Zoning & Building Safety:

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Zoning and Building Safety Department

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please remember that all of the Questions and Answers only apply to properties in Unincorporated Rock Island County. If you live in a city or village please check with their Building Department for their rules and regulations.

How can I find you?
The Rock Island County Zoning & Building Office is located at 1504 Third Avenue, Rock Island IL, 61201, on the Third Floor. Office hours are from 7:00-10:00 AM and 2:30-4:30 PM, Monday through Friday excluding holidays. From 10:00AM to 2:30 PM office staff is in the field.
When is the best time to call?
The Building Inspectors and Zoning Officials normal office hours are between 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM and 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM. Questions and permits should be made during the hours shown, otherwise, inspectors are in the field daily. Sorry for any inconvience.
What information do I need to obtain a building permit for my new home?
The plans you submit should have enough detail to allow someone with absolutley no knowledge of your project to be able to go build your project. Here are a few things you should have:
  • Approval from Environmental Health, a division of the Rock Island County Health Department for a Septic System.
  • A site Layout, Which is a simple drawing of where the structure will be located on the property, showing rough distances from property lines. The homeowner can do this; it does not need to be done by an architect.
  • Two sets of blueprints.
  • Engineered truss drawings, with a stamp from an Illinois licensed engineer.
  • A list of contractors (ex. Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC, etc
  • Erosion control plan
  • ResCheck or ComCheck
How do I get an address for my new home?

The Rock Island County GIS Department assigns all addresses within unincorporated areas. The Department will need a site layout showing property boundaries, where your driveway lies in relation to the main road and if your home is visible from the road. (Under most circumstance, you can usually obtain your address the same day you bring in your site layout).

If your new home is located within the jurisdiction of a municipality, you will need to contact that municipality to obtain an address.

Can I do the repair work or build my own home?
A homeowner can do the work on their home, but we do require proof of liability insurance from contractor's who would do the work.
Do I need a contractor's license to do work in Rock Island County?
Rock Island County does not charge a fee for contractors to be eligible to do work. We do require proof of liability insurance from all contractors. Plumbers and Roofers must be licensed with the State of Illinois.
How am I protected from fly-by-night contractors?
Make sure your contractor gets a building permit and you have a written contract with them. Rock Island County requires all contractors to register with the county and provide proof of liability insurance when they pull a permit. We do this to protect the homeowner in case a contractor or their employee would be injured on the homeowner's property. Please remember if your contractor does not get a permit, you could be held liable if they are injured, and you will receive no inspections to insure the work was done according to code. The State of Illinois has a Home Repair and Remodeling Act that requires contractors to provide a written contract.
What codes has Rock Island County adopted?
Click here to go to the Codes section of our website.
Where can I get Copies of these codes?
  • The International Codes may be purchased by visiting www.iccsafe.org.
  • The Natinaol Electric Code (NEC) may be purchased by www.nfpa.org.
  • Check the downloads section of this website.
How much land do I need to build a house?
This varies depending on where the property is located. The smallest parcels may be 20,000 square feet (just shy of 1/2 acre). If you are looking at a property that is in the extreme outlying areas, Rock Island County may require a minimum of 40 acres for a building site. Your best bet is contact Greg Thorpe Click to send e-mail.
Do I need a Building Permit?
Permits are required for all home improvements except carpet, paint and gutters. Fees vary with the value of the work being done using national averages, including labor. Persons not obtaining a permit PRIOR to beginning a project shall be charged double. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Is Ice & Water Barrier required ?

Model building codes do not require Ice & Water Barrier. Only those jurisdictions that specifically require it when they adopt their codes can require it. Rock Island County has had a history of ice damming and driving rains that allow ice and water to get under shingles. When we adopt our codes we do require a barrier. Your insurance company may require paper work or a letter from our office to show that we have adopted this requirement.


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Rock Island County Office Building (map ExternalLink.gif)
1504 Third Avenue, Room 305, Rock Island IL 61204-8624
Phone: (309) 558-3771      Fax: (309) 786-4456

      Hours: 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM - Monday thru Friday
Inspectors are in the field from 9:30 AM until 3:00 PM