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Old 02-12-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
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Basement finishing - need any inspections or permits?

I live in Ontario, Canada.

Half of my basement is finished and I want to finish another area - my workshop. So far, this area is insulated (plastic on top of fiberglass bats) and has a sink installed.

I'm planning to move furnace and water heater to the corner from the middle of the room and put drywall on the walls. Maybe move the sink. I have already installed new 20Amp electrical circuit for the workshop - I'm handy here so it's done according to proper rules. I will invite specialists to move furnace and water heater but I'll do drywall myself.

The question it - do I need to schedule any inspections or get any permits before I do the rest? Especially, hiding my electrical stuff under drywall.

Thanks in advance,


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Old 02-12-2012, 11:22 AM   #2
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I would always,ALWAYS have elecrtical inspected! if there is an electrical fire? insurance wont pay


as always, just my thoughts
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:27 PM   #3
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Thanks couple. Is that what any licensed electrician could do?

Also, are there any other permits required?
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:32 PM   #4
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Around here, the electrician does the electrical work which requires a permit, as does the HVAC moving and the "finish basement" permit:

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17,000 dryer fires a year, when did you last clean the inside of the dryer near motor or the exhaust ducting?
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:16 PM   #5
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Eletrical, plumbing, mechnical, and building permits for me in Minneapolis.

Besides insurance purposes, do you ever plan on selling your house?

Permits don't cost that much and you have someone checking out your work making sure it is done right. I have no problem with inspectors.

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Old 02-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #6
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This link should give you a good jump start on what's needed and what you need to do.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:41 AM   #7
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I think most people shy away from getting permits because of tax increases rather than the one time cost of the permit. Some areas will reassess your home and may decide it's worth an extra $50k so they will increase your yearly taxes. I know my city sends things like this to the building dept and the assessment dept at the same time.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by avgor View Post
Thanks couple. Is that what any licensed electrician could do?

Also, are there any other permits required?
You really need to check with your local building department. Nobody here is going to know exactly what you need. And you may find you can't legally do electrical or plumbing work, even in your own house.

Last edited by md2lgyk; 02-13-2012 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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One thing you will have to consider is moving the furnace and water heater.

If the furnace is gas, you may need a licensed pipefitter/plumber to get it approved.

Depending on the energy source for the water heater (gas or electric), it would need an inspection to satisfy a future buyer.

I had a new furnace installed and the contractor included the permit in the price. They were at the house at 8:00 AM to pull out the old, dangerous furnace and install the new furnace and do the tin work. The Electrician showed up at 10:00 AM, the pipefitter at 11:00 and the inspector was scheduled for 11:45, so he could be out before lunch and everything was good for the future and he placed the approval on it and I sleep well.

When I had a failed, leaking gas heater replaced (on a week-end, as usual) by another local contractor that had one in stock, he looked at the furnace installation and commented that he better do everything right if it had to be inspected in the future since his name/sticker was on it. Everything by the book. It worked out well, despite being a low efficiency heater since in the summer, the water heater operating cost is less than the monthly minimum and billing charge.

I believe in doing and having things done to the codes (minimum standard), because it has always proven to be cheaper in the end despite the "warm and fuzzy" feeling of saving a buck.

I do not plan on selling the home soon, but a good buyer or home inspector can immediately spot a replacement and use the lack of a permit and inspection as a haggling point to reduce the selling price.

Codes and inspections are not necessarily bad, since they are the minimum or worst way to do things and still not go to jail. I had an custom oversize sliding door replaced (must not change the exterior appearance) and the contractor had to get a permit (quad home) and I did not know that he also had to install the necessary smoke and CO sensors in the house. It took 2 sensors and 5 minutes to do). The inspector spent more time checking out the location of the sensors and was out in 15 minutes.

In all of these situations, I never had an a new appraisal outside of the "blanket" valuation to determine the taxes. The myth about permit increasing the tax base if the house is not materially changed in size or use is just a fairy tale except in some provincial areas. In our area, the inspectors to not want to make their job more difficult and the assessors just drive by, take a picture and maybe measure if the weather is good and it appears there is an addition.

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Old 02-21-2012, 09:16 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the valuable feedback. I will start going through the process and update with the results.


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