Frequently Asked Questions

Unless development and construction is something you are involved in daily, you may have a great many questions. The process itself - going from an idea, to plans, through review, to issuance of permits, scheduling inspections, and closing a permit, can be a little different from one project to the next and often results in questions even from veterans. Below you will find a list of questions that come up regularly and a little guidance on that point. We will be building this list as time permits and new questions come into the office so please check back often or reach out with your suggestions.

Questions related to Fees

What are the cost for submitting plans for an IRC residential project (plans review)?

The following fees are required for the permitting of projects for 1-and 2-family residential buildings, townhouses, and associated accessory buildings. These fees help off-set the time and travel for field inspectors who are working to ensure the contractor and/or owner has clear direction on how to meet the requirements of the code and that the project does not experience delays or additional costs because of preventable issues during the construction process.

1-and 2-Family Dwellings, Townhouses and Residential Accessory Buildings
$0.00 up to and including $2,000.99 total valuation $50.00
$2,001.00 up to and including $50,000.99 total valuation $50.00 for the first $2,000 plus $4.50 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$50,001.00 up to and including $100,000.99 total valuation $266.00 for the first $50,000 plus $4.00 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$100.001.00 up to and including $500,000.99 total valuation $466.00 for the first $100,000 plus $3.50 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$500,001.00 up to and including $1,000,000.99 total valuation $1,866.00 for the first $500,000 plus $3.00 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$1,000,001.00 or more total valuation $3,366.00 for the first $1,000,000 plus $2.50 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
Structure Relocation Permit*
$100.00
*Fee is in addition to any permits required for the Foundation and/or Repair/Renovation of the building  
Total Demolition Permit $55.00 for the first story plus $25.00 for each additional story

 

 

 

 

 

What are the fees for submitting plans for an IBC commercial project (plans review)?

The following fees are required for the review of construction drawings associated with an IBC commercial project. These fees help off-set the time invested by the plans examiners to ensure the contractor and/or owner has clear direction on how to meet the requirements of the code and that the project does not experience delays or additional costs because of preventable issues during the inspection process.

All Buildings and Structures not classified as IRC Residential

$0.00 up to and including $50,000.99 total valuation

$55.00

$50,001.00 up to and including $100,000.99 total valuation

$110.00

$100,001.00 up to and including $200,000.99 total valuation

$220.00

$200,001.00 up to and including $300,000.99 total valuation

$330.00

$300,001.00 up to and including $500,000.99 total valuation

$440.00

$500,001.00 up to and including $1,000,000.99 total valuation

$550.00

$1,000,001.00 up to and including $1,500,000.99 total valuation

$660.00

$1,500,001.00 up to and including $2,000,000.99 total valuation

$770.00

$2,000,001.00 up to and including $2,500,000.99 total valuation

$880.00

$2,500,001.00 up to and including $3,000,000.99 total valuation

$990.00

$3,000,001.00 or more total valuation

$1,100.00

 

The initial fee payment for the review of construction documents provides for the initial evaluation by the review groups and two (2) resubmittals for the verification of corrections or inclusion of additional information. If the plans are not permittable after three (3) review cycles, additional fees will be assessed based on the offices where approvals are outstanding. The following fees will be assessed on review cycle four (4) and greater

Additional review fee - any of the following: Building, Zoning, KUB, Planning, Mechanical, Electrical, or Plumbing

$100.00

Additional review fee - Engineering

$100.00

 

 

 

 

What are the fees for issuance of an IRC residential project (building) permit?

The following fees are required for the permitting of projects for 1-and 2-family residential buildings, townhouses, and associated accessory buildings. These fees help off-set the time and travel for field inspectors who are working to ensure the contractor and/or owner has clear direction on how to meet the requirements of the code and that the project does not experience delays or additional costs because of preventable issues during the construction process.

Work beginning prior to issuance of a permit will occur a penalty of an additional 100% of the calculated permit fee (double fees). Trade work performed without permit may result in the building project permit being locked until the appropriate permits are issued.

1-and 2-Family Dwellings, Townhouses and Residential Accessory Buildings
$0.00 up to and including $2,000.99 total valuation $50.00
$2,001.00 up to and including $50,000.99 total valuation $50.00 for the first $2,000 plus $4.50 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$50,001.00 up to and including $100,000.99 total valuation $266.00 for the first $50,000 plus $4.00 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$100.001.00 up to and including $500,000.99 total valuation $466.00 for the first $100,000 plus $3.50 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$500,001.00 up to and including $1,000,000.99 total valuation $1,866.00 for the first $500,000 plus $3.00 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$1,000,001.00 or more total valuation $3,366.00 for the first $1,000,000 plus $2.50 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
Structure RelocationPermit*
$100.00
*Fee is in addition to any permits required for the Foundation and/or Repair/Renovation of the building  
TotalDemolition Permit $55.00 for the first story plus $25.00 for each additional story

 

 

 

 

 

What are the fees for issuance of an IBC commercial project (building) permit?

