A Legal Basement Permit Is Required When You Renovate Your Basement To Make More Living Space
If you're planning to finish your basement so you have more living space, it's important to get a permit for the work. The builder you work with can help you with this. They will probably obtain the permit for you and add the cost to the cost of your renovation. Here's a look at why legal basement permits are so important and what the process might entail.
A Permit Is Important For Finishing A Basement
If you put your home on the market in the future, not having a permit for a finished basement could be a stumbling block to the sale going through. If you finish your basement without a permit, you might be fined a significant amount of money. You might even need to undo the work and start all over.
However, the most important reason for getting a permit is so your home is safe. Permits are needed for any work that could affect the safety of your home. A permit requires an inspection, and the inspection makes sure the work is up to current codes and has been done safely.
Your home might be out of compliance with current codes now, but old homes are grandfathered in until renovation work is done, then new work has to be up to current code requirements.
The Permit Process Starts With A Plan
A permit isn't just a general form you fill out. The application requires specific information about your basement, especially details like the ceiling height and egress windows.
Older homes often have basements with low ceilings. Low ceilings are not up to current codes, so your builder needs to include plans that address ceiling height. The same is true if there isn't an egress window where one is required.
All changes in the renovation plans have to be according to current codes, and that could affect your electrical and plumbing systems too. If the builder submits a plan that the codes office doesn't agree with, the builder has to submit another plan until one is approved so work can begin.
Inspections Are Done At Intervals
The codes officer will be involved in your renovation process. They'll schedule periodic inspections to check on electrical work, plumbing installations, and moving or adding walls. This ensures the inspector has easy access to work before it is covered up by the next construction step.
When the builder is finished, an inspector such as RDA Designs makes one final check of your basement before signing off on the work. The permit then becomes a permanent part of your home's property record.