Construction Noise & Permits

My next-door neighbors tore up their back patio yesterday. This morning, at 7:20 a.m., the construction crew returned to resume work, throwing tools around the yard and cleaning, scraping, and preparing the elevated platform from which the concrete would be poured. I went outside and politely told them that they would have to wait until 8 a.m. because the City’s ordinance doesn’t permit construction noise before then. The worker who was already at work on the platform told me I hadn’t heard noise yet. I called the police.

These neighbors have a history of not getting permits. A year or two ago they installed a garden apartment without getting the necessary paperwork, and the City took them to court. I checked the City’s online permit site this morning, and there’s no record of a permit for this patio work, either. It’s now 8:30 a.m., and the machines are blasting away, drills and other noisy equipment producing deafening noise about 20 feet from my bedroom. Even my dogs are looking for a quiet place to settle. If you have good neighbors they may alert you to major work they’re planning to do..

FYI: The City’s construction ordinance prohibits construction noise before 8 a.m. Workers can set up, but they cannot run equipment or do any actual construction work. They must stop work no later than 9 p.m.

If you suspect there’s no permit, or don’t see one and can’t ask the property owner or construction workers for it, you can check Building Permits Online.  All you need is the first letter of the street and the address. The City’s noise ordinances apply to construction work; check City of Chicago Noise Ordinance.

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