The following fees are required for the permitting of projects for either commercial buildings or IBC residential buildings. These fees help off-set the time and travel for field inspectors who are working to ensure the contractor and/or owner has clear direction on how to meet the requirements of the code and that the project does not experience delays or additional costs because of preventable issues during the construction process.

Work beginning prior to issuance of a permit will occur a penalty of an additional 100% of the calculated permit fee (double fees). Trade work performed without permit may result in the building project permit being locked until the appropriate permits are issued.

Commercial & IBC Residential Buildings
$0.00 up to and including $2,000.99 total valuation $50.00
$2,001.00 up to and including $50,000.99 total valuation $50.00 for the first $2,000 plus $4.50 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$50,001.00 up to and including $100,000.99 total valuation $266.00 for the first $50,000 plus $4.00 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$100.001.00 up to and including $500,000.99 total valuation $466.00 for the first $100,000 plus $3.50 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$500,001.00 up to and including $1,000,000.99 total valuation $1,866.00 for the first $500,000 plus $3.00 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
$1,000,001.00 or more total valuation $3,366.00 for the first $1,000,000 plus $2.50 for each additional thousand or fraction thereof
Structure Relocation Permit*
$100.00
*Fee is in addition to any permits required for the Foundation and/or Repair/Renovation of the building  
Total Demolition Permit $55.00 for the first story plus $25.00 for each additional story

 

 

 

What are the fees for issuance of a mechanical permit?

The following fees are required for the permitting of mechanical work associated with both IBC commercial and IRC residential mechanical installations. These fees help off-set the time and travel for field inspectors who are working to ensure the contractor and/or owner has clear direction on how to meet the requirements of the code and that the project does not experience delays or additional costs because of preventable issues during the construction process.

Work beginning prior to issuance of a permit will occur a penalty of an additional 100% of the calculated permit fee (double fees).

Mechanical Permit

Application Fee

$35.00

HVAC and Refrigeration Equipment *

$5.00 each

*In addition, fees for alterations, replacement and/or extension of heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems shall also be based upon total Btu input of all appliances.

Rate of $10.00 per 100,000 Btu or fraction thereof

Gas Appliances (water heaters and boilers prohibited) *

$5.00 each

*In addition, fees for installation or replacement of gas appliances shall also be based upon total Btu input of all appliances.

Rate of $10.00 per 100,000 Btu or fraction thereof

Make-Up Air System

$5.00 each

Gas Piping Only (New, Alteration or Extension - No Appliances Included) *

$10.00

*Each appliance outlet shall have a gas tap installed, whether or not the appliance is actually installed at the time the gas system is installed.

Gas Tap

$5.00 each

Duct and Exhaust Systems

$5.00 each

 

What are the fees for issuance of an electrical permit?

The following fees are required for the permitting of electrical work associated with both IBC commercial and IRC residential electrical installations. These fees help off-set the time and travel for field inspectors who are working to ensure the contractor and/or owner has clear direction on how to meet the requirements of the code and that the project does not experience delays or additional costs because of preventable issues during the construction process.

Work beginning prior to issuance of a permit will occur a penalty of an additional 100% of the calculated permit fee (double fees).

Electrical Permit Fees

Application Fee

$35.00

Temporary Meter Center

$30.00

New Construction, Additions & Alterations of One- and Two-Family Dwellings or Townhouses *

With electric service up to 150 amps*

$75.00

With electric service 151 to 200 amps*

$80.00

With electric service 200 to 400 amps*

$100.00

*The associated fees only apply when the electrical work is associated with an IRC project (building) permit.

IBC Commercial projects, IBC Residential projects and IRC Residential maintenance (no project permit)

General Equipment

Receptacles, Switches and Luminaires

$0.50 each

Disconnect or Breaker

$5.00 each

Electric Heaters or Solar Systems (kW)

0 KW to 3.5 KW

$2.00 each

4.0 KW to 10 KW

$4.00 each

10.5 KW to 25 KW

$10.00 each

Per KW over 25

$0.10 each

Appliances

Electric Appliances

$3.00 each

Connecting Gasoline Dispensing Pumps

$10.00 each

Main Disconnect Panel - New Installation or Upgrade

0 amps to 200 amps

$15.00

201 amps to 800 amps

$50.00

801 amps to 3000 amps

$100.00

3001 amps to 6000 amps

$200.00

Feeders and Sub-Panels - New Installation and Upgrade

Feeder and Sub-panel, up to 100 amps

$5.00 each

Additional 100 amps or fraction thereof for an individual subpanel

$3.00 each

Transformers or Banks of Transformers

0 KVA to 50 KVA

$10.00 each

Over 50 KVA to 100 KVA

$10.00 each

Over 100 KVA

$20.00 each

Electric Motors

Less than 1 HP

$2.00 each

1 HP to 10 HP

$4.00 each

More than 10 HP to 20 HP

$5.00 each

More than 20 HP to 50 HP

$5.50 each

More than 50 HP

$6.00 each

Electric Signs

0 VA to 2000 VA

$5.00 each

Over 2000 VA

$10.00 each

Other Equipment

Each Welder, Generator Connection, Power Rectifier, X-Ray Apparatus or Other Special Equipment

