Frequently Asked Questions About Building Permits

Why must I get a permit before beginning construction?

Because it is the law and construction must be checked to insure compliance with minimum construction standards, zoning and setback requirements. The building code provides for a penalty of double the normal permit fee if work is started prior to receiving a building permit. Call the Marshall County Codes Office at 931-359-0567 for information before work begins.

What are setback distances and are they the same all over
Marshall County?

"Setbacks" are the minimum distances required by the law that a building, residential or commercial, must be from property lines. Front, side, and rear setback distances vary in different zones. Before work begins, call the Zoning Office 931-359-8839 for setback distances or other questions.

I want to build a storage building or carport at my house. What are the setback requirements and do I have to have a permit?

Freestanding buildings are permitted to be located closer to property lines than garages, carports, or storage rooms attached to the house. All outside construction, whether habitual space or storage space, requires a building permit. Contact the Building Inspector at 931-359-0567 for information.

Do I have to have a permit to paint the outside of my house or to repair and replace rotten porch floors, steps, etc.?

No, a permit is not required for a routine maintenance and repairs.


Most outside renovation work, remodeling and all additions do require either a residential or a commercial building permit. Contact the Marshall County Codes Office before work begins to avoid delays.