As a tourism hub, East Tennessee demands constant commercial upgradation and new construction projects, owing to its thriving economy, vast landscape, significant tourism revenue, and vibrant cities. However, each construction project in the region demands different processes, rules, and regulations. Navigating the construction process involves familiarizing yourself with the best practices and addressing specifications while ensuring safety and security for others.

According to At Home Prep, the Tennessee commercial and residential construction industries grew exponentially post-pandemic, with more people relocating here for jobs and businesses. It also ranked as one of the top States to move to during the pandemic.

Owing to the massive construction demand in Eastern Tennessee, there are numerous opportunities for contractors, builders, and construction companies to expand their businesses or collaborate with construction partners. However, let us examine some critical tips to navigate this sector for your ease.

1. Partner With A Local Construction Company

Whether you are planning to build offices, homes, retail malls, or manufacturing facilities, it is important to select your construction partner carefully.

Working with a specialized contractor with years of experience provides access to suppliers and local subcontractors. It means you do not need to search for equipment, supplies, materials, or labor for your project, as you will get everything under one roof by working with a local construction contractor. Moreover, local companies can recruit skilled labor more efficiently and within budget.

Consider selecting a TN construction company that offers commercial construction with insurance coverage and construction services with the ability to navigate the local construction laws, hone strong customer relationships, and deliver high-quality output. Horner Building Company in East Tennessee would do just that and bring 25 years of construction experience as a full-service contractor.

The counties in East Tennessee have unique climate conditions, topography, and environmental considerations to undertake before beginning a construction project. Local companies understand these factors and incorporate them in their construction plans for optimal output. It can even require preparing the construction site in advance, incorporating sustainable practices to minimize environmental impact, and acquiring construction materials specific to the region.

These factors can prove extremely valuable, especially if you have not undergone a construction project in East Tennessee before. Therefore, it is better to partner with a local firm.

2. Select A Construction Location

Choosing a construction location is one of the primary things to consider when planning construction in East Tennessee. The site’s visibility, accessibility, specifications, proximity to other businesses, and overall appeal determine a construction project’s success.

Before selecting a location, zoning, and land use are the first things to consider. The East Tennessee government Department of Health regulates the zoning permits and land use, considering the policies that can influence community health standards and environmental impact. The Knoxville local administration has a zoning ordinance regulating the number of stories in a building, height, location, bulk, lot coverage, required open spaces, the distance between two buildings, population density, setbacks, building structure, and land within city limits.

Another factor to consider is the market opportunity by undertaking a market analysis and surveying the area where you plan to construct. A comprehensive analysis must include the level of demand for commercial properties in the region, demographics, market trends, population density, and economic growth.

Moreover, carefully evaluate the transportation and infrastructure of potential construction sites to assess accessibility. A commercial building must connect with key routes and have close proximity to areas such as airports, motorways, public transport options, etc., depending on the type of business. Ease of accessibility is crucial to attract potential customers.

3. Have A Solid Plan

It may take more time for you to plan for the project than execute it, owing to the multiple considerations. A solid plan would act as a roadmap or a blueprint for your project, ensuring that you meet deadlines and stay organized and on schedule while managing resources effectively.

First off, define the scope of your project. Identify the purpose, seismic requirements, square footage, number of floors, special features, desired amenities, or special infrastructural needs of the project.

Next, set timely, realistic, and achievable goals for the project. Set project limitations like budget, timely deliveries, schedules, sustainability targets, and quality standards and safety procedures. Make sure that your goals align with the project vision and your target market.

Understanding the current commercial project landscape of the city would help build a solid plan keeping everything you need in view.

4. Post-Construction Considerations

There are several things to take care of post-construction. You must ensure a smooth transition from the construction to the operational phase of the business. These include final inspections and certifications, warranty work and punch list, documentation, facility commissioning, occupancy and tenancy coordination, evaluation, and maintenance.

The first thing to take care of is to schedule a building inspection by the relevant government authority to obtain the operational status. You may need to make minor changes if the building does not comply with the local codes. Otherwise, you may not get permission to open for business.

Moreover, creating a punch list entails remaining tasks, maintenance work, or defects that the subcontractors must address. Also, review warranty agreements and see what it covers.

You must also maintain the construction records, including blueprints, schedules, contracts, engineering drawings, zoning permits, and warranties. These will be valuable for future references, property sales, and maintenance.

You also need to coordinate the facility commissioning process for electricity, plumbing, fire safety, HVAC, etc. It includes testing, verification, and ensuring proper functioning to meet performance standards.

Only after taking care of all post-construction evaluations would your project be operational and open for business.


Navigating the East Tennessee commercial construction sector involves many considerations. As East Tennessee is one of the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee covering 33 counties, it presents lucrative business opportunities. However, you must first partner with a local construction company with the needed experience and resources.

Moreover, select the right location considering the local laws, accessibility, competition, and market opportunity. Have a solid plan and communicate project requirements to all the members. Lastly, remember to tackle all the post-construction tasks for a smooth transition from construction to operation.

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