$10.00 each

Low Voltage Systems*

* Charges apply per floor of installation

Audio Wiring and Sound Systems

$15.00 each

Community Antenna and Cable TV Systems

$15.00 each

Information Technology Wiring

$15.00 each

Intrinsically Safe Wiring System

$15.00 each

Low-Voltage Lighting

$15.00 each

Network-Powered Broadband Communications System

$15.00 each

Optical Fiber Wiring System

$15.00 each

Burglar Alarm System

$15.00 each

Other Equipment

$15.00 each

 

 

 

What are the fees for issuance of a plumbing permit?

The following fees are required for the permitting of mechanical work associated with both IBC commercial and IRC residential mechanical installations. These fees help off-set the time and travel for field inspectors who are working to ensure the contractor and/or owner has clear direction on how to meet the requirements of the code and that the project does not experience delays or additional costs because of preventable issues during the construction process.

Work beginning prior to issuance of a permit will occur a penalty of an additional 100% of the calculated permit fee (double fees).

Plumbing Permit Fees

Application Fee

$35.00

Water Service Connection (New or Repair)

$6.00 each

Interior Water Distribution Piping (New, Repair, Alteration or Extension)

$11.00 each

DWV Drainage and Vent Piping (New, Repair, Alteration or Extension)

$6.00 each

Building sewer (New Installation)

$75.00 each

Building sewer (Repair or Replace)

$11.00 each

Plumbing Fixtures and Equipment

Grease Interceptor

$6.00 each

Roof Overflow or Roof Drain System

$6.00 each

Plumbing Fixtures and Non-Gas Appliances

$6.00 each

Vacuum Breakers, Hose Bibs or Backflow Devices

First device

$6.00

Each Additional device

$0.50 each

Gas Piping and Gas Appliances

Gas Piping Only (New, Repair, Alteration or Extension - No Appliances Included) *

$10.00

*Each appliance outlet shall have a gas tap installed, whether or not the appliance is actually installed at the time the gas system is installed.

Gas Taps

$5.00 each

Gas Appliance (water heater and boiler only) *

$5.00 each

*In addition, fees for installation or replacement of gas appliances shall also be based upon total Btu input of all appliances.

Rate of $10.00 per 100,000 Btu or fraction thereof

 

Utility Site Work (does not apply to building sewer or water line)

Common Water Main (total length)

$0.40 per linear foot

Common Sewer Main - without manholes (total length)

$0.20 per linear foot

Common Sewer Main - with manholes (total length)

$0.40 per linear foot

Manholes

$50.00 each

 

 

 

What are the fees for inspections?

Your permit fees cover the initial required inspections and one reinspection for code compliance. Multiple reinspection attempts on same violation will result in reinspection fees. Reinspection fees must be paid before the permit will accept new inspection requests.

Reinspection Fees

First Reinspection

$0.00

Second Reinspection

$25.00

Third Reinspection

$50.00

Subsequent Reinspection

$50.00 each

 

What are the fees for permit renewal?

Permits are valid for 365 days from the date of issuance. Permits must be closed or renewed prior to their expiration to prevent the issuance of a NOV (Notice of Violation) against the property. Having a NOV open on the property can create issues when you want the sell a property, apply for permits for property improvements, seek financing/refinancing with a lending institution, or have an insurance claim at the property.

Permit Renewal Fees

Minimum

$50.00

Maximum

25% of original permit fee
not to exceed $1,000.00

 

What are the fees for licensing?

Registrations for building contractor and individuals performing work under a State of TN exemption do not have associated fees. MEP contractor and installer license fees are incurred at license issuance and renewal (license will be valid for 365 days from fee payment).

 MEP License Fees - Issuance & Renewal

Application Fee (Issuance Only)

$30.00

Plumbing Contractor License

$300.00

Plumbing Installer License

$150.00

Mechanical Contractor License

$300.00

Mechanical Installer License

$150.00

Electrical Contractor License

$300.00

Electrical Installer License

$150.00

Electrical LV-PL Installer License

$150.00

 

 

       

Questions related to Plans Review

What is the International Residential Code (IRC) and when does it apply?

The International Residential Code (IRC) was created to serve as a complete, comprehensive code regulating the construction of single-family houses, two-family houses (duplexes) and buildings consisting of three or more townhouse units. All buildings within the scope of the IRC are limited to three stories above grade plane. For example, a four-story single-family house would fall within the scope of the International Building Code (IBC), not the IRC. The benefits of devoting a separate code to residential construction include the fact that the user need not navigate through a multitude of code provisions that do not apply to residential construction in order to locate that which is applicable. A separate code also allows for residential and nonresidential code provisions to be distinct and tailored to the structures that fall within the appropriate code’s scopes.

