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  #21  
Old 2014-08-21, 09:20 AM
hebdo27 hebdo27 is offline
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Originally Posted by BlkStnBerk2 View Post
It's all about liability.

If anything were to happen, broken water line, electrical fire, etc, etc, what do you imagine the insurance company is going to do?

Odds are, they will ask for copies of the permits and passed inspections. If you do not have these, then you are SOL with your claim.

You are right, that it is possible that the trades may not do a great job. But at least there is a paper trail of passed inspections and permits.
Well said, City inspectors don't care if your trim is installed straight or painted evenly....they do care that the studs are put in place properly and that no supporting beams were removed or modified inapproprietely.

The inspectors just want to make sure everything is done up to code for you and all the other the home occupants safety.

Last edited by hebdo27; 2014-08-21 at 09:32 AM.
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  #22  
Old 2014-08-21, 09:26 AM
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gerapau gerapau is offline
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Not disagreeing with you but we also need to remember having a permit does not mean the contractors will do a fine job and vice versa e.g many DIYers pride themselves in finishing their basement the right way.

I wonder if an inspector can spot issues in a finished basement? If that is the case, a permit may be a moot point and shouldn't be the deal breaker, IMO.
You are right, but at least if permits were drawn and inspections passed you can be relatively sure that most of the electrical/plumbing/structural work was done at least to a certain standard. Most of that stuff is covered up and inspectors will not find problems with it. Without permits you have no idea what is behind the walls. Most, if not all, of the horror stories I have heard of involved situations where permits were never pulled.
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  #23  
Old 2014-08-21, 11:47 AM
kalW kalW is offline
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Originally Posted by Mark & Lynda View Post
You can buy ceiling pot lights from any electrical supplier for $45-$55 each.
That's not a fair comparison. The $270 the builder is charging would include installation by a licenced electrician and paying ESA to inspect.

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Just wondering if your property tax will go up if you have the basement finished by the builder?

I am not sure about the legalities and insurance implications for this but I have heard some folks do not want to let the City know they have a finished basement to avoid seeing an increase in property tax and this is a(nother) reason they go with the DIY/contractor route.
By law you're supposed to pull permits if you're doing any structural, plumbing, or electrical work so the city will know that you're making changes so they will send someone to re-assess after the work is done. That's what we did (we pulled all the proper permits) and our taxes went up very slightly (less than 5%) and our quite extensively finished basement added almost 25% to our usable living space in the house.

Even if you don't tell anyone and don't pull permits, the MPAC people will come around every 5 years or so to re-assess if you've done any work. By law you must allow them in the house.

As others have stated, pulling permits is the right thing to do also for reselling. I would not a consider a home where "joe handyman" did all the work himself and had nothing inspected.

+1 to sprayfoaming. We tore out all of the Tartan installed pink fiberglass in the walls and used heatlok soya green sprayfoam throughout the entire basement. Huge difference in comfort compared to pink.

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Originally Posted by S and H View Post
Not disagreeing with you but we also need to remember having a permit does not mean the contractors will do a fine job and vice versa e.g many DIYers pride themselves in finishing their basement the right way.

[/quote[I wonder if an inspector can spot issues in a finished basement? If that is the case, a permit may be a moot point and shouldn't be the deal breaker, IMO.
An inspector after the fact cannot (they do non-invasive inspection) so that's why you pull permits because they'll come and inspect 3-4 times during the build before things get hidden. Plumbing grades under concrete get inspected, electrical rough-in gets inspected, so forth.

Kal
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  #24  
Old 2014-08-21, 01:41 PM
hebdo27 hebdo27 is offline
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Originally Posted by kalW View Post

By law you're supposed to pull permits if you're doing any structural, plumbing, or electrical work so the city will know that you're making changes so they will send someone to re-assess after the work is done. That's what we did (we pulled all the proper permits) and our taxes went up very slightly (less than 5%) and our quite extensively finished basement added almost 25% to our usable living space in the house.

