under this requirement.
You’ll also need to make sure that the contractor you are working with is registered with the City.
4. Create your plans and prepare other materials
When you submit your application, you may need to also include:
- Site plan
- Working drawings
- Engineering calculations
- Energy calculations
- Soil investigation reports
- Fire sprinkler plans and calculations
- Special inspection and structural observation programs and other related data
See our full list of information required on construction documents for commercial projects. Please submit 2 full sets of plans for commercial construction.
5. Complete and submit your building permit application
Download the building application form and complete the required fields.
- General building permit application form
- Pool permit application form
- Sign permit application form
- Demolition application form
Submit it to the Building and Zoning division, including any required site plans and supporting documents. You can submit your application:
- In-person: Office of the Building Official, 201 East Jefferson Ave
- By mail: City of Effingham, attention Chief Building Official, P.O. Box 648, Effingham, IL 62401
- By email, only if documents are less than 25MB: CRoedl@EffinghamIL.com
After you submit your application, we will review your plans. Depending on the nature of the project, the review could involve several departments.
The Building Official’s office will determine compliance with these types of regulations:
- Building codes
- Plumbing, mechanical, electrical
- Accessibility code
- Zoning, including required parking
- Lot coverage and setbacks
- Building height and density requirements
The Fire department will check for compliance with fire safety requirements.
How long will it take?
We review applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
We are committed to processing your application as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our goal is to complete the initial check within the following time frames:
|Type of project||Initial plan check timeframe|
|Minor commercial and residential (examples: non-structural tenant improvements, residential remodels and additions, single family homes, signs)||4 weeks|
|Moderate (examples: structural tenant improvements, commercial additions up to 5,000 square feet, changes of occupancy)||6 weeks|
|Major (example: new commercial buildings)||8 weeks|
How are corrections, clarifications, and changes made?
We will contact you when the initial review of your application is complete. If your application cannot be approved, we will provide you with a list of corrections that are needed.
Minor corrections can be made on the original plans submitted.
If major changes are needed, or if there are a lot of corrections, you will need to correct the base drawings and resubmit revised plans. We will redistribute your revised plans to the departments and divisions who requested corrections.
This review generally takes less time than the initial review. Our goals for subsequent reviews are:
- Minor projects - 2 weeks
- Moderate projects - 3 weeks
- Major projects - 4 weeks
What fees do I need to pay?
Depending on the type of project, you will have to pay permit fees. In addition to the permit fees, there may be other fees involved.
How do I get my permit?
Once we have determined that your application meets all code requirements, we will contact you and let you know it’s been approved. You will need to:
- Pay fees
- Make sure your contractor is registered
We will then issue your permit and you can begin construction.
How long is my permit valid?
From the day you pick up the permit, you are allowed 180 days (6 months) to begin work on your project. If you do not start work within that time frame, your permit will expire.
You have up to 18 months to finish your project once the permit is issued. You can apply for one 6-month extension. The fee for the extension is $100.