The IRC contains coverage for all components of a house or townhouse, including structural components, fireplaces and chimneys, thermal insulation, mechanical systems, fuel gas systems, plumbing systems and electrical systems.

The IRC is a prescriptive-oriented code with some examples of performance code language. It is often said that the IRC is the complete cookbook for residential construction. It is important to understand that the IRC contains coverage for what is conventional and common in residential construction practice. While the IRC will provide all of the needed coverage for most residential construction, it might not address construction practices and systems that are atypical or rarely encountered in the industry. The IRC is meant to be all inclusive for typical residential construction and it relies on other codes only where alternatives are desired or where the code lacks coverage for the uncommon aspect of residential construction. Of course, the IRC constantly evolves to address new technologies and construction practices that were once uncommon, but are now common.

 

 

What are the cost for submitting plans for an IRC residential project?

The following fees are required for the review of construction drawings associated with an IRC residential project. These fees help off-set the time invested by the plans examiners to ensure the contractor and/or owner has clear direction on how to meet the requirements of the code and that the project does not experience delays or additional costs because of preventable issues during the inspection process.

One- and Two-Family Dwellings

New Construction

$60.00

Additions and Alterations

$35.00

Swimming Pool, Garage or other Accessory Structures

$35.00

 

The initial fee payment for the review of construction documents provides for the initial evaluation and two (2) resubmittals for the verification of corrections or inclusion of additional information. If the plans are permittable after three (3) review cycles, additional fees will be assessed based on the which offices are approvals are outstanding.

Additional review fees (Building, Zoning, KUB, Planning, Electrical)

$100.00

Additional review fees (Engineering)

$100.00

 

What plans are required for a residential project?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

 

What is the International Building Code (IBC) and when does it apply?

The International Building Code (IBC) is a model code that provides minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare of the occupants of new and existing buildings and structures. The IBC is fully compatible with the ICC family of codes.

The IBC addresses structural strength, means of egress, sanitation, adequate lighting and ventilation, accessibility, energy conservation and life safety in regard to new and existing buildings, facilities and systems. The codes are promulgated on a 3-year cycle to allow for new construction methods and technologies to be incorporated into the codes. Alternative materials, designs and methods not specifically addressed in the code can be approved by the building official where the proposed materials, designs or methods comply with the intent of the provisions of the code (see Section 104.11).

The IBC applies to all occupancies, including one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses that are not within the scope of the IRC. The IRC is referenced for coverage of detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses as defined in the exception to Section 101.2 and the definition for “Townhouse” in Chapter 2. The IRC can also be used for the construction of live/work units (as defined in Section 419) and small bed and breakfast-style hotels where there are five or fewer guest rooms and the hotel is owner occupied. The IBC applies to all types of buildings and structures unless exempted. 

 

 

What are the cost for submitting plans for an IBC commercial project?

The following fees are required for the review of construction drawings associated with an IRC residential project. These fees help off-set the time invested by the plans examiners to ensure the contractor and/or owner has clear direction on how to meet the requirements of the code and that the project does not experience delays or additional costs because of preventable issues during the inspection process.

All Buildings and Structures not classified as IRC residential 

$0.00 up to and including $50,000.99 total valuation

$55.00

$50,001.00 up to and including $100,000.99 total valuation

$110.00

$100,001.00 up to and including $200,000.99 total valuation

$220.00

$200,001.00 up to and including $300,000.99 total valuation

$330.00

$300,001.00 up to and including $500,000.99 total valuation

$440.00

$500,001.00 up to and including $1,000,000.99 total valuation

$550.00

$1,000,001.00 up to and including $1,500,000.99 total valuation

$660.00

$1,500,001.00 up to and including $2,000,000.99 total valuation

$770.00

$2,000,001.00 up to and including $2,500,000.99 total valuation

$880.00

$2,500,001.00 up to and including $3,000,000.99 total valuation

$990.00

$3,000,001.00 or more total valuation

$1,100.00

 

The initial fee payment for the review of construction documents provides for the initial evaluation by the review groups and two (2) resubmittals for the verification of corrections or inclusion of additional information. If the plans are not permittable after three (3) review cycles, additional fees will be assessed based on the offices where approvals are outstanding. The following fees will be assessed on review cycle four (4) and greater

Additional review fee - any of the following: Building, Zoning, KUB, Planning, Electrical

$100.00

Additional review fee - Engineering

$100.00

 

 

Do I have to have an architect or engineer prepare the drawings?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

How long does it take to get my plans approved and a permit issued?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

Can I meet with the City while planning my project?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

Can I schedule a meeting with a plans examiner to discuss my review results?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

Is there a way to expedite my review?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

How do I change my plans once they are approved?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

     

Questions related to Residential Projects

Can I do any work without a permit?

