CHICAGO (CBS) — Work to repair flood damaged homes in some Chicago suburbs was just beginning on Friday, more than a week after the floods, as water levels were just beginning to fall for some communities.

WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports, in northwest suburban Des Plaines, like many other areas, city managers were cautioning homeowners about the safest way to get started.

“In some areas, and especially the hardest-hit areas, we’re still waiting for water to recede, but we’re just starting to have people come in for permits for this,” said Alex Dambach, the director of community and economic development in Des Plaines.

Dambach said he’s waiting for a tide of contractors coming in to get the necessary paperwork.

“If in doubt, assume you do need a permit,” he said.

Dambach said if you’re just replacing a carpet, tiling, or drywall, that work is fine without a permit. But just about anything else requires one.

“If you’re replacing insulation, if you’re replacing water heaters, boilers, any other wired-in appliances that are connected to the plumbing, gas lines, you will definitely need a permit for that,” he said. “

The permit process was being expedited in Des Plaines and many other communities because of the flood, so homeowners might be able to get it done at the counter at the city’s buildings department.

“These will be permits that we can turn around very quickly,” he said.

When tossing out flood-damaged property, contaminated material can go out in the trash, but electronics should be recycled.