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Building Department

Utility Reimbursement Rehabilitation Program

The city of Rock Falls is please to present the Utility Reimbursement Rehabilitation Program.  The City is dedicated to enhancing our community by encouraging residential rehabilitation and property improvements for both owner-occupied and rental properties.  The Utility Reimbursement Rehabilitation Program provides financial incentives to new property owners in Rock Falls to help alleviate utility costs during rehabilitation/remodeling. 

Utility Reimbursement Rehabilitation Program

Printable Brochure



Building Inspector Hours

The Building Department is open from 8am to 5pm.

Normally the building inspector can be contacted by calling the office at (815) 622-1108, or use the email links below to contact them:

Building Inspector
Mark Searing

Building Staff

Sheila Mortenson
Sylvia Frey


The Building Department is responsible for providing permits to residents with remodeling, roof, heating, air conditioning, plumbing (including sewer work on property), concrete, paneling, ventilating, storage sheds, fences, garages (attached & detached) projects. Please use the checklists  in the download section to help with your project.

Call before you DIG!
Codes-Which codes are applicable for working in Rock Falls?

Planning Commission Forms

Changes to Renovation, Repair & Painting Lead Law

State Health Department to Hold Informational Meetings

Click Here for More Meeting Information & Locations

Thank you. If you have any further questions, please contact me directly at (815) 622-1108.

Mark A. Searing
Building Inspector


Underground cables for various utilities are buried throughout Rock Falls. These services can be damaged or ruptured by an assortment of digging instruments; a small bend, cut, nick or dent can create problems months later. The ramifications of damaged equipment and interrupted service are serious. Damaged cable can endanger property and public safety-it can also be expensive and time consuming to repair.

Before you plant trees or shrubs, erect a fence, or undertake any construction work, state law requires anyone digging to call JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) a free service through a single toll-free phone number (1-800-892-0123) that can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to call for the locating and marking of underground utility facilities. JULIE alerts utility members in the area of your intent to dig.  Any one digging in Rock Falls, including home owners and contractors must call JULIE a least two working days before digging.

PLEASE NOTE!  Sewer laterals from the main to a residence or building ARE NOT  marked.  Water lines to a residence or building are only marked to the stop box.

Colors used to mark buried facilities are:

  • Yellow - gas or oil

  • Red - Electric

  • Orange - telephone or cable TV

  • Blue - water

  • Green - sewer

Illinois Association of Energy Raters & Home Performance Professionals (IAER) Introduces New Certification Training in Accordance with Updated Illinois State Energy Code Mandating Air Leakage Testing

Duct & Envelope Tightness (DET) Verifier certification offers excellent opportunity for homebuyers and contractors to prove homes are well built

CHICAGO, December 5, 2012 –On January 1 2013, when Illinois adopts a new statewide building energy code, every home built will need to be tested for tightness of the building envelope and the ductwork.  In order to help supply competent professionals everywhere across the state, a new certification training will be offered by the non-profit Illinois Association of Energy Raters & Home Performance Professionals (IAER).

The certification, called the Duct & Envelope Tightness (DET) Verifier, puts individuals on a state-published list of third party professionals, along with the IAER's other HERS and BPI Certified members.  Assistance was provided by the Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to establish the one-day training curriculum in Illinois, and the IAER received a generous donation of training equipment from Retrotec (http://retrotec.com), a leading maker of blower doors and duct tightness testers.

Scheduled in coordination with building officials across Illinois, the one-day, $250 course will be taught by IAER trainers, and certified DET Verifiers will be Quality Assured on an annual basis by the IAER's HERS Raters and BPI Certified Professionals.  The widespread opportunity for professionals, and the common availability of blower door and duct tightness testing providers will put the state of Illinois above most other states with regard to building excellence.  The 2012 IECC requires a tight building envelope (the air sealing and insulation shell) and tight ducts, plus dedicated fresh air ventilation- all of these will lead to greater comfort and air quality for occupants, as well as improved durability and energy efficiency.

Register for the DET Verifier Certification Trainings at: http://detverifier.eventbrite.com

For more about the 2012 IECC visit: http://ildceo.net/energycode

About the IAER: The Illinois Association of Energy Raters & Home Performance Professionals (http://www.ilenergyraters.org) is a non-profit association of energy consultants and home performance contractors specializing in new and existing construction.  The members of the IAER use a 'Whole Home' approach to analyze building comfort, energy use, durability, and occupant safety. All professional members are certified by RESNET, BPI, or the IAER itself, and are monitored for Quality Assurance by the Association, which also provides ongoing training and support for members and the public.