Most of the time it is best to assume you will need a permit. In some cases, the requirement for a building permit can be waived by the building official, after review of the application. Just because a project is deemed 'exempt' from building permit requirement it does not mean that you are prohibited from pulling a permit. Often, homeowners will still pull an alteration permit for exempt work (for example changing out kitchen cabinets, replacing trim and painting) to have a record of work and inspection. Documenting updates with permits is an easy way to increase property value and prevent questions when selling the home or filing an insurance claim.

The following types of work may be provided an exemption from the requirement for a building permit, when associated with an approved zoning plans review:

  1. One-story detached accessory structures, provided that the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet.
  2. Fences not over 7 feet high.
  3. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
  4. Sidewalks and driveways.
  5. Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches deep.
  6. Swings and other playground equipment.
  7. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional  support. 
  8. Decks not exceeding 200 square feet in area, that are not more than 30 inches above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling and do not serve the exit door required by Section R311.4.

Receiving an exemption from permit requirements does not that any work being done will not have to meet current code requirements, just that you will not have permit or inspection requirement. Another perk to pulling a permit for exempt work is that you will gain access to a City inspector to help guide you in your project. 

 

 

How long is my permit valid?

Permits are valid for 365 days from the date of issuance. Permits must be closed or renewed prior to their expiration to prevent the issuance of a NOV (Notice of Violation) against the property. Having a NOV open on the property can create issues when you want the sell a property, apply for permits for property improvements, seek financing/refinancing with a lending institution, or have an insurance claim at the property.

Permit Renewal Fees

Minimum

$50.00

Maximum

25% of original permit fee
not to exceed $1,000.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do I need a permit to building a shed/storage building on my property?

Yes.  You will need to submit a site plan that shows the dimensions of the lot, all existing structures, the size of the structure and the setbacks.  You will also need to provide an elevation or details documenting the height. This information will be reviewed and, once approved, will result in the appropriate permit. Some projects may qualify for exemptions provided by the code and will only require a certification permit be issued.

 

I have started work and want to go a different direction, How do I correct my permit?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

What information do I need to include on my construction drawings?

Submittal requirements will vary depending on the scope of your project. New construction and additions to a home will require the most information, minor alterations and accessory building will generally require less detail.

This is a minimum plan review checklist, additional information may be added by the applicant, required by the plans examiner or requested in the field, by the inspector, to determine code compliance. Permit holders remain responsible for meeting all code requirements, regardless if the subject item was a review item or not. This minimum review checklist is intended to help prevent any major non-compliance issues from being built in the field, which typically results in significant cost and delays on a project.

All plans submitted for permitting are required to match site plan layouts exactly, including I-Joist, floor and roof truss layouts. 

General
  • Name of the person preparing the construction documents; such as the designer, engineer, or architect, with address and phone number.

  • If plans are stamped by a State of Tennessee architect or engineer, their seals are required to be signed and dated.

  • Indicate heated square footage, garage square footage, unheated square footage, deck/porch square footage.

  • Number of bedrooms on the plans are required to match permit application.

  • All options being used need to be clearly marked. Please eliminate or mark out options not being used.

  • Drawings to scale (minimum 1/8").

  • Details demonstrating compliance with energy code requirements for insulation (slab, floors, walls and ceiling) and windows/doors. 

Elevations / Floor Plans
  • Front, sides and rear elevations

  • Building height, mean roof height and story height

  • Roof pitches

  • Glazing U-Factor

  • Rooms labeled as to their intended use. Please do not use bonus, flex or office.

  • Mark all unheated / unfinished areas.

  • Room, hallway and stair dimensions

  • Window and door sizes and locations

  • Label and show all fireplaces, prefab or masonry. 

Foundation / Floor Framing
  • Continuous exterior footing width and thickness, installation depth and reinforcement (if required/provided).

  • Foundation wall type, size and reinforcement (if required).

  • Pier footing size width and depth, reinforcement (if required). 

  • Pier sizes and solid cap

  • Slab footings and layouts for mono-slabs

  • Slab thickness and details, reinforcement (if required). 

  • Crawl space ventilation or enclosed crawl space marked on plans with installation details

  • Crawl space access size

  • Girder size, number of members, species, grade and spans

  • Floor joist direction, size, on-center spacing, species, grade and spans

  • If using I-Joist, plans or layout will need to list manufacturer, series, size and on-center spacing. I-Joist design is required to be approved by architect or engineer of plans.

  • If using open web floor trusses, layout from manufacturer required.

  • Openings in floors, headers and trimmers marked

  • Floor sheathing type and thickness 

Wall & General Framing
  • Wall stud size, on-center spacing, species and grade

  • Wall header size, number of members, species, grade and spans

  • Number of jack and king studs for each opening

  • Beam type or species/grade, size, number of members and span

  • Stud column size, number of members, species and grade for beams and point loads

  • Wall sheathing type and thickness

  • Wall bracing method used

  • Portal/narrow wall bracing detail, if required

  • Point loads marked with load path and blocking requirements

  • If brick veneer used, list lintel requirements. 

