Licenses, Permits - Newbie in Nashville, TN

7 Replies

We have just jumped in and bought our first fix and flip property in the Greater Nashville Area.  We are hiring out some things (HVAC, roof) but others (tiling, demolition,sheet rock) my husband and his dad plan on doing together.  We have no ideas what permits to get or where from.  Also, not sure if we need a licensed contractor involved in these things....Please help this newbie!

@Lindsay Broome

First of all, congrats on getting your first property!!

 You shouldn't need permits, if you do your contractors should pull them for you. If they don't, they are not good contractors. And I would hire the all of the work out. What's the point in having your husband and dad do it? That will take longer and probably won't be done as well as a general contractor can do it. Time is everything in this business. The faster you get your money back, the faster you can reinvest, and the faster you can grow.

and you would subcontract out everything if you're not using a GC. A good GC will have subcontractors to do HVAC and roofs, etc. Otherwise, you need to find them yourself

Thanks for your reply Devan.  I do agree that time is of the essence.  The are both very talented at doing the renovations and want to be hands on involved. Since it's the first go around, we are shooting more for a slower renovation and lower costs of labor rather than turning it fast to reinvest.  Once we do one or two flips and get connected with a great team, I think they will feel more comfortable letting go of the renovations and just managing the workers.  I just don't want to get in trouble with the city or codes for not following proper procedures.

As long as you aren't doing electrical work and plumbing, which have code requirements you should be good to go!

Where did you pick up this property and how did you find it if you don't mind me asking

@Lindsay Broome Don't listen to the previous comments. The level of permits needed all depends on what jurisdiction you are in and how strict they are. Some places you only need to permit major items and others you have to permit almost everything. If you own the home you should be able to pull an owners permit and not need a contractor to do it. However, in my area if you do that you cannot sell the property for a year so definitely check into that if you want to go that route.

Permitting is one of the harder things to figure out as a beginner. I still have issues on every house. Just take it one step at a time and you'll get through it.

The subs you hire should pull their own permits for those specific items (roof, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, etc) but you might need an overall building permit for the project, just depends on jurisdiction. Keep in mind you could be in the county or you could be incorporated in a city or town. This will determine who you will have to check with on permits.

I should also say that there are definitely items you will not need to permit but you'll be surprised how little. We try to permit as little as possible but it's pretty tricky.

Good luck!

How did your first flip end up going?

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