Kal
Glad to hear your taxes will only went up 5% or so. Our house is 2800 sqft and we just finished our basement close to 1100 sq ft (we only left the mechanical room unfinished). It added a ton of new living space and should add a lot more value to my home than what I spend on finishing the basement. We had City and ESA inspectors come every step of the way (4 visits so far with one final one to go). Its a good feeling to know that the stuff behinds the walls is done right and won't endanger my family or home.
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  #25  
Old 2014-08-21, 05:23 PM
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gerapau gerapau is offline
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Even if you don't tell anyone and don't pull permits, the MPAC people will come around every 5 years or so to re-assess if you've done any work. By law you must allow them in the house.
Maybe they are supposed to but I've owned homes in Ottawa for over 25 years now and MPAC has never come for an inspection. Even with my new home they never came, they simply phoned me and asked questions over the phone.
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  #26  
Old 2014-08-21, 06:31 PM
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Same here ... They would be less welcome than a hwt rental sales guy
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  #27  
Old 2014-08-22, 12:58 AM
multiculti multiculti is offline
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Default Decided against getting builder to finish basement!

Given I wanted upgraded quality of finishings in the basement (builder puts in cheapest stuff), builder quoted another 14K on top of base price to finish basement. I thought that was excessive, builder wasn't willing to negotiate at all once initial offer for home was accepted. That sealed my decision. No finished basement.
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  #28  
Old 2014-08-22, 06:05 AM
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With what you will save you can foam the walls
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  #29  
Old 2014-08-22, 09:54 AM
kalW kalW is offline
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I dunno - sprayfoaming isn't cheap! It cost us $5K tax in to do floor to ceiling including headers/rim joists. (Entire ~1600 sq foot basement with 8.5' wall height).

If you luck out and MPAC doesn't visit often consider yourself lucky! We had them visit once or twice in the last house we were in while we lived there from 2000 to 2011. They came about 6 months after our basement reno was done in the new place but that was to be expected given that we pulled all permits (it was a major basement reno with lots of floor jackhammered out, plumbing stacks moved, all of the HVAC redone from scratch, etc).

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Given I wanted upgraded quality of finishings in the basement (builder puts in cheapest stuff), builder quoted another 14K on top of base price to finish basement. I thought that was excessive, builder wasn't willing to negotiate at all once initial offer for home was accepted. That sealed my decision. No finished basement.
One thing people should consider is the total cost of their home per floor going in. With many 2-floor single family homes in Ottawa now going for over $400-500K, spending another 10-20% to add 30-40% of living space could actually be considered a good value.

I don't know how big your finished basement area would be, but assuming 600-800 sq ft, $14K seems reasonably cheap if they're going to drywall, mud, paint, install trim, carpet (plus plywood/waterproofing membrane below), do pot lights/outlets, plus warranty the whole thing. At 800 sq ft that's only $17.50 sq/ft.

I do recommend people live in the house for a season before doing a basement however.

Kal
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Last edited by kalW; 2014-08-22 at 10:02 AM.
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  #30  
Old 2014-08-22, 10:30 AM
Scott Scott is offline
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Originally Posted by kalW View Post
I don't know how big your finished basement area would be, but assuming 600-800 sq ft, $14K seems reasonably cheap if they're going to drywall, mud, paint, install trim, carpet (plus plywood/waterproofing membrane below), do pot lights/outlets, plus warranty the whole thing. At 800 sq ft that's only $17.50 sq/ft.
Its going to cost him 44k + HST to finish the basement the way he wants.
That is $58 sq/ft.
Pretty steep price to pay for a finished basement. Don't forgot its going to cost another 10k for a decent entertainment unit, pool table, and furniture.

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Originally Posted by multiculti View Post
My builder is asking $30,000 +HST to finish 850 sq ft basement, this includes rec room, den and full bath. It's pretty basic: stipple ceilings (just under 8ft), carpet (except tiles in bathroom), arborite vanity, low end plumbings. To upgrade 700 sq ft of carpet to laminate wood is extra $6000 +HST, for engineered hardwood $7,500 +HST. Ceiling pot lights would cost $270 +HST each!!
Thanks!

Last edited by Scott; 2014-08-22 at 10:40 AM.
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