Roof Framing
  • Roof rafter plan or layout from manufacturer if using engineered roof trusses

  • Roof rafter direction, size, on-center spacing, species, grade and spans

  • Roof tie down method and continuous load path

  • Collar ties and rafter ties size and spacing

  • Ridge board, hip and valley sizes

  • Ceiling joist direction, size, on-center spacing, species, grade and spans

  • Openings in ceilings or roof, headers and trimmers marked

  • Roof sheathing type and thickness

  • Roof ventilation or plans marked as unvented with installation details

  • Attic access size and location 

Decks and Porches
  • Dimensions – outside dimensions, spans between supports posts and footings.

  • Footing sizes – width, depth and locations.

  • Posts size.

  • Beam sizes, number of members and spans between supports.

  • Post-to-Beam attachment details

  • Floor joist direction, size, on-center spacing and spans.

  • Floor joist-to-Beam attachment details.

  • Bracing details for free standing decks and decks attached to structures with a floor height 4’ or taller.

  • Deck to house band attachment details.

  • Header size, number of members and spans between posts

  • Ceiling joist direction, size, on-center spacing and spans

  • Roof rafter direction, size, on-center spacing and spans

  • Ridge size
     

Note: All structural information must comply with the 2018 International Residential Code and all adopted ordinances. Structural elements not found in 2018 International Residential Code must be sealed by a professional engineer or architect registered in the State of Tennessee or comply with the requirements of the 2018 International Building Code.

What information do I need to include on my site plan?

A preliminary site plan is required before permits are issued. A final (as-built) site plan may be required prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy and/or release of a bond. A good resource for a site plan is a survey issued for a recent mortgage or refinance closing or KGIS maps

A site plan includes the entire lot, drawn to scale, with the following:

  • Lot lines with dimensions and road frontage shown.

  • All existing and proposed buildings and structures with overall dimensions and, for proposed buildings and structures, the distance measured from all adjacent lines to the closest point of the proposed construction.

  • Existing and proposed driveways, parking spaces, patios, pool decking, and walkways with area and surface material identified.

  • All existing and proposed impervious surfaces clearly itemized and listed in square feet and as a percentage of the net lot size. This can be shown on the site plan or an attached impervious calculation worksheet.

  • All easements, buffers and flood hazard areas (FEMA or flood-prone soils).

  • Parcel identification number (PIN), address of property, north arrow, scale of the site plan, bar scale, and date map prepared (and any revision dates). 

  • If parcel is less than 5 acres, scales of 1" = 20', 30', 40', 50', 60' or 100' are acceptable..

  • For a parcel of 5 acres or more, scales of 1” = 100’, 200’, 300’, 400’ or 500’ are acceptable in addition to the scales listed above and may be on any size paper. If the paper is larger than 11” x 17”, or the scale is smaller than 1”=100’, an inset or separate sheet must also be provided showing the proposed construction at a scale of 1” = 20’, 30’, 40’, 50’, 60’ or 100’.

  • As-built surveys must be labeled as such, be completed by a professional land surveyor and include all the above. The date the as-built is prepared must be on or after the initial building final.

Further information regarding requirements of the Storm Water Programs may be obtained from City of Knoxville Development Services at 865-215-3669.

**These are minimum requirements. Special circumstances or small lots may necessitate further requirements**

 

 

Do I have to have an architect or engineer prepare the drawings?

We live and work in an environment which is largely manmade. Tennessee law recognizes the need "to safeguard life, health and property, and to promote public welfare" in that environment by ensuring that design professionals — architects, engineers, landscape architects, and registered interior designers — who shape that environment are properly qualified. Through the State Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners, the State sets standards for the education, experience, and performance of those who wish to practice these professions. 

In general, all structures must have plans prepared by design professionals registered by the Board. Plans and specifications for all structures classified as "assembly," "educational," and "institutional" in the Building Code must also be prepared by architects or engineers.  

The only exceptions to this requirement are:

  • Structures classified as "business," "factory-industrial," "hazardous," "mercantile," "residential" and "storage" occupancies which are:
  1. Less than three (3) stories in height; AND
  2. Less than five thousand square feet (5,000 sq. ft.) in total gross area;
  • One-family and two-family dwellings and domestic outbuildings pertaining thereto; 
  • Farm buildings not designed or intended for human occupancy; and
  • Sign that do not exceed either of the following limits (unless failure of the support system for the sign is likely to cause harm to people or property):
  1. Any portion of the sign is twenty feet (20') or more above the ground level; or
  2. Any portion of the sign is fifteen feet (15') or more above the ground level, and the sign has more than one hundred twenty square feet (120 sq.ft.) of total sign face area.

It should be noted that the law provides that any awarding authority, public or private, may require the services of a design professional for any project.

I am remodeling my house AND adding on. What permit do I pick?

Whenever your project involves multiple permitting options you should always pick the most involved permit option to ensure all your bases are covered. 

