Pole Barn Permits in TN: Complete Guide

Are you confused about the pole barn permit process in Tennessee? Or perhaps you’re unsure what areas of Tennessee require a pole barn permit. This article explains the process of acquiring a pole barn permit. Additionally, we outline the different counties/cities where no pole barn permit is needed, as well as list the counties/cities requiring a pole barn permit. 

Maybe you’re simply browsing pole barn options? We offer a wide selection of pole barns, which you can customize to your taste through our 3D Designer. If you are curious about prices, check out our blog on the cost of Pole Barns in Tennessee.

Ready to get permit answers? Read on!

pole barn permits in tennessee

What’s an Overview of Tennessee’s State Building Codes?

In short, the State of Tennessee has a list of building codes. Local governments do one of three things with the state building codes: 

  1. Local governments withdraw from TN State Building Codes.
  2. Local governments become exempt from TN State Building Codes.
  3. Local governments enforce the TN State Building Codes.

Let’s expound a bit further. 

Local governments withdraw from TN State Building Codes

When this happens, the county/city does not follow building codes or permit regulations. But after 180 days, they will review this status. If it changes, the region will now follow TN state building codes and permit regulations. 

Local governments become exempt from TN State Building Codes

This occurs when the state approves a local government’s individual building code. Now, the local government is exempt from Tennessee State building codes and is tasked with implementing its own local government building codes. 

Local governments enforce the TN State Building Codes

In this situation, the local government decides to enforce the TN state building codes and laws, under the oversight of the state of Tennessee. 

Unincorporated Areas of Tennessee

If a region is unincorporated (they don’t have a local government), they are accountable to the County’s building codes. For more information on Tennessee’s building code and permitting system, check out this article

What are Tennessee’s requirements for Pole Barn Permits?

If your pole barn will not be used for living purposes, the state of TN does not require a state residential building permit. However, building permit guidelines vary on a local level. It’s imperative that you research your local government building permit requirements regarding pole barns. This article includes links to the building codes of many different cities and counties within TN. 


Which Cities Require a State Residential Permit?

Below is a list of the cities requiring a Tennessee state residential permit. 

Bean StationEnvilleLouisvilleScotts Hill
Bethel SpringsFingerMasonSunbright
BlaineFriendsvilleMcKenzieTellico Plains
Bluff CityGibsonMcLemoresvilleTennessee Ridge
CopperhillHickory ValleyNormandyWhiteville
Cottage GroveHollow RockOrmeWilliston
Crab OrchardHornsbyParker’s CrossroadsWinfield
DecaturIron CityParsonsWoodbury
DresdenLaFolletteRed Boiling Springs

Which Counties and Cities have no residential building codes?

The following cities and counties do not follow state building codes. However, remember that some local governments may follow their own set of building codes. This list may not be all-inclusive. 

AltamontGruetli-LaagerPerry County
ArdmoreGrundy CountyPickett County
AtwoodHenry CountyPolk County
AuburntownHouston CountyPuryear
Beersheba SpringsHumphreys CountyScott County
Benton CountyHuntsvilleSlayden
Big SandyJackson CountyStewart County
ByrdstownLawrence countyTracy City
Carroll CountyLewis countyVan Buren County
Cocke CountyLovelvilleWayne County
Decatur CountyMinor Hill
DowelltownMoore County/Lynchburg
Franklin CountyPalmer 
Fentress CountyParrottsville

Which Counties have Unincorporated Areas which require Tennessee State Building Permits? 

How much does it cost for a pole barn permit in Tennessee?

The cost for a TN state residential building permit for your pole barn is based on the cost of construction. These prices may vary depending on your local city government. For additional information on state pole barn permit prices, review Tennessee’s government site. Also, check out our article on the cost of pole barns in Tennessee.

Construction Costs Permit Fee
$0 – $5,000$100
$5,001 – $100,000$350
$100,001 – $150,000$400
$150,001 – $200,000$450
$200,001 – $250,000$500
$250,001 to $300,000$550
$300,001 to $350,000$600
$350,001 to $400,000$650
$400,001 to $450,000$700
$450,001 to $500,000$750
$500,001 to $550,000$800

Do I need a pole barn permit in Shelby County, Tennessee? 

