Licenses You’ll Need to Build a House in Tennessee

Purchasing an already existing home might not seem appealing to you. You might want to have the home of your dreams built from scratch instead! After all, that is the only way to ensure you have all the amenities you want. However, before you do that, there are some licenses you’ll need to build a house in Tennessee!


What you need as a building contractor

There are different licenses you’ll need to build a house in Tennessee as a contractor depending on the house type. They grow in scope from the Limited Residential License all the way to the Building Combined License.


Limited Residential License (BC-A/r)

With a Limited Residential License, you can bid on residential projects. Note that ‘residential’ homes are only those with three or less floors. At the same time, as a ‘limited’ license, it only allows you to work on projects under $125,000 in value. In order to work on any more valuable projects, you would need to acquire the next level of license. Still, this does mean that you can work on minor renovation projects too, such as helping someone to elevate their kitchen design.

Residential License (BC-A)

As a contractor with a full-fledged Residential License, you can work on any residential project no matter its value. At the same time, this license also covers any remodeling and improvement projects of residential properties. You are still limited by Tennessee law which states that residential properties are only those of three or fewer floors, though.


Small Commercial License (BC-b(sm))

The next level of licenses you’ll need to build a house in Tennessee is a Small Commercial License. There are thirty four types of building categories recognized by Tennessee law, and with this license you will be able to work on all of them. At the same time, this license also applies to the demolition, repair and alteration of existing buildings. However, the building projects you work on must be $750,000 in worth or less.


Commercial License (BC-B)

With a full Commercial License, you are already a serious Tennessee contractor. This allows you to fully engage in any commercial building project freely. Which means that your business would benefit from making further connections, such as a contract with local Tennessee movers in order to get help for transport when dealing with construction materials.


Building Combined License (BC)

The final, and most comprehensive license available is Building Combined License. You can see it as a combination of all previous licenses, allowing you to work on any commercial or residential house building project. If you are planning on running a comprehensive building contractor business, then you should definitely consider applying for this license.


Building your own home

Now, things are a little different when discussing licenses you’ll need to build a house in Tennessee if you just want to have a family home built for yourself. Before you go thinking about unique home construction outlines, you need to get yourself a building permit. A building permit allows you to construct, alter, move, repair, or enlarge a building on your property. Note that if all you want to do is renovation work on an old home, then you may not require a permit at all. However, if you want to get any significant work done on your plumbing or electrical installations instead of just repairing them you will still need a building permit. The best choice you can make here is to consult a professional on whether you do need a permit after all.


Specialty permits

Now, in some Tennessee municipalities, a basic building permit isn’t enough to cover all work done on a home. If you’re planning to build a home from scratch, then you will definitely need the following permits as well.

  • Electrical permit. Needed for any electrical installation or the renovation of the same.
  • Mechanical permit. This particular permit is actually required for the installation of heating and ventilation systems.
  • Plumbing permit. Obviously, this permit is needed in order to legally install a plumbing system and have it connected to the plumbing system of the city or town you are having your home built in.
  • Septic permit. This is required in cases where you wish to have a septic tank built on your property instead of just plugging your home into the sewage system of your town or city.

Note that you must get these before being allowed to get your building permit.


Where to get building permits

The place where you can actually get the licenses you’ll need to build a house in Tennessee or even work on home improvement is your local Building and Codes office. You should be able to find one in most cities and larger towns. However, you might not live in a place where an office can be found. In such cases, you can also get the permits issued by the county office instead.


Can I do a building project on my own?

If you have experience in construction or just want to work on building a tiny home, which is not too difficult, then it is perfectly possible to do it on your own. However, note that you would still need all the permits we have discussed. And since you would not have a building license as an individual, you would also have to at least apply for a Limited Residential License. In addition, not having the support of a construction company means dealing with logistics on your own. The experts from recommend contacting a moving and storage company well in advance of your project if you want to secure their services for the entire duration of it.


Final word

Now that you know what licenses you’ll need to build a house in Tennessee, you are one step closer to your dream of owning your ideal home. Of course, there is still a lot you need to do and organize. Not the least of which is getting your home professionally designed. But we are sure that you will eventually succeed!