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Old 11-01-2010, 07:38 PM   #1
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Greetings!

It is great to find this forum and I'm going to need it. A year ago, my wife and I bought a 1000 sqft , 2-bedroom house perfect for the two of us. Now, we have a baby due in December and the house is suddenly a whole lot smaller.

Fortunately, we have a basement that's it good shape, so I will be building a bonus room down there to house our craft and project work area. My last DIY expirence was 25 years ago when I helped my dad do some renovation when I was 10 years old. So, I'm mostly doomed.

I'm an Industrial Engineer by day and spend several weekends a year photographing women's flat track roller derby. Now, all I have to do is build this room and figure out the whole father of the infant thing between now and late March. Currently, I'm tearing through books on framing, electrical, and drywall, and collecting information to start planning and estimating costs.

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Old 11-01-2010, 07:52 PM   #2
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This is a good place to start---You will want to put your location into your profile---
That will help you to get answers specific to your codes.

Also--pictures help a lot--

Welcome---Ask when ready!--Mike--

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Old 11-02-2010, 08:22 AM   #3
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There are experienced DIYers and pros for almost everything on here.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
This is a good place to start---You will want to put your location into your profile---
That will help you to get answers specific to your codes.

Also--pictures help a lot--

Welcome---Ask when ready!--Mike--
What Mike said and thanks for updating your location.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:06 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum!

Can I give you your first piece of advice?
Get in the habit from day one of putting your pencil in your pocket and your tape measure on your belt (rather than setting them down).

You won't believe how much time this little trick will save you. Ask me how I know.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondesense View Post
Welcome to the forum!

Can I give you your first piece of advice?
Get in the habit from day one of putting your pencil in your pocket and your tape measure on your belt (rather than setting them down).

You won't believe how much time this little trick will save you. Ask me how I know.
I've seen contractor's who carry a pencil on their ear all the time. Even at their kids sporting events. Myself, I try to keep one at each location I'm working around the house. Another tape measure tip while I'm thinking of it. Marking with a pencil on the tape measure itself rather than writing measurements on paper. The pencil marks wipe right off with a little spit on the thumb.
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Old 11-07-2010, 04:26 AM   #7
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Word of advice. If the house is older than 3 years it probably does not have an emergency escape and rescue window. Unless this is a daylight basement or otherwise has a door opening directly to the outside (the old cellar door thing worked if it could be opened from the inside) an emergency escape window is required.

Probably a tough one for you. If the bonus room existed, there would be no requirement to add the window. If you are converting the space to living space, the current code should be met. Consider trying to get out of a basement when the house above is fully engaged in a fire.
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:06 PM   #8
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That rescue window is a great idea. It's not required here, but should be.
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:23 PM   #9
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Not sure where you are but most states are under the international family of codes. CA was a hold out but has come around. Not sure about HY.

Insurance Rating Bureau (ISRB I think) rates all cities and towns. If you don't get a good rating your rates go up. Both building dept and fire dept fill out surveys and the codes in effect are examined along with the adopting ordinances. Surveys include how many permits, how many inspections, how many red tags.

Don't have the codes at home to refer to but I believe the current version of the International Residential Code (IRC) requires emergency escape from all basements except those strictly used for mechanical equipment.
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:51 PM   #10
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This is mostly a rural area. Outside of the city limits the areas aren't zoned, so there are no building codes. There is no central county government and no ordinances. If you live in an unzoned area you can do any thing you want when you build. There have been several attempts to pass zoning but they always fail by a large margin. In side the city limits, you can do electrical wiring, plumbing etc on your own property with no inspections. People here hate government intrusion.
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Last edited by rusty baker; 11-07-2010 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:48 PM   #11
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Forgive me Rusty but I have to chuckle at that. There are few places where government is loathed more than Idaho. Remember the state where a notorious poacher got 2 years for killing two fish and game officers? Self defense with a deer rifle followed by close shots from a pistol (but they were out to get him).

Now we have a state Department of Building Safety run by a former law enforcement bureaucrat who must fashion himself as the J Edgar of codes because hes out to expand his empire. ID DBS has just taken over inspections and plan reviews in the resort town expected to see several large hotel projects over the next some years.

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