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hectorlopez 01-30-2010 09:54 PM

Definition of a finished basement vs. unfinished

I have a mixed use building in NJ. My town has a bunch of complicated rules re: finishing a basement (e.g., % total office space vs. total residential space, number of parking spaces, ceiling height, etc. etc.)

Bottom line is that I want to get some use of the basement for storage, exercise room, and having a hutch/desk in the basement when I want to escape from the office upstairs. I will rarely use it, but it will free up space upstairs in the office and make that area more presentable to clients.

My impression from my research is that space is considered uninhabitable because of no heat and no bathroom. I do want to put up drywall around the perimeter of the basement, subfloor and carpeting on top of it, and a drywall ceiling with some recessed lighting. Also, the furnace, air conditioning unit, and some pipes will be boxed in.

I have no plans on ever advertising the basement as finished if I sell the building.

If I do a formal finished basement project, I am subject to all the various rules and will have to get an architect thereby delaying the project.

Simple question is that by not having heating and plumbing am I right in still considering this an unfinished basement.


jlhaslip 01-30-2010 11:09 PM

What is the Town's definition of finished versus unfinished?
Our definition doesn't matter because they will be using their own definition.
Maybe a phone call to them would be your best vet.

Scuba_Dave 01-31-2010 08:31 AM

A room does not need plumbing to be considered finished space
Basements usually stay warmer without a heat space once insulated properly

As said only the local definition matters

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