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  #21  
Old 2008-04-29, 10:17 PM
New_Home_Owner_01 New_Home_Owner_01 is offline
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Default Basement Ceiling Height Question

Phil,

My wife and I are looking at a house with Claridge in Bridlewood. We were allowed to walk through the unit since it is framed and the floors are in. One thing I noticed is that the ceiling height in the basement under the main entrance lowered floor was slightly lower than in the model by a few inches. It is in an unfinished section of the basement and I figured that the difference might come from the fact that the model basement floor was sloped different then the unit we were looking at. In the model I can walk under the unfinished ceiling joists where in the sale unit I hit my forehead. Did the builder possibly cheat on the foundation depth to save money or dig the model deeper to make it look better.
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  #22  
Old 2008-04-30, 12:19 AM
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Inspector Phil Acker Inspector Phil Acker is offline
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Originally Posted by New_Home_Owner_01 View Post
Phil,

In the model I can walk under the unfinished ceiling joists where in the sale unit I hit my forehead. Did the builder possibly cheat on the foundation depth to save money or dig the model deeper to make it look better.
The finished height of the basement is the result of a number of decisions that are made and relate to site factors. Final elevations are the result of an interative process and involves work with and approval by the City. The elevation for your home takes into account a number of factors that include soil conditions, depth of services, topography and drainage. The final elevation for a particular home needs to take into account the elevations of neighboring homes.

Here's some constraints. The services for storm and sanitary services need to be lower than the basement floor. There are minimum height requirements for the basement as set by the Building Code. The site grading must be such that it promotes drainage away from the house. The top of the foundation is required to be at least 6" above grade.

For your home, it is unlikely that the builder cheated on the foundation to save money, although cost factors would be considered (another constraint!). The model homes would have been subject to similar constaints. Yes, its possible that the builder by intent wanted to have greated basement heights in the model homes. Its also possible that the height is what it by design to be within the siting constraints.
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  #23  
Old 2008-04-30, 08:13 AM
New_Home_Owner_01 New_Home_Owner_01 is offline
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Default Basement Ceiling Heights

Thanks Phil that definetily clears things up.
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  #24  
Old 2008-05-05, 10:50 AM
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M&H M&H is offline
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Default Light fixture in WIC - electican code

Hi,

My mom just took position of her new house ON-TIME, PDI has around 70 minor issues. She has a WIC closet in the 2nd floor for linen. Good sized WIC which is very nice, but they did not install any light fixture in it. I know that I can run a point from the attic, but do you know if the electrical code requires to have light fixture in an area like this. Especially, there are shelves behind the door which makes it even harder to use.

The builder said that there arenít any requirements to have a light fixture there. The WIC is around 6.5" X 5.5"
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  #25  
Old 2008-05-05, 09:32 PM
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Locations for lighting fixtures is covered in the Ontario Building Code. There is no requirement for lighting in a closet. Here are the rooms that require lighting: kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, utility rooms, laundry rooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, water closet rooms, vestibules and hallways. Lighting is also required at stairways, at each entrance to the home, and basements.

There is one possible argument: lighting is required in storage rooms. So if you argue the the closet is really a storage room for linen, then perhaps you can win. I view a "closet" as a storage space that you are not normally expected to walk into (e.g. a linen closet; a clothes closet), and a "room" as a place you can physically enter [and is designed for you to physically enter] and after you enter it, you can close and latch the door behind you. If it is not a "room" then there would be no need for a doorknob on the inside. To support this, I often see lighting in many kitchen food pantries if it is a space there you can physically enter and close the door behind you. One other avenue is to follow up with the City of Ottawa, as they have jurisdiction for the OBC. I am giving you my opinion, but the City has the power to rule.

The electrical code does not prescribe lighting fixture locations; it covers methods for wiring and installation.
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  #26  
Old 2008-05-05, 11:57 PM
New_Home_Owner_01 New_Home_Owner_01 is offline
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Default Duct Work Question

I took a walk through our new home and the drywall isn't up yet. I noticed that the joints of the duct work aren't taped and there are a few screw holes. How easy is it to get the builder to fix stuff before we move in. Is it easier just to go through the home myself and install the tape on the joints. I have read some threads that this can save you a lot of money on your heating/cooling costs.
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  #27  
Old 2008-05-06, 07:26 AM
john and Mo john and Mo is offline
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Phil, quick one for you--

Is there something in code that says a light fixture must be at the top of a set of stairs? There is no light anywhere near the top of the stairs to my basement, the nearest light being in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs to the top floor--which completely block out any of the light from this fixture reaching the top of the stairs to the basement. The light at the bottom of the basement stairs is switched by 3-way switches, as I believe code requires, but there is not light at the top.
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  #28  
Old 2008-05-06, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New_Home_Owner_01 View Post
I noticed that the joints of the duct work aren't taped and there are a few screw holes. How easy is it to get the builder to fix stuff before we move in. Is it easier just to go through the home myself and install the tape on the joints. I have read some threads that this can save you a lot of money on your heating/cooling costs.
Sealing duct joints improves heating and cooling efficiency by reducing loss of conditioned air delivery to areas and rooms. There is no requirement for ducting to be sealed for new homes. However, homes with the Energy Star rating require air supply and return trunks and ducts to be sealed. If your home is not built to Energy Star requirements, you would have to talk to your builder, and I suspect this would be a chargeable option by the HVAC installer. As for taping joints yourself after you move in, yes this would be a good thing to do as you will get quick payback from your investment of time and relatively small amount of money to buy tape.
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Last edited by Inspector Phil Acker; 2008-05-06 at 07:45 AM.
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  #29  
Old 2008-05-06, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john and Mo View Post
Phil, quick one for you--

Is there something in code that says a light fixture must be at the top of a set of stairs? There is no light anywhere near the top of the stairs to my basement, the nearest light being in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs to the top floor--which completely block out any of the light from this fixture reaching the top of the stairs to the basement. The light at the bottom of the basement stairs is switched by 3-way switches, as I believe code requires, but there is not light at the top.
Basically, the building code statest that "every stairway shall be lighted". It does not give any detail on what this means in terms of location of fixtures and the amount of lighting. I think the intent is that sufficient lighting is provided that you have sufficient illumination to see the stairs and railings.

If the stairs have more than 3 risers, then 3-way switching is required with switches at the top and bottom of the stairs, except for unfinished basements, where only a switch at the top of the stairs is required. Most new homes have switching from the top and bottom of the stairs whether or not the basement is finished.
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  #30  
Old 2008-05-06, 09:19 AM
GreyingJay GreyingJay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john and Mo View Post
Phil, quick one for you--

Is there something in code that says a light fixture must be at the top of a set of stairs? There is no light anywhere near the top of the stairs to my basement, the nearest light being in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs to the top floor--which completely block out any of the light from this fixture reaching the top of the stairs to the basement. The light at the bottom of the basement stairs is switched by 3-way switches, as I believe code requires, but there is not light at the top.
Bring it up with your builder and/or warranty services, and see what they say. I had a dark area of my stairway, and I showed my builder and he agreed to put in a capped light fixture.
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