Basement Finishing Information Sheet
1. Structural changes require a Building Permit and two sets of plans (drawn to scale) showing the basement layout, proposed walls, rooms, etc.
2. Any wood in direct contact with concrete or masonry floor requires CCA treated wood or wood with natural resistance to decay.
3. Any Styrofoam, urethane foam, or foamboard must be covered with a 15 minute fire rating (example is ½" gypsum board).
4. Plumbing, heating, and electrical permits may also be required.
5. When alterations, repairs, and additions requiring a permit occur, or when one or more sleeping rooms are added or created in existing dwellings, the individual dwelling unit shall be clearly audible in all bedrooms over background noise levels with all intervening doors closed.
6. Basement headroom must be a minimum of 7' 6".
7. Fuel type furnaces and water-heaters must have an adequate combustion air supply.
8. Inspections which are required:
- Framing Rough or First Inspection and Framing Final.
- Possible Rough or First Inspection and Electrical/Mechanical/Plumbing Final.
9. Stairways shall have a minimum 6'8" headroom clearance measured up from the nose of the stairs and minimum 3' width.
Basement Bedroom or Sleeping Room Requirements
1. Any room in a basement with a clothes closet shall be defined as a sleeping room.
2. All sleeping rooms shall have at least one door or egress window leading directly to the outside.
The egress window (Escape Window) is required to meet the following requirements:
Sill height..not more than 44' above the floor. Open able area.. Not less than 5.7 Sq. feet.
Minimum Open able height ...not less than 24". Minimum Open able width ... not less than 20".
(Examples are 24" x 34' (5.7 Sq. Ft.) or 20' x 41" (5.7 Sq Ft.)).
There are times when the egress window may be below the earth grade level and you will need a window well of the following minimum dimensions for the egress window in a basement:
The clear horizontal dimensions of the window well shall allow the window to be fully opened and provide a minimum accessible net clear opening of 3 feet X 3 feet. Window wells that have a vertical depth of more than 44 inches below the earth grade level, shall have a ladder permanently installed and accessible with the window in the fully open position, and also may not encroach more than 6 inches into the required clear opening.
This information is a guide to the most common questions and problems. It is not intended nor shall it be considered a complete set of requirements.