Yes, you need a permit for your pole barn if you reside in Shelby County, Tennessee. Regardless of the size of your pole barn, you will need a pole barn permit. In addition, your pole barn must be built on the same lot as your primary building or on a piece of land under your name. It’s usually a good idea to reach out to your local city government. 

To further understand, check out additional information on pole barn permits in Shelby County, Tennessee. 

Do I need a pole barn permit in Davidson County, Tennessee?

Yes, you are required to have a residential building permit for your pole barn in Davidson County, Tennessee. This process is accomplished through the residential building permit application. As always, ensure that you have all the necessary details from your local city government regarding the permit for your pole barn. 

For more clarity, there are articles available on the requirements for pole barn permits in Davidson County, Tennessee. 

Do I need a pole barn permit in Montgomery County, Tennessee?

Yes, you do need a residential building permit for any sized pole barn in Montgomery County, Tennessee. The approximate cost for your permit is $0.36 per square foot. Don’t sweat the application process; it’s made seamless through Montgomery County’s online pole barn permit application. Remember to check with your local city government to iron out the details (if you live within city limits). 

For more information, read through the building code regulations of Montgomery County, TN. 

Do I need a pole barn permit in Rutherford County, Tennessee?

Yes, in Rutherford County, Tennessee, you are required to have a residential building permit for your pole barn. Rutherford County, TN, has a detailed process regarding pole barn permits, but they’ve outlined them all and made their permit application available online. 

Do I need a pole barn permit in Hamilton County, Tennessee?

Yes, you do need a building permit for your pole barn in Hamilton County, Tennessee. 

Get additional information about pole barn permits in Hamilton County, Tennessee, from their government page. 


How long does it take to get a permit for my pole barn in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, a residential building permit for a pole barn will arrive after approximately 5-10 business days. 

Where should I apply for a Building Permit in Tennessee?

Applying for residential building permits in Tennessee can vary based on your city or county guidelines. For example, in Davidson County, you simply email your application for a pole barn permit to the county government. However, Tennessee does offer a step-by-step guide to applying for a residential building permit. Remember to check with your local jurisdiction to see their specific requirements. 

Where can I get an online application for a pole barn permit in Tennessee?

Online applications for pole barn permits are available on Tennessee’s government website. Here are links to the application for the Tennessee State residential building permit and instructions on completing the application. 

Although it’s not common, keep in mind that you may have to contact your local government directly.

Find Your Local City Pole Barn Permit Requirements in TN

Below is a table with many of the cities in TN that require a building permit for a pole barn. 

Pole barns are considered accessory structures. However, since pole barns are not as widely used as other accessory structures or buildings, such as sheds, pole barns may not be individually listed under accessory building/structure permits. You may have to register for a permit under the umbrella of a barn or garage. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to reach out to your local city government for confirmation on permits for pole barns. The links below will help answer any further questions and get you in contact with local city government officials. 

City Pole Barn Permit Information
Arlington https://www.townofarlington.org/departments/planning_and_development/developmentprocess.php
Brentwood https://brentwood.onlama.com/Apply.aspx
Bristol https://www.bristoltn.org/148/Code-Enforcement
Collegedale https://www.collegedaletn.gov/departments/building___codes_department/accessory_buildings___sheds.php
East Ridge https://www.eastridgetn.gov/building_codes.html
Goodlettsville https://www.goodlettsville.gov/82/Permits
Lenoir Cityhttps://lenoircitytn.gov/city-departments/code-enforcement/building-maintenance/
Morristown https://www.mymorristown.com/departments/building_inspections/permits_and_bonding.php
Mt. Juliethttps://www.mtjuliet-tn.gov/150/Building-Codes-Department
Nolensville https://www.nolensvilletn.gov/departments/building_codes_department/index.php
Smyrna https://www.townofsmyrna.org/residents/municipal-information/permits-and-inspections


We hope that after reading through this article you have a clearer understanding of how to access a pole barn permit in your local Tennessee area. Before you know it, your pole barn will be structured on your land according to your local building codes!

Hungry for more information? Check out the differences between Agricultural, Commercial, and Residential pole barns in Tennessee. Or, receive answers about hybrid pole barns and the different kinds of pole barn foundations and pole barns.

All the best!