Everything You Need to Know About Obtaining a Building Inspection in Nashville, Tennessee

If you're planning to construct in Nashville, Tennessee, you'll need to be aware of the requirements for obtaining a building inspection. To begin, you'll need to have your Metro permit number ready when you call to request an inspection. Additionally, a site plan is necessary for residential building permits. The State Fire Marshal's Office (SFMO) will only enforce the codes it adopts, while local governments are responsible for enforcing any other code or requirement. It's essential to note that a permit doesn't authorize any violation of state law, regulation, or local ordinance.

It simply grants you the right to build if you comply with all other state and local laws, regulations, and ordinances. The permit holder is solely responsible for requesting an inspection; subcontractors should not schedule an inspection. Homeowners should only schedule an inspection if the landlord is the permit holder. If there's a change of contractor during the construction process, a new permit must be obtained. Any inspection fees corresponding to inspections that weren't carried out with the original permit may be requested from the Department.

Requests for reimbursement must be made to the Department and not to an issuing agent. A city or county can opt out at any time by passing a resolution exempting them from the SFMO's requirements. This resolution expires 180 days after the date of the election for the city or county legislative body. If the subsequent legislative body doesn't vote in favor of the exclusion before the resolution expires, the SFMO will begin enforcing their requirements until the city or county decides to enforce them or passes another exclusion resolution. The SFMO has developed a simple form for cities and counties to fill out if they want to become exempt from residential building codes. As long as they have a code that's in effect within seven years of its last edition (other versions can be approved in writing by the SFMO), they won't be affected, except to demonstrate that they're properly applying their code.

The Department requests 90 days notice if a city or county wants to change the authority responsible for enforcing residential building codes. Inspections are conducted by contract employees who are paid by the State. While proof of certain items is required to obtain a building permit in Nashville, most of these items must be contracted anywhere in Tennessee. It's also important to remember that all construction companies must obtain workers' compensation coverage, including their owners.

Lynette Scungio
Lynette Scungio

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