Garage - Construction & Demolition

This informational guideline has been developed to identify the minimal submittal requirements for a permit application to build a new detached garage or demolish an existing garage. The information provided contains, and is not all-inclusive to, the City of Wheaton’s adopted Building Codes, Ordinances, and inspections required for this type of project. Please review this information and call the phone numbers provided should you have any questions.

Required Submittals
The following documents, forms, and/or permits must be submitted prior to plan review. These forms are available on the Building and Code Enforcement website and can be accessed throughout this document by following the appropriate link.

  1. Building Permit Application
    When filling out an Building Application for Permit, include all required information that is pertinent to the proposed scope of work such as site address, description of work, contractors to be used on the job and their respective costs per trade, the total cost of work to be performed, complete applicant contact information, etc.
  2. Grading Plan Requirements Type I
    Please submit two (2) copies. Please call our Development Engineer at 630-260-2066 should you need further information. Please refer to the document titled Grading Plan Requirements Type I for specific requirements.
  3. Curb/Driveway Permit Application
    If the existing drive approach will be either removed or altered, please complete the Curb, Driveway, and Public Walk Application for Permit.

Architectural Plan Requirements
Provide two (2) copies of Architectural Plans that indicate the following information:

Plan View Detail:

  • All walls, windows, doors, stairs, stoops, and any other pertinent structural items; Framing member sizes, spacing, species, span, and direction. Include all other pertinent data (such as specified point-load bearing members, etc.) that will be necessary to complete a comprehensive plan review;
  • Location of the electrical service panel and the size of service; All electrical receptacles, lighting, switches, smoke alarms, and all other electrical appliances;
  • Light and Vent calculations for all of the rooms within and affected by the proposed scope of work;
  • Design loads utilized in the design of the home.

Cross Section Detail:

  • Footing dimensions and depth below grade;
  • Foundation wall materials, thickness, reinforcing, dampproofing and drain tile (if applicable); Basement floor materials, thickness, vapor barrier, and stone base;
  • Floor joist size, species & grade, spacing, floor sheathing specifications, sill plate size, anchor bolt size, and spacing;
  • Wall heights (both exterior frame and foundation walls);
  • Size and spacing of the wall studs; top and bottom plate specifications; Fireblocking materials and technique;
  • R-value and the location of the required insulation; Exterior and interior wall finishes and materials;
  • Rafter and collar tie sizes, species & grade, and spacing;
  • Ceiling joist size, species & grade, and spacing;
  • Roof sheathing, ice & water shield, and roofing material specifications.

Stair Detail:

  • Riser height (maximum 7-3/4”) and tread depth (10” minimum measured from the nosing of the treads);
  • Minimum stairway height (minimum 6’-8” measured vertically from the nosing of the treads);
  • Guardrail details (minimum 36” in height, spindles spaced so that a 4” sphere cannot pass through);
  • Stair handrail details (must be 34”-38” above the nosing of the treads, extend the entire length of the stair run, and must comply with the graspability requirements).

Elevations Detail:

  • All of the elevations for the proposed detached garage;
  • Overall height of the proposed detached garage from grade, as well as foundation depths below grade;
  • All material indications, lighting fixtures, roof ventilation, etc.

Current Codes
During construction, it is important that all workers abide by the Codes and Ordinances of the City of Wheaton, especially those that are identified in the Demolition and Construction Regulations Guideline.

See Current Codes information that identifies codes that may be applicable to your construction project.

Significant Codes - Zoning
For complete information on zoning requirements for detached garages, see the Wheaton Zoning Ordinance, Articles 3.4A.8 & 24.3. The Zoning Ordinance can be viewed on the City’s website or purchased at City Hall. If you have additional questions, call the Planning Department at (630) 260-2080.

