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Can't get building permit for basement reno

Discussion in 'Residential Building Codes' started by coreytm, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    Pre code or post?

    Permitted or not? if not what is shown on Tax accessor report as to what property improvements there are?
     
  2. coreytm

    coreytm Registered User

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    The city doesn't have any documents indicating it was permitted. When the bathroom and kitchen were installed is anyones guess. The tax assessment report shows 1 full bath, 1 half bath (basement), and finished basement. There's no kitchens on the report. Also, house was builts 1952, effective year built is 1972, and there's a renovation in 1990.
     
  3. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    So, nonpermitted, no accessor verification, no chance unless you are filing as a "short" person (smiling), so lower the floor.
     
  4. coreytm

    coreytm Registered User

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    Well, the assessment indicates that the basement is finished and with a half bath. Is that enough to deem it habitable? To get ceiling height can be done a number of ways, not just lowering the floor. But that would be last resort if I wanted to go that direction.
     
  5. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    If you decide to lower the floor hire an engineer. Handled wrong there could be safety concerns.
     
  6. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Thinking if 1952 built house

    Go through the appeals process

    Point out age

    Basement was basically finished when you bought it

    You are not making it any hazardous
     
  7. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    Not so, it still remains hazardous to ones head!
     
  8. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    But that hazard is already there,

    If need be paint the yellow and black stripes on the low stuff!!!
     
  9. rgrace

    rgrace Sawhorse

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    I've seen this in my jurisdiction many times. House built in 1954, at some point someone wants to finish the basement and finds out that the basement was never designed to be finished, so they do so without going through the permitting process. Years go by and the tax admin department does a field assessment and indicates a finished basement, and starts taxing based on that. This does not make the finished basement legitimate or safe. Now you (a new owner who bought this problem) wants to add two bedrooms down there (yea ... den ... right) and have an entire family take up residence in this unsafe dwelling unit you wish to create. Also, why construct such a huge, finished storage room when a large storage room already exists down there (the cellar)? Lower the floor/raise the ceiling, whichever, fix the stairs, provide EERO, provide an exit directly to the exterior (code required or not, it will provide a necessary level of safety for the family you move in there - its hard to tell what's going on at that landing), provide smoke detectors, arc-fault protection, etc. if you want to occupy and sleep in this basement.
     
    ADAguy likes this.
  10. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    Tell like it "really" is RG.
    He wants what he wants but will now have to pay for it.
     
  11. tmurray

    tmurray Registered User

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    OK,

    I disagree with the reviewers interpretation of 9.5.3.1.

    The intent of the code is to require minimum ceiling height over the minimum room area required by the code (or percentage based on the situation), not the whole area you have provided. I did not to your area calculations, but you look like you exceed the minimum areas, so the reduced ceiling areas may not even need to be accounted for.

    Additionally, you might want to reference the objective and functional statements from the national code, which mirror the OBC and have the intent fully articulated as follows:

    Intent 1:
    To limit the probability that an inadequate ceiling height of rooms or spaces [i.e. less than 2.1 m high] will lead to collision with protrusions from ceilings, such as lighting fixtures, ceiling fans and low door heads, which could lead to harm to persons.

    Intent 2:
    To limit the probability that an inadequate clear height of rooms or spaces [i.e. less than 2.0 m high] will lead to collision with protrusions from ceilings, such as lighting fixtures, ceiling fans and low door heads, in areas used infrequently or for a limited time, or where occupants are unfamiliar with the space, which could lead to harm to persons.

    Intent 3:
    To limit the probability that an inadequate ceiling height of rooms or spaces [i.e. less than 2.1 m high] will lead to collision with protrusions from ceilings, such as lighting fixtures, ceiling fans and low door heads, in an emergency, which could lead to delays in the evacuation or movement of persons to a safe place, which could lead to harm to persons.

    Intent 4:
    To limit the probability that an inadequate clear height of rooms or spaces [i.e. less than 2.0 m high] will lead to collision with protrusions from ceilings, such as lighting fixtures, ceiling fans and low door heads, in an emergency, in areas used infrequently or for a limited time, or where occupants are unfamiliar with the space, which could lead to delays in the evacuation or movement of persons to a safe place, which could lead to harm to persons.

    Based on this information, you can eliminate the hazardous construction in these reduced ceiling areas and probably provide some piece of mind tot he plan reviewer.
     
  12. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    To do so would still require structural alterations to floor supports or floors to allow one to transition between areas.
     
  13. tmurray

    tmurray Registered User

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    Not necessarily. You just need to ensure there are no fans/light fixtures/etc. You could even slope the ceiling in that area, so it not 90 degree corner at the bulkhead. Since we have an objective based code, the AHJ is a lot more free to accept alternatives that still address the identified issues, particularly with existing construction.
     
    my250r11 likes this.

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