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Old 07-31-2015, 04:07 PM   #1
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How to get a building permit and learn codes?


I know the question sounds dumb, but I'm going to put 2 rooms in my basement, a rec room and an office. I have Taunton's Remodeling a Basement book and the Black and Decker remodeling a basement book. But then I went to the Building and Zoning office to get information on a permit.

Is there anywhere I can go to get help in drawing up a permit? I'm in Ohio and have to make my request using Section 106 of the state building codes (which includes things like drawing cross sections of walls, submitting drawing and stairwells with hand rail dimentions ect...) It just seem overkill when all I want to do is frame out and finish two rooms with electric.

Also, is there a book or website which simplifies the Ohio building code so I can quickly look up how I need to build certain aspects of my basement, or do I have to wade through the 1053 page Ohio building code every time I need to know something?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-31-2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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I think you will be pleasantly surprised out how helpful the building and safety office will be.

Go down and tell them exactly what you told us. They should tell you everything you need to know....except the actual construction part.
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Old 07-31-2015, 04:43 PM   #3
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Unless your code office is a lot more strict than ours, drawing those cross section only requires paper, pencil, an eraser and ruler. Submit a copy and keep the original Add a lot of notes in the margin. They will show you what if any mistakes you made. That is where the eraser comes into the picture.

Really! If you go in with a polite attitude they bend over backwards to help you.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:01 AM   #4
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i was talking to the code guy. he said he has recieved plans drawn out on napkins
irrc, he said he had to accept them.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fix'n it View Post
i was talking to the code guy. he said he has recieved plans drawn out on napkins
irrc, he said he had to accept them.
That is NOT an urban myth. For standard stuff, you can do that.

They do prefer plot plans to be a bit more professional....but for simple things...a sketch is ok.

When I re-did my kitchen which included taking out the ceiling and vaulting it. No drawings. Guy stopped by...."Yep, looks pretty good. I'd put a post right there for extra support of the roof member."

At the end of the day....if they know you want to do it right, they will help you do it right.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:27 AM   #6
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Not only go in there nicely but if you take a box of donuts they will like you even more.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:47 AM   #7
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OK. Maybe I've paranoid myself a little too much. Next time I go in I'll show them the plans I have so far and see if they will help me. Maybe the regulations in the packet they give out and the reality of what they accept will be different.
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Startingover View Post
Not only go in there nicely but if you take a box of donuts they will like you even more.
They are inspectors....not cops.....
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:23 AM   #9
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If you put you location in your profile, according to what I read, you will be overwhelmed with codes for your location right here on the forum.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:28 AM   #10
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All inspectors want easier-to-read, comprehensive plan so they can make a "professional" decision.
That depends on you. Start with searching for "blue print" and go to images. Even search for blue-print-on-a-napkin. If it takes overnight or a week, you should get an idea of what is acceptable.
Fine line arrows, printing on a ruler, and not jumbling the descriptions help a lot. Electricals and plumbing esp have symbols that are easy enough to learn for a single family house.
Things like footings are assumed to exist and you don't have to prove it. Just draw it in.
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:26 AM   #11
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My only experience with a building permit came in 1983. Yeah, I know, that was a long time ago.

I wanted to build a three car detached garage . Using a sketch pad, I drew the construction as best I could. It had one cross wall and electrical. No plumbing. After looking it over, the guy said to change the rafter support framing. He drew in the change and I got the permit. It passed final inspection with no problem.

Hope this helps.
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