Permit & Process Guide

Applying for a Permit
Please adhere to the following when applying for a permit.  All permits, licenses and applications listed below are available on our Permits & Licenses and Applications & Guides page.  Just click on the Download Permits Licenses & Guides button above.

Once you have all of the documents necessary for your permit, submit them to Building & Life Safety.  Only fully completed permit submittals can be accepted for review and approval. For some projects, an initial plan review fee will be due at the time of the application.

Building Permits
Building Permits must be obtained before work begins. Work started without a permit will be stopped, and the responsible party(ies) will be charged four times the permit fee.

Contractor's or Homeowner As Contractor License
A Contractor's License is required for anyone, other than the property owner, who is doing work in the Village of Arlington Heights, even without compensation. This process involves filling out the contractor’s license application and paying all applicable fees.  If applicable, submit a "Homeowner as General Contractor" application.

Plan Review Fee
A plan review fee may be due when submitting an application. An additional permit fee may be due at when picking up permit.   A plan review fee covers the cost of reviewing the plan for compliance with Village codes. The permit fee covers the cost of inspections, office assistance and permanent storage of your documents. The plan review fees are paid at the time of application and the permit fees are due at the time of pick-up. 

Deviations from approved drawings require addendums to permit drawings and subsequent approvals by all applicable reviewers. Be sure to obtain permission from Building & Life Safety prior to making any changes to the approved plans. If the drawings change, a cover letter with the architect’s signature, seal and expiration date describing the change is required, as well as three new sets of architecturally clouded drawings.  If this involves changes to electrical and/or plumbing, a new electrical and/or plumbing permit application is also required.  If the plumber or electrician change, a new permit application is required with a copy of the new plumber/electrician’s license.  A letter from the owner stating the change from the former contractor to the new contractor is also required. If the general contractor or any of the subcontractors change, a letter from the owner stating the change from the former contractor to the new contractor is required. The new contractor is also required to be licensed in the Village of Arlington Heights.  For any changes made, an Addendum Permit Application is required. Revisions may take 2-3 weeks to process.

After receiving the final inspections, the applicant will be required to fill out the either the Request for Temporary Occupancy form or the Request for Final Occupancy form to receive the Certificate of Occupancy. The Building & Property Inspector who inspected the project will notify the applicant within 5 business days when the Certificate of Occupancy is ready.  

Guaranty Deposit Bond
A Guaranty Deposit Bond is required for all work that extends into public property such as curbs, walks, parkway trees, etc. The fee for the bond covers the cost of possible repairs and re-inspections.

Permit Review & Timeline
Building Services coordinates all interdepartmental permit reviews and plan reviews. Plan reviews verify that construction plans/drawings, proposed drawings for non-construction changes and all requested revisions are in compliance with building, electrical, fire-safety, plumbing, other building control system's codes and Village design standards. 

Permit Pickup
The applicant will be contacted when a permit is approved and ready for pick-up. All contractors must be licensed in the Village of Arlington Heights prior to the issuance of any permit. Anyone, other than the property owner, who is doing work on a project, even without compensation, must be registered as a contractor. This process involves filling out the contractor’s license application and paying all applicable fees. Electrician, plumbers and fire alarm contractors are exempt from this process. 

An additional permit fee will be due at the time of pickup. Some fees may include a refundable bond, which provides assurance that work will be completed in the manner for which it was approved and that all work is inspected, as required. A fee will be deducted from the bond for each failed inspection, including projects which are not ready when the inspector arrives. If no extensions have been granted, the bond will be forfeited on those permits not completed within one year. 

If applicable at the time of issuance, any notes from the Village plan reviewers will be transferred to the official “Job Site” copy at that time. A “Job Site” copy is a set of approved plans by the Village stamped and signed by the Director of Building & Life Safety. The “Job Site” copy is to remain on the job site for the Village Inspectors. Inspections will not be made unless this set is available at the construction site. The “Job Site” copy is issued to the applicant, when the permit is issued . This “Job Site” copy also includes revisions and addendums that were submitted. 

The transferring of comments to all sets of plans is the responsibility of the applicant and any omission does not relieve the applicant from complying with the comments. Work authorized by a permit must begin within six months from the date the permit was issued and must also be completed within one year.  

View our Fees document for a list of fees for Building Permits, Plan Reviews, Systems and other structures requiring fees.

Do I Need a Permit?
Any owner, or authorized agent, of a residential home and private property, condominium, townhouse, restaurant or commercial building who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the Municipal Code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the Village and obtain a required permit.  The following is a list of projects that require a Village of Arlington Heights permit. The list is not all- inclusive:

  • Fences, decks and stairs, concrete, asphalt or paver brick driveways, walkways, patios, sunrooms and stoops
  • Demolitions, additions, extensive remodeling projects
  • Grading changes, retention walls, window wells, sheds, gazebos, pergolas, or any other landscaping involving topographical changes
  • New electrical service or additional devices requiring new lines, new structures and any structural changes, plumbing work, sump pump installation , underground lawn sprinklers, water heaters, generators, heating and air conditioning installation or replacement
  • Roofing, re-roofing, sewer repairs or clean-outs, shoring and foundation repairs, windows, swimming pools and hot tubs.

The following work does not require a permit: 

  • Painting
  • Carpeting
  • Trim work
  • Flooring

How Can I Get Help With a Permit?
If you have any questions regarding the permit application, process, inspections or requirements, please contact Building & Life Safety by phone at 847.368.5560, email, or visit the Building & Life Safety department, located on the first floor of Village Hall at 33 S. Arlington Heights Road.

For new single family homes, additions that substantially increase the overall square footage or modify the exterior appearance of the home, and commercial projects, please be sure to first discuss your project with the Planning and Community Development Department at 847.368.5200 regarding applicable requirements.