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

                                                                                       New countertops

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.

Certificate of Occupancy:

A business or new residence shall not be occupied, make a change in occupancy or  nature of the use of a building, or part of a building, until after the City Building Inspector has issued a Certificate of Occupancy.  A certificate shall not be issued until the premises has been inspected to determine that construction and remodeling is in compliance with the Townsend Zoning Ordinance and other relevant City ordinances and permits.

A Certificate of Occupancy does not authorize a business to open until any and all permits from the State of Tennessee and Blount County have been obtained.

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