STORM DAMAGE AND PERMITS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Following major storm events, contractors will arrive in a community and go door-to-door or make phone calls to try to earn your business making home repairs. While many of these businesses do fine work, some unscrupulous companies may overcharge, perform substandard work, or not complete the work at all. The Village of Oswego requires permitting of most kinds of contracted work that is needed after major storms, and also requires companies soliciting this kind of work to register with the Village.
Q: Who should I hire to fix my damage?
A: Trust your instincts and do your homework. Many companies will be trying to get your work. Take your time, ask lots of questions and check their ratings and reputation by calling references or researching them online – a simple Google search will bring up others’ experiences. Ask for a written, itemized estimate and comparison shop between contractors. If something doesn’t seem right to you, there are many other companies that can perform similar work. The Village of Oswego DOES NOT endorse any contractors, and no contractors should be advertising as endorsed by or affiliated with the Village.
Q: What work do I need to get a permit for?
A: Permits help ensure that code standards are followed for your home improvement and are required for most types of alterations and repairs. Some examples include: roofs, siding, windows, doors, fences, decks, sheds, gazebos, air conditioners, water heaters, changes to or replacement of driveways, sidewalks, changes to or replacement of electric, gas, plumbing, and mechanical systems as well as remodeling, additions, new construction, demolition and more. See the Building & Zoning website at http://www.oswegoil.org/government/departments/building-and-zoning.aspx for applications and more information.
Q: Do I have to have a contractor?
A: No, you can do your own work on your property if you are capable. Permits and inspections are still required on projects when the work is done by the owner-occupant.
Q: Does my contractor need to be registered?
A: Yes, all contractors must be registered. Registration applications, information and requirements are available at the Building & Zoning counter at Oswego Village Hall, 100 Parkers Mill, Oswego, or on our webpage, http://www.oswegoil.org/government/departments/building-and-zoning.aspx
Q: Are permit applications available on your website?
A: Yes, most of our forms, applications, and information are available as PDFs on our webpage at http://www.oswegoil.org/government/departments/building-and-zoning.aspx
Q: Do companies need permits to sell door to door?
A: Yes. Solicitors’ permits are required to go door to door. Applications and processing are performed by the Oswego Police Department, 3355Wooley Road, Oswego. If a contractor comes to your door, you may ask to see their permit to ensure they are registered. You may report unregistered solicitors to Oswego Police at 630-551-7300.
Q: What are the specific requirements for my project and where do these requirements come from?
A: Oswego follows the 2009 International Code Council Codes with local amendments to ensure that home improvement and repair projects meet internationally recognized standards for safety. Summary handouts, which give more detailed specifications that your project must meet, are available for most of the types of permits listed above.
Q: How long will it take to get a permit?
A: Most permits are processed and approved in 10 business days or fewer. Roofs, water heaters, A/C replacement, and other minor permits may be as fast as 48 hours depending on the complexity of the project and how many permits are in process.
Q: How much does a permit cost?
A: Permit prices are set by Village Ordinance to be a sliding scale based on complexity and scope. Most permits start at $96.00 and increase from there. Combining work to be done at the same time under the same permit and review process can save you money.
Q: When do I pay for the permit?
A: You pay when the review is done and the permit is ready to be picked up.
Q: How do I know if the contractor got a permit, and what do I do if my contractor gets the permit?
A: A yellow permit card is required to be plainly visible on the property while the work is being done until the final inspection is complete. Follow up to be sure the project passed the final inspection. Your contractor should provide you with a copy of the final inspection report. If not, you may request one from the Village.
Q: Do I need a permit to put a contractor’s sign in the yard?
A: No, but there are some rules. Temporary signs must be freestanding, set back at least 10 feet from the lot line, not taller than six feet, and not illuminated. Signs can go up no earlier than three days before the project begins and must be taken down five days after the completion of the project or the expiration of the building permit. In residential lots, signs can be no bigger than 6 sq. ft., with a maximum of one sign in each yard fronting a street. In commercial lots, signs can be no bigger than 3 sq. ft. with a maximum of one sign per contractor per street frontage.
Still have questions?
Talk to a live person by calling the Building & Zoning Department at 630-551-2312. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Or visit the Building & Zoning website at http://www.oswegoil.org/government/departments/building-and-zoning.aspx.
A downloadable version of this document is available here.