  • If you are adding a master suite (addition) and remodeling the kitchen (alteration) you would pick - Residential Addtion
  • If you are building a detached garage (new) and adding a deck on the house (addition) you would pick - Residential New Construction

If you have questions please call the office at 865-215-3669 or email us at bldginspections@knoxvilletn.gov

Are plans required for a demolition permit?

A demolition permit is required when any building or structure is to be completely demolished. Partial demolitions or interior demolition is classified as an ALTERATION.

Typically, a demolition permit can be issued over-the-counter. In some instances, a site plan documenting the building(s) to be removed and/or a certificate of appropriateness needs to be submitted into the permanent records before the permit can be released. When this is the case you will be provided a link to upload your documents.

 

 

Questions related to Commercial Projects

Are there any projects exempt from requirements for a building permit?

Any person who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure is required to first make application to the Building Inspections office.  In some cases, the requirement for a building permit can be waived by the building official, after review of the application.

The following types of work may be provided an exemption from the requirement for a building permit, when associated with an approved zoning plans review:

1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided that the floor area is not greater than 120 square feet (11 m2). 

2. Fences not over 7 feet (2134 mm) high. 

3. Oil derricks. 

4. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or IIIA liquids. 

5. Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity is not greater than 5,000 gallons (18 925 L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width is not greater than 2:1. 

6. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route. 

7. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work. 

8. Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery. 

9. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep, are not greater than 5,000 gallons (18 925 L) and are installed entirely above ground. 

10. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems. 

11. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings. 

12. Window awnings in Group R-3 and U occupancies, supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support. 

13. Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches (1753 mm) in height.

Exemption from permit requirements does not grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of the code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. 

 

What codes will be used to review my project?

Projects for construction or alteration of buildings will be evaluated using both the construction codes and the zoning ordinance during the plans review process. 

Examples of IBC commercial type of projects would be:

1. Building any new structure other than a one-family dwelling, two-family dwelling, or townhouse. If you are working on an IRC residential project please back up and choose the residential projects option.

2. Changing the use or occupancy of an existing building or structure. 

3. Alterations, additions, or repairs to existing commercial buildings or structures.

 

What happens if my project doesn't require me to modify the building but I still need a CO?

Projects that do not involve the modification of a building will likely end up being a Certification project. These projects are primarily evaluated using the Zoning Code and do not generally permit any associated work or only allow work classified as exempt by the construction codes. 

Examples of this type of permit include:

1. Site reconfigurations not impacting a building or structure and not impacting accessibility of the site. 

2. Exterior modifications that are exempt from permit in established form districts throughout the city.

3. Accessory structures under 200 sq. ft. that exempt from building permits. 

 

How long is my permit valid?

Permits are valid for 365 days from the date of issuance. Permits must be closed or renewed prior to their expiration to prevent the issuance of a NOV (Notice of Violation) against the property. Having a NOV open on the property can create issues when you want the sell a property, apply for permits for property improvements, seek financing/refinancing with a lending institution, or have an insurance claim at the property.

Permit Renewal Fees

Minimum

$50.00

Maximum

25% of original permit fee
not to exceed $1,000.00

 

 

 

 

 

Questions related to KnoxPlans (ProjectDox)

How do I log in if this is my first time using the site?

The first time you are invited to join a project in KnoxPlans, you will receive an email notification. This email will contain a temporary password and a link to KnoxPlans. KnoxPlans uses pop-up windows (browser windows with no toolbars). If no KnoxPlans window appears when logging on, there may be a pop-up blocker installed that is preventing the main project window from opening. Allow pop-ups for the KnoxPlans site (pop-up blockers can be configured to allow pop-ups for specified sites).

To log in:

  1. Click on the “Login to KnoxPlans” link. This will automatically open a login screen web browser. You can also open a web browser and type in your KnoxPlans URL (https://knoxville-tn-us.avolvecloud.com/Portal/Login/Index/KXTN-Prod).

  2. Type or paste the temporary password into the Password Field and click Login. The password is case sensitive and must be entered exactly as it was provided to you in the email. If you have never logged into KnoxPlans with your default password, then you will not be able to reset your password. Once a successful login has occurred with a default (unencrypted) password, you will be taken to the Profile screen to enter a security question and answer, then the "Forgot Password?" link will be available to you. 

  3.  Once you successfully log in, you will be taken to your user profile, where you will need to reset your password, create a security question    and answer, and enter some additional information about yourself.

  4. Fill in the required fields (those marked with a red asterisk * (and highlighted), and click “Save.” You can return to this screen at any time by clicking on the “Profile” button on the Main Tool Bar.

  5. After saving your profile information, you will be taken to the homepage, where your list of active projects will display.  If workflow is part of the configuration, then assignments, referred to as tasks may also display on the home page in the Task tab.

 

 

 

How do I log back into the system to see my projects?

Logging in to KnoxPlans a second time (and every time after that); you will use the password that you entered in your User Profile page. After logging in, you will be taken to your home page. From this page, you can view the projects you have been invited to and all tasks for you to complete.

