Skip to Content

Fire Prevention Division

Residential Building Codes Enforcement


The State Residential Building Code Enforcement Program applies to one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses in areas of the state that have not: 1) received an exemption from the State Fire Marshal's Office by having local building codes enforced by the local government, or 2) opted out of state residential building codes and enforcement by a 2/3 vote of the city or county's legislative body. Click here to see a list of municipalities and counties where a state residential permit is required.


The state has adopted the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) and the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Fire sprinkler systems are not required in one- and two-family dwellings or 3 unit townhouses that are less than 5,000 square feet, three stories or less, and separated by 2 hour fire walls. Effective October 1, 2011, additions over 30 square feet to existing homes will require a permit. The existing home will not be required to be brought up to code; however, the addition must meet code. A state residential building permit is not required for detached garages, sheds, barns or other detached structures that are not used for living purposes.


A building permit must be purchased online or at a local Issue Agent. The cost of the building permit is based on the estimated cost of construction. A permit is not required for the installation of a manufactured or modular home; however a permit is needed if there will be custom site work that is a part of exiting the home such as a deck, patio or stoop. An additional slab inspection fee must be paid if a building has a slab under a living space that is not a monolithic pour. A monolithic poured slab has the footings poured at the same time as the slab. A slab inspection is not required for garages or unfinished basements.


The Section is staffed by three (3) full-time employees: the Director, Gary Farley, his assistant, and  one (1) field supervisor that covers the entire state


Mr. Farley and his assistant Ms. Tawana Irvin operate the main office located at:


State of Tennessee - Department of Commerce and Insurance
Division of Fire Prevention - Residential Building Code Enforcement
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0577
Phone: (615) 741-7170

Fax: (615) 253-4895  


Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 


The Residential Building Code Supervisor is responsible for overseeing the inspection process of the contracted Deputy Building Inspectors (DBIs) in their designated areas of the state.


Residential Building Code Supervisor - Tim Planer- Office (615) 532-8361 / Cell (615)306-9416


Inspections are performed by state contracted inspectors. Inspections are performed of the foundation prior to pouring, the framing/rough-in construction and the final construction. Permits purchased on or after October 1, 2011 will have the plumbing and mechanical systems inspected at the rough-in and final inspections. On each project, one free re-inspection may be performed if one of the required inspections is not passed the first time. However, each additional re-inspection will require payment of an additional fee. Inspections are scheduled by calling 1-866-283-6191 and selecting Option 2.


A homeowner may build a home as long as the construction is to be the residence of the homeowner (not to be sold or leased) and the homeowner has not been issued a homeowner building permit for the 24 month period prior to the application. Contractor registration verification will be a part of the permitting process.



Click Here to apply for a building permit online



Additional Information:


Additional Information for Issuing Agents


Additional Information for Inspectors

Unless otherwise indicated, files are Adobe Reader® Files [pdf], 6.0 or higher. You may need to DOWNLOAD a free copy of Adobe Reader® be able to view these files.