Building Code Updates

posted on Mar 10th, 2011
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The building code is updated approximately every three years. The newest code changes just came into full effect in January, 2011.

One of the changes which will be of real interest to many homeowners and buyers is a new ceiling height minimum. Formerly 7’6” was the minimum legal ceiling height for habitable rooms. That number has been lowered to 7 feet. This may make a big difference to the square footage of the living space in your home. Many houses have great basement rooms which are very usable yet could not be considered “legal” because the ceiling was too low. It was not possible to get a permit to make improvements to these areas- improvements such as a second bathroom downstairs. Now many of these former basements will qualify as living space and can be improved with proper permits. Restrictions may apply, such as the requirement for a code compliant stairway to reach your new legal lower level.