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Old 2013-03-10, 08:25 AM
getliquid getliquid is offline
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Default basement finishing permit

anyone recently finished a basement in Ottawa recently?

I'm starting to get quotes to finish my basement, 3 quotes later which is all close in price, all the companies say all I need is a ESA permit for electrical BY LAW, there is no point on getting the permit from the city because all it does is increase your property tax by 20-40%. Also they said I'm not adding in a washroom so no plumbing or structural changes are being made.
Is this true?

The companies are all big ones in Ottawa and not off of kijiji, one of them did 10++ basements within my area in the past year, and after talking to some of the purchasers only one of them actually got a city permit.

Any lawyers here? Am I opening myself to lawsuits if I sell a house without a basement permit in the future? I would think since all the electrical is certified by ESA, and there are obviously no structrual changes since basically all I'm doing is covering up the sides with drywall, dry core/laminate. the buyer should get their own home inspection anyways?

Last edited by getliquid; 2013-03-10 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 2013-03-10, 08:40 AM
foxborough foxborough is offline
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Building permits are required when you are completing a basement. Here is the link to the City of Ottawa website: http://ottawa.ca/en/homeowners-guide...ished-basement.
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Old 2013-03-10, 08:51 AM
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For guidance, look at the 'required inspections' in the link above.

I'm assuming there is no 'structural' framing.
Are they insulating and installing any new vapour barrier?

Putting up some drywall and a couple of interior partitions they (the city) may not be interested in.

No permits = no inspections. So depends on how much you trust them ....

Pretty much every Holmes on Homes show finds behind the walls problems that inspections would have identified and avoided.
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Old 2013-03-10, 09:17 AM
getliquid getliquid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by good2know View Post
For guidance, look at the 'required inspections' in the link above.

I'm assuming there is no 'structural' framing.
Are they insulating and installing any new vapour barrier?

Putting up some drywall and a couple of interior partitions they (the city) may not be interested in.

No permits = no inspections. So depends on how much you trust them ....

Pretty much every Holmes on Homes show finds behind the walls problems that inspections would have identified and avoided.
they are framing a room for the heater/dryer/washer, and framing a closet to cover the electrical box. I'm in a Richcraft single and thought its already insulated/vapour barriered? Between the wood on outside of the basement walls its already got the pink stuff which I assume is the insulation, and the clear vapour barrier over it...

basically the work involves framing a room for the dryer/washer/furnace, drywall on the outside walls, dry-core floor then laminate with vapour barrier padding and ceiling. And whatever needs to be code for the electrical stuff.

I know ESA inspector will come before the dry wall is up to certify all the wiring, but what does the city inspector actually do? check the framing? There is nothing to be done inside the walls or anything is being modified... basically all is required is covering it.

Last edited by getliquid; 2013-03-10 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 2013-03-10, 09:24 AM
foxborough foxborough is offline
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The challenge with not obtaining the required permits are the risks that you are assuming now and in the future.

Your primary current risk is that your basement will not be completed to code and you may have costly repairs to correct any substandard work. Remember that one aspect of the inspection is to make sure that the work that you are paying to have completed is completed to minimum code.

Your future risk is whether an uncoded basement renovation will affect the sale of your home. Personally, I would not purchase any home that has a completed basement that did not have permits and the proper inspections done. One of the first questions I would ask when I see a finished basement is whether the inspections were completed and it would be a condition of purchase to provide me with the copies of the inspections.

A second future risk concerns the fact that most home buyers today purchase title insurance that would protect whoever buys your home from any damages that may result from substandard work. But here's what most folks don't understand - the title insurance company will usually commence legal action against the previous home owner, that is the person that actually commenced the basement reno, for the damages. Simply selling the home at some later time does not release you from the liability of completing your basement without the proper permits.
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Old 2013-03-10, 09:31 AM
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can you post some pics of exterior walls and especially the areas between the joists?

if its not properly air sealed, that should be done before cover up.
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Old 2013-03-10, 12:03 PM
getliquid getliquid is offline
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yeah I think my wall are insulated and air sealed

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b3...310_115543.jpg

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b3...310_115535.jpg
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Old 2013-03-10, 12:15 PM
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the sealing at the bottom looks better than most

what about between floor joists and top of walls?

is it only r-12 in the walls?

see pm
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Old 2013-03-10, 01:17 PM
lex_rx lex_rx is offline
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Personally, I would go for a permit. I did that in the deck last year and the city inspectors did ask the contractor to make the holes deeper (rocky in Kanata Estates).

But you have to weigh the costs (permits and taxes, and cost of the project) and benefits (meets code) to you. Some contractors don't like permits because it increases their costs and timeframes on projects - they need to submit architectural/engineering drawings, etc.

The deck contractor is the one who applied for the permit since, according to him, if I applied for it myself, I become the general contractor. This is one info that I didn't have a chance to validate so I paid him the $500 to do everything related to that.

However, not sure about the title insurance having something to do with reno. That's not my interpretation of what I, and probably, you, bought when you purchased your home.

When you're ready to share what you eventually do, we'll be here watching.
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Old 2013-03-11, 07:49 PM
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Pretty sure to put drywall on the insulated wall, the insulation has to run to the floor. For non-finished area, they don't need to insulate to the floor, 48" below grade is fine.
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