A permit is required to install an awning on any commercial building. Submit the documents listed below for City approval; allow seven (7) business days for plan/permit review to be completed. The information provided will assist you with design and installation. These guidelines are by no means all-inclusive but they do identify the most critical requirements that are involved in this type of project. Please review this information and call us with any questions that you may have.

Associated Handouts & Applications
1) Application for Permit
2) Wheaton Zoning Ordinance 23.7.4
(Awning & Canopy Signs)

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

  1. Permit Application
    When filling out an 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, a total cost of work to be performed, complete applicant contact information, etc. Please refer to document titled Building Application for Permit.
  2. Plans and elevation indicating
    1. Dimensions of awnings;
    2. Height above walk and;
    3. Method of attachment (fasteners) to building.
  3. Samples:
    Provide color sample and material (fabric, vinyl, etc) sample of awning.
  4. Lettering:
    Provide plan of any letter and logos on awning including dimensions.
  5. If electric lighting is within the awning, provide:
    1. Name and address of electrician;
    2. Complete City of Wheaton Contractor Registration form;
    3. Copy of electrician’s license;
    4. Copy of $10,000 bond made out to the City of Wheaton.
  6. Landlord Approval:
    Provide a letter from the building manager or landlord approving the awning installation and design on the building.

Applicable Codes
The City of Wheaton has by ordinance adopted the following Building Codes for all residential construction within the City of Wheaton or has been adopted by the State of Illinois:

  • 2003 International Residential Code
  • 2002 National Electrical Code

See the document titled Current Codes that identifies codes that may be applicable to your construction project. (Chapter 22, Buildings and Building Regulations) under the applicable section headings for all of the modified sections.

Significant Building Code Requirements
The following code requirements are by no means all-inclusive, but they do identify the most critical requirements that are involved in this type of project. For additional City of Wheaton current adopted codes, see Codes and Design Criteria:

  • Awnings and canopies shall be designed for a uniform live load of 5 psf (0.240 kN/m2) as well as for snow loads and wind loads as specified in Sections 1608 and 1609. IBC 2003 1607.11.2.4
  • Structural members and systems and components and cladding in a building or structure shall be anchored to resist wind-induced overturning, uplift, and sliding and to provide continuous load paths for these forces to the foundation. IBC 2003 1609.1.3
  • Design snow loads shall be determined in accordance with Section 7 of ASCE 7, but the design roof load shall not be less than that determined by Section 1607. IBC 2003 1608
  • Awnings and canopies shall be designed and constructed to withstand wind or other lateral loads and live loads as required by Chapter 16 with due allowance for shape, open construction and similar features that relieve the pressures or loads. Structural members shall be protected to prevent deterioration. Awnings shall have frames of noncombustible material, fire-retardant-treated wood, wood of Type IV size, or 1-hour construction with combustible or noncombustible covers and shall be fixed, retractable, folding or collapsible. IBC 2003 3105.3
  • Provide information that the awning will meet the minimum wind load of 90 mph/40 psf and snow load of 25 psf live load. IBC 2003 1608,1609
  • Canopies shall be constructed of rigid framework with an approved covering that is flame resistant in accordance with NFPA 701 or has a flame spread index not greater than 25 when tested in accordance with ASTM E 84. IBC 2003 3105.4
  • Awnings constructed of light-transmitting plastics shall be constructed in accordance with provisions specified in Section 3105 and Chapter 32 for projections and appendages. Patio covers constructed of light-transmitting plastics shall comply with Section 2606. Light transmitting plastics used in canopies at motor fuel-dispensing facilities shall comply with 2606 except as modified by Section 406.5.2 IBC 2003 2606.10
  • The vertical clearance from the public right-of-way to the lowest part of any awning, including valances, shall be 7 feet (2134mm) minimum. IBC 2003 3202.2.3
  • Drainage water collected from a roof, awning, canopy or marquee and condensate from mechanical equipment shall not flow over a public walking surface. IBC 2003 3201.4

Significant Zoning Code Requirements
Letters or logo painted or otherwise affixed to any permissible awning or canopy is subject to the following regulations:

  1. Letters or logo shall not project above, below or beyond the physical dimensions of the awning or canopy.
  2. Letters or logo shall not be larger from top to bottom than twelve (12) inches provided, however, in the C-5 Zoning District letters or logos on awnings shall not exceed 1.5 square feet for every linear foot of wall frontage when such letters or logos are the only signage existing on the exterior of the establishment.
  3. Letter or logo shall donate only the name and address of the business conducted on the premises and/or a product or products produced or sold or services rendered herein.
  4. Awning or canopy sign shall maintain a free clearance to a grade of at least seven (7) feet.

Permit Fees
For associated Planning, Engineering and Building fees, please refer to Appendix B7 Fee Schedule entitled "Community Development Fees".

A final inspection is required for any awning on a commercial building. Please call 630-260-2050 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Allow a minimum of 24 hours notice when scheduling an inspection.

City of Wheaton main website -
International Building Codes -
Illinois Department of Health -
Direct link to view the actual Illinois Plumbing Code -

Contact Us
City of Wheaton Building & Code Enforcement Department
Address: 303 W. Wesley Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone: 630-260-2050
Phone Calls:

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

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

Revised 3/7/2017