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Will County Land Use Department Reminds Residents, Builders of Updated County Building Codes
Anastasia Tuskey
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Will County Land Use Department Reminds Residents, Builders of Updated County Building Codes

The new year brings newly updated building codes from the Will County Land Use Department. The codes are updated every six years to align with international building codes.

“The primary mission of the county’s Building Department is to ensure public safety through the enforcement of codes, standards, and ordinances for any residential or commercial building,” said Brian Radner, Director of Development Services for the Land Use Department. “The new year offers an opportunity for any resident or business planning to build on unincorporated property to familiarize themselves with the updated building codes, which ensure that safe standards are followed.”

The code changes are based upon updates from the International Code Council and are designed to establish minimum guidelines to safeguard public safety, general health and welfare, structural strength, means of egress facilities, sanitation access, energy conservation, and fire and other safety hazard requirements. The Land Use Department customizes the updated international codes to align with Will County ordinances.

Examples of changes include allowing battery-operated smoke detectors to be used in areas of a home where work is occurring during additions, repairs, or alteration. Additionally, detached accessory buildings are required, with some exceptions, to have a weather-resistive barrier. Ordinances have also been reorganized to include sections on building, wood framing, roofing, existing residential buildings and fire-resistant construction.

Only permits applied on or after January 1st will be required to follow the code changes. Projects applied for before the new year will follow the older codes.

The updates to the building code coincided with ongoing efforts to simplify the building process and reduce administrative costs for residents and small business owners. In 2021, the Land Use Department and County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant worked with the County Board to reduce the administrative fees for most building projects.

“I have worked to lower the costs and administrative overhead for residents and small business owners, whether it’s seeking approval for a large-scale construction project or building a new backyard deck,” said County Executive Bertino-Tarrant. “A significant example was switching to a flat-rate fee schedule from a cost of construction fee schedule, which would have increased permit fees during a time of high building material prices.”

The newly adopted codes can be found at: https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/willcounty/latest/willcounty_il/0-0-0-7763.
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