Short answer: Yes.

While most of the best practices that I talk about here involve commercial developments, today’s post applies both to residential and commercial projects.  It’s been two weeks since the historic flooding in Nashville and there is a lot of cleaning up and repair to be done.  On Friday, I received an alert from Davidson County’s Department of Building Codes, which contained guidelines for permits related to the repair of flood damaged homes and buildings (pdf).  Here are a few important things to remember, whether the project involves commercial or residential:

  • You need a building permit prior to making repairs on flood damages homes and buildings.  While you do not need a permit for clean-up or demolition, a permit is required prior to installation of any drywall, electrical, or HVAC systems.
  • The property owner or tenant can pull the permit for repairs up to $25,000.  If the repair costs more than that, the permit must be obtained by a licensed contractor.
  • Use extreme caution with restarting of any electrical systems or units.  Again, it is recommended that you have a licensed mechanical contractor inspect and test these systems before using them.

One final recommendation, as related to residential home repairs, is to make sure that your repair contractor is properly licensed through the Department of Commerce and Insurance.  The State has also put together a guide for finding and selecting a licensed contractors (pdf), which recommends the following: (1) get multiple bids from at least 3 contractors; (2) hire only a licensed contractors; (3) get a written contract; (4) get the contractor’s proof of insurance; and (5) set up a payment plan and do not pay more than 1/3 deposit.