About Construction Projects in Knoxville, TN
Knoxville’s stable economy, central location, and a wide range of jobs have led to rapid growth in recent years. As more people discover Knoxville, the city’s building sector has grown stronger. Local builders are familiar with Knoxville laws and soil conditions.
All Knoxville building projects worth more than $100 need a building permit. Building permits show construction meets the City of Knoxville’s building codes.
Licensed contractors can apply for building permits in person at the City Inspection Bureau. You’ll find this in Room 505 in the City-County Building. The Bureau opens on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Bring your project plans for Plans Review. This process can take up to 14 days.
You can check your permit application’s progress on the City of Knoxville website. Your permit is valid for the length of your project. You must start building within six months of your permit’s approval. You cannot stop working for more than six straight months. Otherwise, your permit will expire.
Building inspections ensure buildings meet Knoxville’s codes. You need the following inspections:
- Footing or underground
- Framing or rough-in
- Final inspection
Call (865) 215-4830 to schedule your inspections.
The City of Knoxville issues separate permits for:
- Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning
These types of work are not covered by building permits.
If you have any questions about your building permit or inspections, call your field inspector. If you still need points explained, call the Chief Inspector of Building.
Necessary Building Licenses
Knoxville builders working on projects valued at $25,000 need a Tennessee contractor’s license. You can’t get a building license in Knoxville without this license. Download the application form from the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance website. You must pass a building exam and the Tennessee Building and Law exam to get your license.
Tennessee’s Department of Commerce and Insurance processes licenses in four to six weeks. They are valid for two years.
Tennessee has a reciprocal agreement for builders with licenses in the following states:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Builders from these states don’t need to pass the trade exam to get a Tennessee contractor’s license. They must pass the Tennessee Building and Law exam.
You need general liability insurance to work as a builder in Knoxville. This policy protects you if someone files a lawsuit claiming they’ve been harmed by your work. If you employ other builders, you’ll also need workers’ compensation. You’ll need to prove you have these policies to get your Tennessee contractor’s license.
Many builders in Knoxville also take out the following policies:
- Builders Risk Insurance
- Property Insurance
- Business Vehicle Insurance
Best Equipment to Use
Knoxville lies within the Southern Appalachians. Like other local cities, the first capital of Tennessee has medium to fine soils made of the following:
- Sandstone bedrock
Use rough terrain manlifts and scissor lifts on rocky soils. Boom lifts and forklifts suit medium soil. However, they may struggle on loose fine soils. Assess your site and its soil to hire the right equipment.
With careful research, your firm can take advantage of Knoxville’s building demand.