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Old 03-04-2009, 11:20 PM   #1
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Finishing basement - obstacles


Hi everyone,

I'm planning on finishing my girlfriend's basement. Apparently, when they built the house they didn't plan for ever doing a finished basement being that you walk down the stairs, turn the corner and you're facing the water heater and furnace on one side and the waste pump on the other, not to mention a low hanging pipe.



Once you get past these obstacles, the rest of the area we want to finish is wide open, but unfortunately were looking at a lot of wasted space in this area.

I'm looking for suggestions on the best way to work around that low hanging waste pipe. It can't be moved up into the joist bay because of the required pitch of the pipe.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 03-05-2009, 08:48 AM   #2
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Finishing basement - obstacles


You would frame around the permanent issues. Just install doors so they can be maintained. If you can't raise the pipe, you box around it.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:31 AM   #3
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Finishing basement - obstacles


This is really an easy one. Frame out a nice wide hallway with a furnace/utility room on the right and a half bath on the left by the sewage ejector pump. Put your doorway to the mainroom where the pipe goes over so you can box it in as a soffit. If the pipe is too low you could drop it straight down by the furnace and run it inder the slab to the sewage ejector pump. But that's a lot harder than building a soffit and it will put most of your sewage through the ejector basin so if your power is out or the pump fails you won't be able to use any plumbing without a mess.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #4
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Finishing basement - obstacles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
You would frame around the permanent issues. Just install doors so they can be maintained. If you can't raise the pipe, you box around it.
Ron

I agree. there are many things you can do, but if you have 7'-6" at least under the floor joists, looks like you could fit a 84.5" std door, with a header on top.

I would build a wall, from left to right, right under the pipe in that picture, or just before it, and build a std. 16"x12" bulkhead on the other side of this wall, which would be in the open space/living room.

the wide hallway is the best idea also, closing both area's behind a door for easy accessibility.

i guess this was just a bad design for a house/basement/stair location,
but you'll have to work around it.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:33 PM   #5
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Finishing basement - obstacles


Hey thanks for the suggestions.

I was figuring that the most we could accomplish would be a wide hallway leading to the main room, which is actually going to be a bedroom. The problem with that is that code requires 1 sq foot of window per 10 sq feet of room and there are 12 sq feet of window on that end, so we're limited to a 12 X 10 room. At least this is what I have been told.

I like the idea of a door right below the pipe, but there are 2 problems. The distance from the pipe to the floor is 88 inches, cutting it close for a door frame with trim and the area beyond the pipe is about 21 feet to the end of the basement, too big for a "legal" bedroom and too small to make into 2 rooms.

When this house was built 7 years ago, they made it a 2 bedroom ranch, not really great for market resale, but at the time my girlfriend and her husband weren't planning on a divorce. We're hoping that having a third bedroom in a finished basement will help increase the interest in the house when she's ready to sell it in a couple years.

The basement already has plumbing roughed in for a lower bath but there are already 2 full baths upstairs so that is not something I'm interested in tackling at this point.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:42 AM   #6
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Finishing basement - obstacles


Hi again,

We're about 3/4 of the way through the framing and I have a question about one of the walls:



As you can see this next wall is going to have to fit below the pipes and there is nowhere to anchor the top of the ceiling. This next section of wall will turn a corner and lead to the support post and beam, which you can see also has no easy way to anchor at the top because of the 3 PVC pipes and duct work.

Any suggestions here? This one has me a little stumped.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:27 AM   #7
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Finishing basement - obstacles


Where did you want the wall? Under the pipes? In front of the pipes?
It looks like you have and end wall just to the left of the 4" waste pipe. Why don't you just continue that over to the place you want to connect to the lolly column?
Ron
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:28 PM   #8
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Two things to keep in mind. 1. When making it a bedroom, you need a window big enough for a fireman with a back tank on to rescue anyone. There is a minimum net width and height for the operable opening. If a basement, you also need outside that window a clear space (depth and width) to escape out of. The window has a maximum distance from the floor, also. 2. Your gas water tank has certain safety requirements as well: it's own room (not in a bedroom), possibly:during the framing stage, a special weatherstripped door, one or two outside air supplies for combustion (high and low), the temperature pressure-relief valve piped to the outside, draft or fire stopping, wallboard on the walls and ceiling, fire taped. Run your plan by your local building department, then when you do sell, you'll know you built it safe for the next family. No surprises if they have a pre-sale house inspection. Be safe, GBAR
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:58 PM   #9
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Finishing basement - obstacles


The wall is going to run directly under the first PVC pipe you see, and yes, attached directly to the framing you see to the left.

As you can see, the perpendicular wall that will lead to the lolly column also has nowhere to fasten the top plate, except at the beam, so I'm trying to determine if the 2 walls are going to be sturdy enough without some type of securing at the top.

The basement bedroom does have 2 windows (24 X 36) which are at ground level from the outside. The windows are at about 48 inches from the floor of the basement.

I know someone who is a licensed home inspector and perhaps he can point me in the right direction with local building codes so I can make sure that I am doing this to code.

We did visit a number of brand new showcase homes today, many with finished basements, and nothing special was done with the water heaters in any of those homes (no separate room, no special door, venting, etc)


Thanks again guys!
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:33 PM   #10
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Finishing basement - obstacles


A window sill 48" up from the floor will probably not cut it for a qualifying egress window (too high for internal exit). If it is not legal, the space may not be used for the finished square footage that could possibly not get the increased estimated value for mortgage purposes that you are looking for resale.

A home inspector may be able to help, but they are not code inspectors. Check with you local code office for local egress requirements. The size of the windows is weel documented and established, but there are some local variations on the height of the bottom of the clear opening.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:18 PM   #11
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Richo, the gas water tank and furnace have their own national codes, with local B.D. jurisdiction, just as concretemasonrey mentioned. Those two are potentially life threatening and now is the time to do it right. As well as the sewage ejection system, minimum hallway width, lighting requirements, plumbing clean-out access, framing, insulation, and heating, all have rules to follow. Be safe, GBAR

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