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Old 06-02-2010, 04:49 PM   #1
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Basement ceiling height & Permit troubles


Background: My house had a partially finished basement (done by the previous homeowner) that I want to add a bathroom to. I already had the plumbing rough - in done this winter when the sewer main was replaced, so I had to decide then where to put the pipes for toilet, lav, and shower.
I went today to get a permit to put up the walls around it and to do the electrical work.
Electrical permit was no problem; I passed their test and they discussed my plans, then told me to have their inspector out before covering up work.

The Problem: As for the building permit, the permit office told me that I have a problem with ceiling height; ceilings in habitable spaces may be no shorter than 7 feet, while ours is 6'9". This could be averted though as we could apply, then have our application rejected then appeal for deviance from the rules with a separate office.
When we were chatting more I mentioned that the proposed bathroom area has the house's main wood beam running through it. This is 6'0 from the floor. According to the national code he says no beams may be less than 6'6".

My question: Is the bathroom subject to the 6'6" limitation since bathrooms aren't technically habitable space, or is the 6'6" a minimum anywhere?
Technically then I shouldn't be able to access my washer/dryer then either since to get to my laundry room I must walk under a duct that sits at 5'11.5"?

Trying to decide if we should go for the permit again (if the bathroom isn't subject to the ceiling height thing) or to the stupid (but not impossible) alternative - no permit. FYI I am still doing electrical / plumbing permits and inspections; ironically those aren't as bad as building in this case!
Thanks.

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Old 06-02-2010, 08:21 PM   #2
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Basement ceiling height & Permit troubles


Where are you located ?

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Old 06-03-2010, 05:58 AM   #3
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Basement ceiling height & Permit troubles


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Where are you located ?
Saint Louis. Sorry I omitted that from the OP.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:17 AM   #4
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Basement ceiling height & Permit troubles


Habitable space includes bathrooms
Closets & storage areas migh be the only exemptions
Not sure on the laundry room

Pre-existing spaces are sometimes exempt from new codes
But once you try to convert basement space into habitabel space then you run into the issue
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:58 PM   #5
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Basement ceiling height & Permit troubles


"Habitable space includes bathrooms" -----Wrong, Dave.

(15) Habitable Room Ventilation: Except where there is supplied some other device affording adequate ventilation and approved by Building Inspector, every habitable room shall have at least one (1) window facing directly outdoors which can be opened easily. The minimum total of operable window area in every habitable room shall be at least five and 7/10ths (5.7) square feet.

(16) Non-Habitable Room Ventilation: Every bathroom and water closet compartment, and every
laundry and utility room shall have at least fifty percent (50%) of the ventilation of habitable rooms, except that no window shall be required if said rooms are equipped with a ventilation system approved by the Building Inspector. From: http://www.ci.vadnais-heights.mn.us/...tyCode/053.pdf

“(10) Habitable Room: A room or enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, furnace rooms, unfinished basements (those without floor covering, ceiling covering, wall finish, required ventilation, required electric outlets and required exit facilities), pantries, utility rooms of less than fifty (50) square feet of floor space, foyers, communicating corridors, stairways, closets, storage spaces, and workshops, hobby and recreation areas in parts of the structure below ground level or in attics.” From: http://www.ci.vadnais-heights.mn.us/...tyCode/053.pdf


Be safe, Gary
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:21 PM   #6
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Basement ceiling height & Permit troubles


Got the permit; went back next day with a better diagram with the permit office's suggestions and they didn't ask about height - he remembered me, so I think he wanted to let me go.
Will see how the inspection goes. Hopefully my inspector is short and he won't notice.
Thank you, fellas. Didn't have to push the non-habitable space thing; hopefully the inspector agrees!!!

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