Permits and Inspections

Improvements That Require a Building Permit

The only way to know if your project requires a permit is to call our office. If you hire a licensed contractor, they should know whether the job requires a permit, however, as the property owner it is your responsibility to ensure that all work is completed lawfully. Don't assume the permits were handled by your contractor. Shelby County will issue one permit for your project which will include the structural, electrical, gas, mechanical, and plumbing installation or any combination applicable to your specific project.

New Construction
Any and all new construction projects require a building permit including the placement of moved homes, manufactured homes, recreational vehicle connections or any accessory structure including a pre-fabricated storage building on skids.

See What to Bring.

Renovations that Likely Need a Permit

There's a very good likelihood that you need a permit if you plan to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical gas, mechanical or plumbing system. Any project that changes the existing support system of your home or business-changes to load-bearing walls, decks, balconies, and porches-also requires a permit. Here are a few other cases where you'll probably need a permit:

  • Fences over seven (7) feet in height
  • New windows
  • Plumbing and electrical: If you're installing new or removing existing plumbing, a permit is required. Any job that includes installing a new electrical service to your home or business also requires a permit. Even something as simple as moving an outlet requires a permit.
  • Siding
  • Roofing material replacement
  • Water heater replacement
  • Hot tubs, spas or swimming pools
  • Cell tower modifications and/or equipment upgrades
  • Square Footage: Any project over 200 square feet will require a permit.
  • Making any major changes that alter the footprint of your home or business requires a permit including additions, decks, certain fences, certain plumbing and electrical work
  • Failure to obtain permits—even if you hire a contractor—can stall your project or complicate the sale of your home or business.

Renovations That Do Not Require a Permit

There are some things you can do to your home or business without going through the process of getting a permit. The majority of them are fairly minor—most of which you can do yourself without having to hire and pay for a contractor. Here are a few of the projects that may not require a permit:

  • Fences under seven (7) feet
  • Retaining walls under four (4) feet (measured from the bottom of the footing to top of wall)
  • Sidewalks and driveways
  • Playground equipment for residential use
  • Painting or wallpapering
  • Installing hardwood floors or carpeting
  • Installing new countertops
  • Replacing a faucet