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Lower Level Finishing

Building Permits
A permit is required for any finishing work such as sheetrock and adding walls or rooms.

Other Permits
Separate plumbing, mechanical and electrical permits may be required depending upon the type of work being done.

Foam Plastic Insulation
This type of insulation shall be an approved type or covered with a 15-minute fire-rated material such as 1/2"-thick sheetrock.

Sleeping Rooms
Every sleeping room shall have at least one egress window with a clear, openable space meeting all of the following requirements:

  • Sill Height: not more than 48" above the floor
  • Openable Area: not less than 5.7 square feet
  • Openable Height: not less than 24"
  • Openable Width: not less than 20"

Stairways
Basements must have one doorway and/or stairway as an exit. Stairways must have a handrail mounted from 34" to 38" above the nosing of the stair treads, and guardrails are required on any open sides of the stairs.

Smoke Detectors
A minimum of one smoke detector in the basement is required, with an additional detector in each sleeping room.

Furnaces and Gas Water Heaters
All fuel-fired equipment shall be provided with a fresh air intake and shall not be located in a sleeping room.

Inspections Needed
Framing: When framing is completed and other trades (heating, plumbing, and electrical) have been inspected but before placing any insulation.

Final: When all of the work is done and before occupancy. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Inspections Department.