Building Permits

Scott County Planning and Development issues building permits and performs inspections for unincorporated Scott County and, through an intergovernmental 28E agreement the department also for the Cities of Dixon, Donahue, LeClaire, McCausland, Panorama Park, and Riverdale.

For permit and inspection information for other cities in Scott County contact that city website.

Building codes adopted by Scott County

2015 IBC, IRC; the 2015 UPC; the 2014 NEC; and the 2015 UMC.

Do I need a building permit?

Some construction does not need a building permit from this office:

The following need a permit:

Building or installing:

  1. Decks or a patio cover
  2. Fireplaces and chimneys
  3. Garages or pole buildings
  4. Ventilation, heating or air conditioning supply or exhaust
  5. Swimming pool 24" or greater in depth (above or in ground)
  6. Tool or storage sheds over 120 square feet
  7. Fences 6 feet and over in height

Adding or changing:

  1. Rooms
  2. Dormers, bay windows or other wall openings
  3. Water heaters or any other parts of the plumbing system
  4. Furnaces, or any other parts of the heating and gas system
  5. Circuits, the electrical box or any other parts of the electrical system
  6. Aluminum, steel siding, wood and vinyl siding
  7. Load bearing walls to a porch, or within home
  8. Garage to a livable area
  9. Retaining walls over 4 feet in height

Replacing or Repairing:

  1. Roofing
  2. Termite damage (replacing siding, framing foundations, etc)
  3. Porches
  4. Existing stone, brick, or concrete


  1. Any structure, or part of a structure, or any other changes that affect the structure of any building, even a tool shed (over 120 square feet) on your property
  2. This requirement is to insure that demolished structures are disposed of properly and removed from the tax roles

How do I obtain a building permit?

To obtain a building permit for a new house or addition to a house several items must be filed and reviewed. When the plans are submitted for a new house, there will be a $100.00 charge to review the building and plot plans. This fee will be deducted from the building permit fee, which must be paid before a building permit is issued. In most cases, the review of the building and site plans can be completed in 3-5 days. Commercial types of construction may take seven to ten days.

When applying for a building permit, please submit the following:

  1. Plot Plan. This shows the lot boundaries, proposed location of the house, proposed distance from the house to property lines, and location of existing easements, roads, and structures. North arrow must be indicated.
  2. Legal description, such as the lot number and name of subdivision; quarter section, section and township name; or house number and street address if one has already been issued.
  3. Owners and builder’s names, mailing addresses, and phone numbers.
  4. Two sets of building plans. In general, this will include floor plans, a side-wall cross section, size and spacing of structural members and foundation and footing plans. Window size, location, and final grade location shall be noted if no elevation plans are filed.
  5. Engineered plans. These may be necessary for special construction designs. Such plans shall include the engineer's seal and signature and a statement that the plans comply with the International Construction Codes.
  6. All plans for a house or substantial improvement must be submitted with an RES check. The energy approval form through the Dept of Energy is available online at
  7. State electrical license for electrical contractors.