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Old 06-18-2009, 09:21 AM   #1
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finishing basement question


I am getting my thoughts together for a future basement project that i will be doing on my house. my question is that my plans where to just cover all the basement windows with walls that i will be putting up (sheetrock or whatever) and on the outside my plans were to get stone put on my foundation and also covering the window as well. the basement windows are very tiny and old as every other basement, is there any reason why i shouldnt cover the windows?

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Old 06-18-2009, 09:32 AM   #2
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because rooms with no light are depressing

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Old 06-18-2009, 09:46 AM   #3
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lol, well yeah, recessed lights of course
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:50 AM   #4
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Can you put in bigger windows to allow more light and provide some ventilation in the summer?

If you plan on using the finished basement at any time, it sure would be safer to have a window to crawl out of if there's a fire.

Are there any building codes in your area that say you can't cover your windows?
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:18 PM   #5
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Safety wise, a bad thing to do. The UBC and IRC are both minimum safety codes for building. Ask your local Building Department. Here are the main reasons why to have windows in a basement:

Bedroom and Basement Egress Windows
Sill height 44in. max. above finished floor . .F-b13 [310.1] {310.4}
5.7sq.ft. min. clear opening . . . . . . . . . . . .T-b9 [310.1.1] {310.4}
Min. 20in. width and min. 24in. height . .. . .T-b9, F-b13 [310.1.2,3] {310.4}
No windows <3ft. to property line . . . . . . . . . . . . .[302.2] {T-5-A}
Security bars must have approved release hardware [310.4] {2320.13}
Window wells min. 9sq.ft. and 36in. min. dimension .[310.2] {310.4}
Window wells >44in.below grade must have permanent ladder
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..[310.2.1] {310.4}


Ventilation
Natural ventilation (windows, doors, louvers)=>4% of floor area
{5% min. & 5sq.ft.} OR .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [303.1] {1203.3}
Mechanical 0.35 air changes/hr. or 15cfm per occupant.[303.1X] {1203.3}
Bathrooms 12sq.ft. {5% floor area} openable window OR .[303.3X] {1203.3}
50cfm {5 air changes/hr.} fan to outside . . . . . . [303.3X] {1203.3}
Two rooms are considered one for light & ventilation if
opening between them min. 50% of common wall AND =>10%
floor area of interior room AND at least 25sq.ft. . . .[303.2] {1203.1}

Light
In habitable rooms, natural light min. [8%] {10% min. & 10sq.ft.} floor area
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [303.1] {1203.2}
Bathrooms may have artificial light only . . . . . .[303.3X] {NEC 210-70a1}

So to be smart and safe, the stairs from the basement is one egress, a window is the other required.
The door out of a bedroom is one egress, the proper size window is the other.
The natural light requirements are for both rooms. Be safe, G
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:46 AM   #6
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I think if you are not going to use it as a livable space than windows aren't required--i.e., the basement is an oversiezed closet. lol. And if they are already tiny and you dont want to have them, its your choice.
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:59 PM   #7
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If you are going to finish your basement you’re probably going to be spending a good chunk of money anyway, why not just replace them? My thoughts were when I finished my basement was that I wanted it to feel like another room in the house and not a basement… I actually added 2 full size windows to mine… This is obviously because I wanted ventilation and natural light down there and also for resale value… So why not just spend the extra couple hundred and just replace them, you probably spend the same amount trying to cover them up inside and out… If i can find a picture i will post it, showing what i did...

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