Building Permits & Inspections

Plans Review and Inspections Director

Peter Ahrens
Email Us!
(865) 215-3669

400 Main St., Suite 475
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Plans Review & Inspections
City of Knoxville
400 Main Street, Suite 475
Knoxville, TN 37902
What is this meeting for?

Our staff will provide a preliminary plans review (at no cost to you) to help ensure a successful building project. If you have a construction or renovation project, our staff can answer specific questions and offer possible solutions to design challenges.  

How do I sign up?

Meetings are scheduled on the 2nd Monday each month. Please click here for application instructions.
This office is responsible for the review, permitting, licensing, and inspection of all construction projects within the City of Knoxville and consists of Plans Review, Building Inspections, Electrical Inspections, Signs and Zoning Inspections, Mechanical/Gas Inspections and Plumbing Inspections. 

What Is a Building Permit?

A building permit is a license required by city code that grants legal permission to construct, enlarge, alter repair or demolish a structure or equipment. Permission to change the use of a building, excavate or fill land, or develop in a floodplain also requires a permit. 

When Do I Need a Permit?

A permit is required for any substantial repairs, alterations, new buildings and additions; most excavation and filling of land; signs; and paved parking areas. Minor work (under $100 in value) such as painting, wallpapering, and routine maintenance of heating, air conditioning, plumbing or electrical systems typically do not need a permit. Questions about when a permit is needed for minor repair to a residence should be addressed to the Plans Review & Inspections Department at 865-215-3669. 

Separate permits are necessary for plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning work; signs; and excavation--whether the work is done in conjunction with other work performed under a building permit or not. Permits are also required for relocating or replacing plumbing fixtures or plumbing appliances which are built into a structure, such as dishwashers. 

Who Can Get a Permit?

Contractors must be licensed in their particular trade (for example, electrical, gas or plumbing) to obtain a permit. Homeowners do not need a license to obtain a permit. However, they must sign an affidavit stating they own, live in the house on which the work will be performed, and will be performing the work themselves.

Where Do I Apply For a Permit?

Applications for permits can be found on the Forms, Permits & Applications page. All permit applications should be emailed to [email protected] and will be processed in the order in which they are received.

What Can I Expect from the Plans Review Process?
Plans Review - Fast Fact Sheet [PDF]

How Can I Check the Status of my Plans Review, Permit, or Inspection?

Plans review, permit, and inspection information is now available for you to access through the City of Knoxville's website. Listed below are the steps to access the information:

1. Click here to go to Plans Review and Permits Inquiry
2. A screen will open that will give you the opportunity to enter a plans review or permit number in the box. This will provide you with real time information on reviews, inspections, and status of items within the last two years.

How do I Schedule an Inspection?

Click here to be directed to the scheduling page and follow the instructions.