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Thread: Basement or crawlspace

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    Sawhorse Yankee's Avatar
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    Basement or crawlspace

    I'm sure this has been argued somewhere in the past, but what is the difference (in the code IRC 2009) between a basement and a crawlspace?

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    R305.1.1 Basements. Portions of basements that do not contain habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms and laundry rooms shall have a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm).

    If it's not a basement it's a crawlspace.

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    Sawhorse Yankee's Avatar
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    Yup, that's where I started and that sounds fine by itself. Then the IFC Section 1026.1 Exception 4 states that an EE&RO is not required in a "basement with a ceiling height of less than 80 inches". (maybe by poor choice of language), that sounds like there is an animal of a "basment" with less than 80" of height. Other wise, where is the definition that calls a below ground space with less than 80" of height a crawlspace? It seems that it would be easy enough to define such if that is the intent (? )

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    The post by rogerpa gives the difference between a habitable space and non-habitable space in a basement.

    I don't think there are important differences between a basement and a crawl space. As least not as important as the differences between habitable and non-habitable space.

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    You specifically asked about the 2009 IRC. The IFC does not apply to 1&2 family residential except where a code section(IFC) is specifically referenced.
    R310.1 Emergency escape and rescue required. Basements, habitable attics and every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency escape and rescue opening. ...

    R305.1 Minimum height. Habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms, laundry rooms and portions of basements containing these spaces shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet.


    If it's not a basement and not habitable space it doesn't need an EE&RO.

    FWIW, IFC Section 1026.1 Exception 4 is the same as IBC Section 1026.1 Exception 4.

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    Sawhorse Yankee's Avatar
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    Thanks, that is my scenario - whether a EERO is required in a non-habitable under floor area less than 6'8" in height. It looks like the consensus is that one is not required.

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