Can I make my bathroom legal?
I bought a house about 3 and a half years ago, which has a large addition on the 2nd floor only. The addition consists of a family room and a master suite. I checked to make sure the addition was permited, but I didn't think to look specifically that the bath was part of that permit. I've since determined that it was not (the bath does not show up in the cities records, and when I look at the drawing supplied with the permit, the bath is not there, the space appears to have been originally built as a walkin closet, and later converted to a bath).
I'm perfectly happy to open a permit and have the bathroom inspected, I want to do some upgrading in there anyway. My concern is that because the addition is only the second floor, their is a large, open space under the entire thing. This concerns me because I've heard that it is not code to run water lines through soffets (don't know if that is correct, I've not yet read up on plumbing codes), and I'm afraid they will say that this situation is not much different. Presently, the plumbing is all in, and they did not disturb the joists when installing. They basically attached long, roughly 16 inch deep box under the joists, to make room for, and fully enclose/insulate the plumbing. Basically, the underside of the entire addition is closed in with 1/2 inch plywood. They opened up the section under the bathroom and built the 16 deep enclosure under there. It looks like a bulk-head if you are walking under the addition.
Any thoughts about what it would take to get this bathroom permitted/legal? Do I need to build a bump-out of the 1st floor, so that their is a heated "room" under the plumbing? Can I just open up that bulk-head to the interior of the first floor? Any other ideas?
I'm sort of hoping someone will tell me I'm blowing this out of proportion and that all I need is to open it up for the inspector and it will be that easy, but I'm doubting that for now...
YOu might want to open up that soffit anyway. Remove the insulation between the pipe and the heated side of the soffit, leaving at least a V shaped empty channel following the pipe and as wide (just behind the heated space wall or ceiling) as it is deep (reaching the pipe).
Thanks, Allan! Yeah, I agree, and I've actually done just that (because my pipes froze last winter during a particularly cold week). I beefed up the insulation, and left it open between the pipes and the floor. I just don't know if it makes sense to approach the city, or if they will tell me that I've just got to take it out altogether. Don't want to do that, because the closest bathroom would be far away (its actually shares a wall with the other bath, but I have to walk all the way through the house to get there, because there is no direct access).
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