What is a good resource for first time rehabbers to learn about Chicago laws, pitfalls, links for contractors?

Asked by Peter, Chicago, IL Fri Nov 2, 2007

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Ruthless, , 60558
Fri Nov 2, 2007
Yes, Angies List and the Better Business Bureau. Pick up specific local code variances (from National Code) from the building department. Try to talk with some of the building inspectors and ask for their advice. See if they have a file of complaints from homeowners about contractors. See if they have an approved list or recommendations. In La Grange Park when I looked at the complaint file, more than half of the complaints were about Father and Sons. But if you ask the inspector, he can't say, "Don't use Father and Sons." In Oak Park, they won't give you recommendations but when I asked if Georges Concrete was on their approved list, the response was, "Yes. (sidebar) He is great!" They might say something like, "Yes, Budget Right Kitchens is registered to do work in Oak Park but we have received a complaint."

Two plumbing companies I would recommend include: Aleck Plumbing 708-799-4670 and Morning, Noon & Night Plumbing: 773-880-0072. Heat & Air I would recommend Assured Air 708-839-5760.

Good luck,
0 votes
Robert Darrow, Agent, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fri Nov 2, 2007
Hi Peter,

Angie's List is a great resource for finding contractors for rehab and construction. Also try the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) here in Chicago.

Stop by your Alderman's office to talk with him or her about rehabbing in your neighborhood. Ravenswood straddles four different wards so you'll need to carefully search for your alderman. Do a google search for Chicago Alderman or Chicago Ward Map. You might be in Ward 32, 40, 44 or 47.

A qualified Realtor will have references for attorneys to help you create condominium associations, find accountants and - of course - locate great properties.
0 votes
Suzanne Walk…, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Fri Nov 2, 2007
Start here:
Next, find a Realtor who has experience working with people who rehab properties. That Realtor will be your best asset.
You are very wise to ask the questions you asked and I encourage you to continue to research for your answers.
Susan Walker
0 votes
ian cockburn, Agent, New Orleans, LA
Fri Nov 2, 2007
Look at my website...get a good nsight into what it takes to build, be your own contractor...and the same basis for rehab exists in Chicago as in New Orleans with the exception of the basements...in Chicagoland you have to be careful about basements flooding, the effect of the resulting humidity as a welcome place for mold, etc.

Once you have an understanding of what it takes to rehab, with the pricing in your mind, add on the taxes and permit requirements specific to Cook County, (and there are several).
Web Reference:  http://www.iansellsnola.com
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