Corbett Lunsford, Executive Director, email:  contact@ilenergyraters.org or 773.271.5310


Building Permit Checklist-This checklist is a recommended download for anyone doing any work within the City relating to building permits.  It is a simple checklist of things that owners should ensure that they address when they are applying for a building permit within the City.

New Residential Construction Checklist-This checklist is a recommended download for anyone building a new residential home in Rock Falls.

New Commercial Construction Checklist-This checklist is a recommended download for anyone doing any working on Commercial buildings in Rock Falls.

City Contact List-This is a simple contact list for departments that the City maintains.  It is often helpful to have this handy for questions relating to City owned utilities or Code questions.

Industrial Park Covenants-This is the list of requirements for building within the Rock Falls Industrial Park located off of Route 30 in Rock Falls.  Any questions regarding these Covenants should be directed to the Building Department.

City Zoning Map-This is the City Zoning map.  Every March this map is updated with new parcels and new zones. Please check with the Building department to ensure that any property in question has not been rezoned since the most recent map update.




  • 2012 International Building Code
  • 2012 International Residence Code for one and two family dwellings
  • 2011 National Electric Code
  • 2012 International Mechanical Code
  • 2012 International Existing Building Code
  • 2012 International Fuel and Gas Code
  • 2012 International Property Maintenance Code
  • 2012 International Fire Prevention Code
  • 2012 International Energy Conservation Code
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • City of Rock Falls Municipal Code
  • Illinois Accessibility Code
  • Illinois State Plumbing Code




Most generally, any remodeling being done on the inside/outside of your home will require a building permit.


before our office will issue building permits.

  • Electricians/HVAC/Plumbers/Roofers must show valid business licenses to confirm their current status for business operations.
  • Call our office (815) 622-1108 to verify current status of any contractor who is bidding on your project BEFORE finalizing any business transaction.
  • The owner of the property OR contractor must come IN PERSON to obtain this permit.
  • Depending on your project, the Building Inspector might require an on-site inspection BEFORE permit is issued.
  • Copies of city ordinances, resident's checklist and list of valid registered contractors can be obtained directly from our office which is located in the municipal complex at 603 West 10th Street, Rock Falls.


  • A written contract is required for projects over $1,000.00.
  • NEVER sign a contract with blank spaces or one that you do not understand.
  • As a resident, you have 3 business days after signing a contract to cancel if sale is made at your home.


Address:  Physical address of property and Owner's address.

Scope of Project:  What work is being done?

Name of Contractor:  Who is doing the work?

Cost of Project:  Contractor's bid or owner's receipts (if owner is doing work)

Required Signatures:  Owner or Contractor

Dimensions Information:  Size of addition, shed, garage, deck, driveway, sidewalk, etc.

PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE (815) 622-1108 if you have any questions.

GIS maps/Sidwell maps, copies of the city ordinance, and the checklist may also be obtained directly in the office which is located in the municipal complex at 603 W. 10th Street.



Building Permit ordinances begin in Section 5 (Building & Construction) of the City code book.


Planning Commission Forms

The building department also receives any correspondence for the Planning Commission.  Below are a couple of the forms that are required for the issues that would come before the planning Commission.

Rezoning Form- This form is used when someone wishes to change the current zone of their property.  Please download the form, fill it out and submit it back to the Building department, at 603 W. 10th Street, Rock Falls, IL 61071.

Variance/Interpretation of Zoning Map/Special Exception- This form is used when someone wants to apply for a variance from the Standard Zoning code requirements, when someone wants to have the Planning Commission examine the zoning map and interpret the map when there is a question and when someone wants to get Special Usage status for a project, such as when they want to create a cemetery in a residential zone, a child care facility in a residential zone or many other items, which are spelled out in sections 16-101, 16-121, 16-141, 16-145, 16-161, 16-181, 16-241and 16-270 of the Current Rock Falls Zoning Code.










603 W. 10th Street • Rock Falls, Illinois 61071 • 815.622.1100


2005 City of Rock Falls, Illinois

Last updated
08/07/2014 09:01:55 AM

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