Frequently Asked Questions
The mission of the City of Kingsport Building Department is to assist individuals and contractors in building new projects or remodeling existing ones. Below is a list of frequently asked questions.
If you have any other questions please contact the building department at (423) 229-9393.
Q-What are Building Codes?
Building Codes are the rules, regulations and specifications that the City of Kingsport uses to help ensure quality construction and a safe finished structure.
Q- What is a Building Permit?
A building permit is a license required by the city code that grants permission to construct, enlarge, alter, repair or demolish a structure or equipment (such as heating, plumbing or electrical systems) installed in a building. Permission to change the use of a building, excavate or fill land.
Q- Why are inspections needed?
City code requires a permit be issued when work is to be performed on a structure. The inspections that follow the issuance of the permit may uncover unsatisfactory work, faulty materials or violations of the code that could result in unsafe and hazardous conditions for you, your family, your employees or the general public.
Q-When do I need a permit?
For anything other than cosmetic repairs (painting, carpet, etc.)
Q- When should I get the permit?
The permit needs to be bought before any work starts.
Q- As a homeowner can I do my own work?
You may do your own work if you own and occupy the house.
Q- What if it is rental Property?
You can do the cosmetic repairs. The electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work will have to be done by licensed contractors.
Q- If I am a homeowner doing my own work, do I need a permit?
Yes, everyone is required to get a permit.
Q-If I hire a contractor, who gets the permit?
The person actually doing the work needs to buy the permit. Whoever signs the permit is responsible for the work.
Q-What are the different types of permits?
Building permits- New, additions or alterations to a structure
Electrical- installation, addition, replacement or change in the electrical system
Plumbing- installation, addition, replacement or change in the plumbing system
Mechanical-installation, addition replacement or change in the mechanical system; this includes heat pumps, or any type of gas installation
Sewer line- for installation or replacement of sewer line
Grading-disturbing of land
Demolition- removal of any structure
Q- Do I need a permit for utility, storage buildings and carports?
Yes, please be aware that there are separate guidelines for attached or detached.
Q- What codes are enforced in the City of Kingsport?
2006 International Code Council (ICC)
2005 National Electrical Code
2002 North Carolina Handicap Code with 2004 Amendments
City of Kingsport Zoning Ordinance
Q-What information do I need when I get a permit?
Single-family- set of plans (do not have to be stamped), job cost, address
Commercial- 2 sets of stamped plans (site and construction) construction cost, address, and landscape plan.
Q-If I am building a new house when can I move in?
After a final inspection has been approved and a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued.
Q- Do I need a permit for a driveway?
Yes, but that is handled through the Transportation department. Please contact Jimmy Hensley at (423)224-2757 for assistance with driveway permits.
Q-What does Zoning mean?
Kingsport is zoned in various ways. This zoning depends on land use, location and size. Each zone has its own requirements i.e.: lot size, building setbacks, signage and landscaping.
Q- What if I want to do work to my property and it is in the historical district?
A Certificate of Appropriateness must first be obtained from the historical committee.