Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you need a building permit?
A building permit is an official approval issued by the City of Townsend that allows you or your contractor to proceed with construction or demolition on your property. It is a license required by City Code that grants legal permission for a property owner to construct, enlarge, alter, repair or demolish a structure or equipment on their premises.
Building standards are intended to ensure the safety of current and future owners/occupants and a building permit is intended to ensure that the owner and contractor comply with local and state building ordinances for land use, zoning, and construction.
Securing a building permit before beginning work proves that your project has been reviewed and meet the necessary building standards and requirements of the City of Townsend.
How to obtain a building permit?
- Download the Residential application here and the Commercial permit here.
- Pick up in person at City Hall.
- Call the City Building Inspector at (865) 448-6886.
When Do I Need a Building Permit?
A building permit is required for any substantial repairs, alterations, or new construction or additions to a residential or commercial property. Other projects that require a building permit include: grading, excavation, filling of land and parking areas, and relocating or replacing plumbing or appliances that are built into a structure. Any renovation (interior or exterior) that will change the structure or shape of the home requires a building permit. This includes knocking down loadbearing walls and adding new windows or door openings.
NEED A PERMIT : DO NOT NEED A PERMIT :
Replacing driveway Painting
Adding new windows Wallpapering
Adding new door frames Changing water faucets
Adding or expanding a deck Replacing wall plates
Building a fence Removing old carpet/flooring/deck
Adding a garage Cutting down trees
Building a storage shed Replacement of heat/air units
Replacing hot water heaters/dishwashers
Questions about whether a permit is required for repairs or work on a residence should be directed to the City Building Inspector at (865) 448-6886.