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Basement Finishing and Renovations Has it been 2 years already? Time to work on finishing the basement into some extra living space.


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Old 2010-06-14, 12:27 PM
giugno21 giugno21 is offline
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Default Basement Drywalling - Permit Required?

I have a townhouse with a builder finished basement.

There are two storage rooms that were not finished, of which they were studded.

The one storage room also was insulated by the builder and vapour barriered. I want to put in drywall, a suspended ceiling and carpet just so it will be a nicer storage room to put stuff into. Would a permit be required/would any issues arise because of this?
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Old 2010-06-14, 01:36 PM
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gerapau gerapau is offline
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The simple answer is yes. If you plan on putting up drywall you will be turning unused space in living space and I believe code will require you to install electrical outlets in the room (at least every 12 feet along the walls - plus other rules for around openings in the walls). This will require an electrical permit at least (I assume the builder didn't install that many outlets in the unfinished space). You local town/city will also probably require a building permit for any work like this (hey, you will be improving the value of your home and they will surely want to know about that).
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Old 2010-06-14, 03:17 PM
giugno21 giugno21 is offline
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Originally Posted by gerapau View Post
The simple answer is yes. If you plan on putting up drywall you will be turning unused space in living space and I believe code will require you to install electrical outlets in the room (at least every 12 feet along the walls - plus other rules for around openings in the walls). This will require an electrical permit at least (I assume the builder didn't install that many outlets in the unfinished space). You local town/city will also probably require a building permit for any work like this (hey, you will be improving the value of your home and they will surely want to know about that).
So, as soon as you put up drywall, it is considered a living space?? I guess the term living space is confusing to me as the room is solely going to be used as a storage room. I guess in my mind it would be overkill to have electrical outlets in the storage room...

In that respect, according to what you're saying gerapeau, if I am understanding correctly, putting up drywall is turning a non-living space to a living space. If I put up drywall in my garage, does that automatically turn into a living space too?
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Old 2010-06-14, 05:59 PM
Mark & Lynda Mark & Lynda is offline
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Originally Posted by giugno21 View Post
I want to put in drywall, a suspended ceiling and carpet just so it will be a nicer storage room to put stuff into. Would a permit be required/would any issues arise because of this?
I wouldn't bother. It's staying a storage room. No permit is required to install drywall.
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Old 2010-06-14, 08:48 PM
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gerapau gerapau is offline
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A garage is a garage and as such does not have the same rules as finished space within your home. If you are putting up drywall, a ceiling, and carpet you are creating a new finished room and that room should have all the necessary electrical fixtures installed. When I finished my basement 15 years ago (in Ottawa) I created three rooms. A family room, an office and a finished storage room. When I got the necessary permits at that time I did indeed have to install outlets in the storage room.

In the end it really is up to you though. Just keep in mind that if you ever do want to use those rooms for anything other than storage it will be much tougher to install electrical fixtures at that time.

For a definate answer, give your local building permits office a call and see what they say. Again though, if you follow the rules or not is really up to you.
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