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# Posted: 1 Jul 2021 21:31

I am currently searching for property mostly in northeast TN. I am wanting to build my own cabin and be completely off grid , no electric, no water, composting toilet etc.
How are people able to do this and still receive certificates of occupancy?

# Posted: 1 Jul 2021 22:35

Talk with the building department. Try catching an inspector at breakfast, yes buy them breakfast. Ask them the same question. Talk to others in your area. Drive and see if you can locate any other "off grid" structures. Lumber yards, hardware stores. Hit them all. You need to read the building codes for the area you are looking at. Wiggle room? Maybe?
W/O a specific county. Not much help I can be. Best of luck.

# Posted: 1 Jul 2021 23:17

Quoting: Nuckolsn
How are people able to do this and still receive certificates of occupancy

If you are assuming these other people have a C.O. perhaps they do not.

# Posted: 1 Jul 2021 23:34

There are certain counties here that do not issue building permits of any kind, septic is statewide unless it’s not “reasonable” to have running water in which case composting toilets are allowed. I’m not sure how the occupancy certificate is handled in those situations.
Perhaps a call to the county is in order?
Also, to those who have built cabins: What has been your experience with building them to code? Not necessarily in TN but anywhere in the United States, is there another “set” of codes you have to follow?

# Posted: 2 Jul 2021 10:09

Polk County does not have a building code, but as Nuickolsn said a septic is required if the cabin has running water. Statewide, composting toilets on the approved manufactured list are allowed but since the state considers all water which has touched human skin as black water, a septic will be required if there is running water. Without running water a privy is allowed.
The state lists the cost of various permits and a septic may be $600.00. This information is online and individual counties may have information on their websites.
Other counties are different. In Polk, I think the Assessor of Property issues building permits which are simply a tax and an alert for increased property value.

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