 

How do I reset my password?

If you ever forget your password, click on the “Forgot Your Password?" link below the Login button. The use of the “Forgot Your Password?” link requires that the user has logged in at least once and no longer has a temporary password associated to their account

 

 

How do I find my project in the system?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

How do I update my user information?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

My project doesn't show up in my list. Where is it?

It is possible that the project you are looking for is listed under another email address. When you complete an application, if you enter an address other than the one that you usually use (maybe your personal email as opposed to the company email) the system will create a new account and attach the project there. 

If you contact the system administrator they should be able to locate your project and relocate it to the correct account. Note: Relocating projects to another account cannot be done to groups of projects.

How do I know if I have to do something for my project?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

What do I need to do to complete my task?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

The system is telling me to fix file naming. What am I supposed to do?

The new version of KnoxPlans has a particular naming convention which is designed to provide better information to the review groups and allows for new tools which can speed up review times. All construction drawings uploaded into the drawings folder will have to adhere to the following standards:

  • Files must be .pdf sheets
  • Files must be single page pdf files
  • Files must follow the naming convention of the system

The file naming convention is: one or two characters (see list) and three digits, optional period and two digits, dash, sheet name.

Examples of file naming:

  • Sheet# is A201, File Name: A201-Exterior Elevations
  • Sheet# is C1.1, File Name: C001.01-Grading
  • Sheet# is T00, File Name: G000-Cover Sheet

Naming Convention Characters

  • A: Architectural sheets
  • S: Structural sheets
  • E: Electrical sheets
  • P: Plumbing sheets
  • M: Mechanical sheets
  • C: Civil sheets
  • AS: Architectural Site Plan
  • LS: Life Safety Plan
  • FP: Fire Protection Plan
  • L: Landscaping Plan
  • G: General Sheets or Cover Sheet

 

 

Questions related to Permitting

Why are permits required?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

When is a permit required?

The projects most likely to require a permit are those that change the structure or use of a building or have the potential to create unsafe working conditions. For example, you will likely need a building permit to:

  • add or remove walls
  • change the use of a room (such as by converting a garage to a living room)
  • change the piping in your house
  • re-roof your house, or
  • demolish a portion of your house.

Projects that usually won't require a permit include:

  • repainting your house
  • adding kitchen cabinets
  • replacing certain kitchen appliances

installing floor coverings

 

How long does it take to get a permit?

Timeframe for receiving a trade permit is often a few business days, construction related permits will vary depending on the complexity of the project. Our new online services are helping speed up this process but we live in a busy and ever growing city so the demand for permits is high. Please be patient when applying for permits. Please remember to monitor the email provided during the application phase as pertinent information and links will often be communicated through that email. 

How much does a permit cost?

Permits fees are based on the scope of work and valuation of the project. In computing the job cost, the estimate should include the total value of the work for which a permit is being issued including materials (both building materials and associated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment and other permanent systems) and all associated labor.  

Fee Schedule

 

When can I begin work?

Work should not begin until a permit has been issued. Application of a permit does not allow work to be started. If work is started without obtaining a permit additional fees may be added or a stop work order can be issued.

Work should not be started with the intent that a permit will be obtained later. Only in rare emergency repair occurrences outlined in IBC and IRC chapter 1 can work take place and a permit be issued after work is completed. 

What happens if I do work without a permit?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

Who can pull the permit?

The project scope and valuation will determine who can pull a permit. There are licensing laws from the state level, and guidelines from the City of Knoxville, which have been put in place in an attempt to help to protect property owners and the general public by ensuring that only qualified individuals are performing work on property in our community. Permits must be pulled by an individual who has been issued a valid license for the type of work they want to perform.

Can I be issued permits to perform work on my residential property?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669..

 

Can I be issued permits to perform work on my commercial property?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

Can I be issued permits for work if a contractor is actually doing the work?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

 

Questions related to Inspections

How soon can I get my inspection?

Inspections can generally be scheduled for the next day if requested prior to 2pm. If the next day is not available prior to 2pm it means that the department already has more inspections scheduled than there is staff available.

What inspections are required?

All permits require a final inspection. If your project is a commercial property (not a 1-and 2-family dwelling), you will need final inspections from both the fire inspections office and the building inspections office. You may schedule the 940-Fire Final Inspection and 960-Building/Sign Final Inspection the same day IF you provide notice on both requests that you have doubled-up inspections.

The permit type and scope of work will determine what other inspection types are required. Your inspector is the best person to talk to about when they need to be involved. If your project included the review of plans, the back of your permit will provide you a basic list of required inspections based on the construction drawings submitted.

What do I do if covered up work that has not been inspected?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

Is someone required to attend the inspection with the inspector?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.

 

How do I get my inspection results?

Why did I receive an invoice for a reinspection fee?

The FAQ list is currently under development. Additional information will be available soon but, in the meantime, please call the office with your questions at 865-215-3669.