Building Codes Administration

Building Inspections

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The Bedford County Zoning Resolution was adopted in 1998. Building Codes enforcement began in the county in 2007 and the current building code, 2015 IRC/IBC, was adopted in 2018. Bedford County requires zoning and/or building permits, not only for all new commercial and residential structures, but also for accessory structures such as swimming pools, both above and in-ground, home or building additions, porches, carports, detached garages, storage buildings, workshops, and barns, etc. 

The Codes Administration Department is vested with the authority to administer the adopted Building Code of Bedford County as well as to collect the adequate facilities tax on new construction and bedroom additions. We enforce adopted fire and building construction safety codes and standards to afford a reasonable degree of safety to life and property from fire and hazards incident to the design, construction, alteration, and repair of buildings and structures. Our primary mission is:

  • Safety of the public as occupants of buildings within the unincorporated areas of Bedford County, Tennessee.
  • “Better neighborhoods” through the administration and enforcement of Bedford County’s Zoning Code, to ensure orderly development of buildings and property.
  • Economic development, through timely permit and inspection processes.
  • Healthy economy through elevated property values to owners, by the adoption and enforcement of meaningful building code standards.

The adopted codes required that all work must be inspected at specific intervals during the construction process by certified building inspectors. It is the Building Permit Holder’s responsibility to request inspections and receive proper approvals from the Codes Department prior to moving to the next phase of construction. At the completion of the project, after all final inspections have been made and approved, the electrical service will be released by the power company.

The permit holder will receive a Certificate of Occupancy or notice of final inspection to authorize Use and Occupancy of the improvements. Bedford County has adopted the following building codes:

  • 2015 International Building Code (IBC)
  • 2015 International Residential Code (IRC)
  • 2015 International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC)
  • 2015 International Plumbing Code (IPC)
  • 2015 International Mechanical Code (IMC)


Building codes inspection request

All work for requested inspections must be ready for inspection at the time the request is made. Requests should be made one day ahead, prior to 3pm. Exceptions MAY be made at the inspectors' discretion when same day inspections are needed, such as pre-pour inspections. Inspections occur Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm.

All inspection requests must include your name, a contact phone number, permit number, address and inspection type (i.e. slab prep, footing, post holes, framing, rough-in plumbing, pre-seal, insulation ,final, pool, etc).

You may send a text from your smart phone to inspect@bedfordcountytn.gov
How to TEXT MESSAGE to an email address from your smart phone:

  • Open your messaging app
  • Type the email address in the box where you would normally type a phone number: inspect@bedfordcountytn.org
  • Type your message as you normally would and hit send. (Remember to include your name, phone #, permit #, inspection type and address)


(If you will require several inspections throughout your construction process it may be helpful to add BEDFORD COUNTY INSPECTION REQUEST as a new contact in your smart phone with this email inspect@bedfordcountytn.gov so that you can quickly send a text to the saved contact)

How to get a building permit


Our office is now open to in-person visits. If you wish to apply for a permit remotely due to health concerns, please submit all of your paperwork in a  single  email in legible, PDF format to permits@bedfordcountytn.gov
You may also mail or fax your information to us.

Make checks payable and send all mail to:
Bedford County Zoning Department
200 Dover St., Suite 101
Shelbyville, TN 37160
Fax 931-685-1337

For all structures OTHER THAN A POOL:

The required documents you need to submit as part of your permit application are:

  • Permit information sheet
  • Permit Application Form
  • Tax Card & Tax Map from the Property Assessor’s Office (931-684-6390)
  • Invoice/Quote (required if this is any structure /other than/ a home being built by a TN Licensed Contractor*)
  • Plans showing the dimensions, details, and location of the structure on the property of where the building is being placed.
  • Septic Permit/Verification (931-202-0552 Keith Shultz) - Required for new homes and mobile homes, re-building existing homes, or adding more bedrooms to an existing home.
  • Proof of workers Compensation Coverage    This form is required if you are not a licensed contractor and are pulling a permit for your own property. Forms that require a notary must be signed and notarized and the original form mailed by US postal service to our office.
  • Checklist for Pulling a Permit

Please read the checklist for pulling a permit for further information regarding setback lines.

If you are a licensed contractor we require a copy of your TN state license and insurance information to be on file.

 

Adequate Facilities Tax (Bedford County School Tax)


An Adequate Facilities Tax is collected in The Bedford County Building Codes Department for all jurisdictions (including city jurisdictions). This is a one-time fee due prior to obtaining residential building permits. This tax is equal to $1.00 per conditioned square foot of living space. All of these funds are used by Bedford County Government to pay for debt on Bedford County schools or for the construction of new schools.

 

Development Tax receipts or approved exemptions are required to be submitted to the various municipal Code Departments prior to their own issuance of any building permit in those jurisdictions. The Bedford County Building Codes Department is responsible for collecting the Adequate Facilities Tax for Bedford County and for all Municipalities inside Bedford County.

 

NOTE: Exempt buildings, such as religious or agricultural structures, can in some instances be subject to building permit issuance and approval. Prior to permit issuance, a site plan review or other approvals may also be required, such as evidence of water availability or a proper sewage disposal method. Construction activities by contractors must show proof of an active State Contractors License as well as a current workers compensation insurance certificate.

Plan review

A Plan Review by staff is required for the following:
  • Any basement houses
  • Any commercial use
  • Any residential structure 5000 sq. ft. or above

A minimum of three (3) working days should be allowed for this review.

NOTE: Prior to permit issuance, other approvals may also include: approvals from State Fire Marshal’s Office, Planning Department, and State Environmental Department.

How to get a building permit for a swimming pool

Documents required as part of the pool permit application:


Forms that require a notary must be signed and notarized and the original form delivered either in-person or mailed by US postal service to our office.

PERMITS ARE NOT VALID AND INSPECTIONS CANNOT OCCUR UNTIL ALL FORMS HAVE BEEN SIGNED BY THE PERMIT PULLER AND THE BUILDING OFFICIAL AND FULL PAYMENT HAS BEEN RECEIVED.

 

Permits are issued from 8 am to 3 pm – except legal holidays – Monday through Friday.

Permits must be issued to the property owner or licensed contractor. Permits must be paid in full by check or exact cash at the time of issuance.

At the time of permit issuance each applicant is provided a checklist indicating the required inspections, with the information on how to make the request. You must have your Permit Number to request an inspection.

 

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ADDITONAL FORMS AND FLYERS9 documents

  • Permit information sheet
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  • Checklist for pulling a permit
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  • Tips for meeting 2015 codes
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  • Foundation and Framing
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  • Raised plate framing
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  • How to flash windows
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  • Radon Barrier and Vent Installation
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  • Final Inspection Checklist
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  • Permit Application Form
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