Size Requirements
Maximum Ground
Floor Area
700 square feet; but cannot exceed 30% of the rear yard area (Rear Yard Area is measured from the furthest rear wall of the house to the rear lot line.)
Note: Accessory structures are included in the “Floor Area Ratio” and “Lot Coverage” calculation for the property.
Maximum Height
Garage cannot exceed one-and-one-half story, based on a calculation of the attic area under the roof. No numerical height limit.
Half Story: A partial story under a sloping roof, where the floor area of 4 ft. clearance (floor to roof decking) does not exceed 60% of the ground floor area of the garage.
Setback Requirements
4 feet separation from the principal structure (house), measured from foundation to foundation. Intervening space can be roofed to form a breezeway but not enclosed.
Front or Corner Side Yard
Same as required for the principal structure.
Interior Side Yard*
8% of the width of the lot or 10 feet, whichever is less.
Rear Yard*
8% of the width of the lot or 10 feet, whichever is less; but in no case less than 5 feet.
* Setback reduction for one-story garage: If a garage is located more than over 40 feet behind the front yard setback line, the interior side yard can be reduced to 3 feet, rear yard reduced to 5 feet.
* Easements: Garage shall be located outside any dedicated easement. Easements are shown on the plat of survey. Garages that encroach upon an easement will require permission from the affected public utilities and the Engineering Department. See “Easement Encroachment Letters” handout for more information.

Permit Fees
For associated Planning, Engineering and Building fees, please refer to Appendix B7 Fee Schedule per the Wheaton City Code - "Community Development Fees".

For associated Sewer and Water fees, please refer to Appendix B8 Fee Schedule per the Wheaton City Code - "Public Works/Sewer & Water Fees".

New detached garages will require the majority of the following inspections. The actual list of required inspections will be based upon the scope of work of your project. The list of inspections that your project will require will be attached to your approved plans at the time of permit issuance.

Type of Inspection
When to Call
Once forms are in place, but prior to pouring concrete.
Underground Electrical and/or Plumbing
After the pipe is laid, but the pipe must be inspected prior to concealment.
Garage Slab
Once prepared, but prior to pouring concrete.
Rough Framing/Rough Electrical
Once all rough-ins are completed, but prior to concealment.
After the entire project is completed.

To schedule an inspection, please call 630-260-2050 between 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Plumbing inspections are available on Tuesday or Thursday only. Please allow for a minimum of 24 hours notice when scheduling inspections. Plumbing inspections must be scheduled no later than 3:30 p.m. the day before the desired inspection date. For more details, refer to Inspection Scheduling Guideline.

Note: If a new Drive Approach (Apron) is to be installed, please call 630-260-2116 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to schedule a pre-pour inspection.


Demolition of Garage
A permit from the City of Wheaton is required for the demolition of a garage. This will allow staff to confirm if the use of existing slab complies with Zoning or if the slab is removed and regraded, where the stormwater will flow. At the end of the month, a copy of your demolition permit will be sent to the Milton Township Assessor’s Office to allow them to remove the former garage off of your tax records.

Required Submittals

  1. Building Permit Application
    Fill out an Application for Permit; the name of property owner and cost of work.
  2. Plat of Survey
    Provide a plat of survey that has been marked up to indicate which structure will be demolished and indicate where any existing electric to the garage will be disconnected. Indicate if the concrete slab is to remain, for review by City Planner.
  3. Grading Plan
    If the concrete slab is to be removed and area regraded, provide (2) copies of a grading survey that complies with Grading Plan Requirements Type I for review by the Engineering Department.

Significant Codes - IEPA
Under the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule contractors who renovate or partially demolish pre-1978 residential buildings must be lead-safe certified by EPA and use lead-safe practices. This rule does not apply to total demolition of a structure. However, the IEPA recommends the use of lead-safe practices during total demolition activities. At a minimum, surfaces should be wetted when possible to control the spread of leaded dust into the air. Lead-safe work practices minimize lead-based paint dust and debris generated during demolition activities. These practices include: containing dust inside the work area, using dust-minimizing work methods, conducting a careful cleanup during the demolition.

Required Inspections

  1. If the slab will be retained, call 630-260-2050 to schedule a final inspection of slab to confirm no hazards such as protruding anchor bolts from the former garage slab.
  2. If the slab will be removed and area regraded, call 630-260-2050 to schedule a final grading inspection by Engineering staff.

Contact Us
City of Wheaton Building & Code Enforcement Department
Address: 303 W. Wesley Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone Calls:

  • Inspection Scheduling - 630-260-2050
  • Planning & Zoning Department - 630-260-2080
  • Engineering Department - 630-260-2868
  • Fax - 630-260-2195 (contractor registrations, certificates of insurance & bonds)

Business hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Revised 5/21/2019