Building Codes Department Putnam County TN

Building Codes Department

The Putnam County Building Codes Department enforces the commercial and residential regulations of the 2012 edition of the International Code Council through the inspection processes. This department accepts applications for all construction permits, collects fees, issues permits, schedules inspections, maintains permit record files and issues occupancy certificates.

Building codes play an integral role in maintaining the quality of construction in Putnam County, assisting builders and the general public with the building codes and other regulations to the mutual benefit of both. It is our mission to protect and serve the citizens of Putnam County through the fair and ethical enforcement of adopted construction codes and construction safety standards. This is accomplished by an efficient administration, qualified professional staff, ongoing citizen and customer education efforts, and active enforcement.

Building Permit Database

Building Permit Summary Search

(click to search permit database)


Steps in Obtaining a Building Permit

1. Obtain a new 911 address by calling 931-528-1555 and talking to Penny Foister or Mike Thompson. (new construction only)

2. Purchase Septic Permit from Environmental Office at State of TN(Must bring a copy of septic permit for building permit.)

3. Purchase Building Permit

4. Purchase Plumbing Permit

5. Purchase Mechanical Permit (HVAC)

6. Post house numbers per 911 regulations (available with permit)

7. Call for Inspections in proper order (see below)

Before any inspections will be made, the following must be in place:
   1. Access to a portable toilet for worker's use
   2. A crushed stone ramp to the site to prevent mud from leaving site
   3. Straw bales, silt fences or other erosion control devices in place
   4. Post address to 911 specifications
   5. Post building permit onsite 

The following inspections are required for all structures:
   1. Footer (before concrete is ordered)
   2. Foundations, anchor bolts, silt plate and drains around basements
   3. Plumbing in slabs (if required)
   4. Concrete slabs
   5. Rough-in framing, plumbing and mechanical all in one inspection
   6. Energy (insulation values or trade offs)
   7. Final before habitating a building

Adopted Code

All codes are based upon the 2012 International Code Council

- Building Codes
- Residential Codes
- Plumbing Codes
- Mechanical Codes
- Fuel Gas Codes
- Fire Codes

     The building codes department was created January 1, 2002. As of January 1, 2015 Putnam County enforced the 2012 International Building Codes and 2009 Energy Codes. A building permit is required before any construction can take place. Once the permit is obtained and construction is started, a series of inspections will be made. The following inspections are required for all structures that are not exempt:

  1. 1.  Footer.
  2. 2.  Foundations, anchor bolts, sill plate and drains in and around basements.
  3. 3.  Plumbing in slabs.
  4. 4.  Concrete slabs.
  5. 5.  Rough-in framing, plumbing and mechanical all in one inspection.
  6. 6.  Energy inspection.
  7. 7.  Final before habiting building.

Exempt Structures

- Agricultural buildings such as barns and storage sheds.
- Mobile or manufactured homes.
- Storage buildings that are under 200 Sq. Ft.

*Check with the Building Codes Department for details on exempt structures.

     These codes set out comprehensive guidelines for building construction aimed at protecting the public.  The public is protected in the fact that when these guidelines are followed, a well built, safe and durable home or business should be the finished product.

R105.1     Required.
     Any owner or authorized agent who intends to constuct, 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, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the permit.

R108.6     Work commencing before permit issuance.
     Any person who commences work requiring a permit on a building, structure, electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system before obtaining the necessary permits shall be subject to a fee established by the applicable governing authority that shall be in addition to the required permit fees.

R113.2     Notice of violation.
     The building official is authorized to serve a notice of violation or order on the person responsible for the erection, construction, alteration, extension, repair, moving, removal, demolition, or occupancy of a building or structure in violation of the provisions of this code, or in violation of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this code.  Such order shall direct the discontinuance of the illegal action or condition and the abatement of the violation.

R113.3     Prosecution of violation.
     If the notice of violation is not complied with promptly, the building official is authorized to request the legal counsel of the jurisdiction to institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate such violation, or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful occupancy of the building or structure in violation of the provisions of the codes or of the order of direction made pursuant thereto.

R113.4     Violation Penalties.
     Any person who violates a provision of this code or fails to comply with any of the requirements thereof or who erects, constructs alters or repairs a building or structure in violation of the approved construction documents or directive of the building official, or of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this code, shall be subject to penalties as prescribed by law.


Special Plumbers License
Putnam County requires a Special Plumbers License for all plumbers and HVAC contractors. The fee is $50.00 and must be renewed yearly, Which now falls on July 1st.

Licensed Contractor
 For information on how to become a licensed contractor, please refer to the State of Tennessee's web site:

Licensed Contractors must bring a copy of license, insurance, and workers comp.

1. Do I need a permit?
     - Permits are required for the following:
     - All new buildings, residential and commercial.
     - Any additions to existing buildings.
     - Decks or porches added to existing buildings.
     - Pre Fab homes.
     - Garages or storage buildings that are over 200 Sq. Ft.
     - Plumbing and mechanical on any addition.
     - Any change out of HVAC units.

2. Does Putnam County have any zoning regulations?
     Putnam County has no formal zoning code at this time.

3. Do I need a permit for a sign?
     No, Putnam County does not issue permits for signs.

4. I have a complaint about blasting in my area, who do I call?
     The Department of Commerce and Insurance's State Fire Marchal's Office will conduct investigations into blasting complaints. If you have concerns regarding blasting in your area, contact the State Fire Marshal's Office at 615-741-7190.   Complete blasting complaint procedures can be downloaded from the State of Tennessee web site at:

5. Do I need a permit for a cell tower?
. Putnam County does require permits for cell towers.

6. How do I obtain an address?
     The Putnam County 911 center assigns all new addresses in Putnam County, Algood, Baxter and Monterey. To apply for a new address in any of the above locations call 931-528-1555 and ask for Penny Foister or Mike Thompson. For additional information you may refer to their website at:

To apply for a new address within Cookeville city, please contact City of Cookeville Codes Department at 931-520-5268.

You must have your construction stakes up showing where the house will set before you call for a new address. Addresses are usually assigned within 48 hours.



Putnam County Codes
270 Carlen Ave
Cookeville, TN 38501

Phone (931) 526-2285
Fax (931) 526-2257

Hours: 5
Days a Week
7:00am to 3:30pm