Is It Illegal To Have a Bedroom in the Basement?

Is It Illegal To Have a Bedroom in the Basement?

A basement is a great location for a kid’s bedroom or a guest bedroom. In the case of the former, both you and your children will appreciate the space and the small amount of separation that a basement bedroom provides. But I’m afraid that with all these benefits, Is it illegal to have a bedroom in the basement?

Absolutely not, it’s completely legal and you have all the right to have a bedroom in your basement, but in case that you will respect the building code requirements. Because any room that has a closet or is attached to a bathroom is considered a bedroom, regardless of what you may call it on your permit application. Your building department is especially concerned about bedrooms, and it is easy to understand why.

Sleeping rooms are in use when we are in our most vulnerable state, so they must be set up for our protection. That’s why any basement bedroom must have an egress window that meets the minimum size and accessibility requirements.

A smoke detector is also required, and a radon detector is highly recommended (radon levels are highest in the basement). Bedrooms also must be comfortable.

Basement Bedroom Requirements

Emergency Escape (egress) Opening

An emergency escape and rescue opening commonly called an egress opening is required in all bedrooms and in most basements. Codes are very specific concerning the minimum clearances of the openings and how they can be accessed, as well as how they can be exited from the exterior.

Rooms that are not intended for sleeping typically do not need to meet egress requirements. You may use an operable window or you may use a side-hinged or sliding door as the escape opening.

Escape Opening Locations

  1. Provide at least one escape opening in every bedroom including bedrooms above, at, and below ground level.
  2. Provide at least one escape opening in most basements. You are not required to provide a basement escape opening if: (a) the basement area is not more than 200 square feet, and if (b) the basement is used only to house mechanical appliances.
  3. Provide each basement bedroom with an escape opening. You are not required to provide other escape openings in basements in addition to the bedroom escape openings.
  4. Open all escape openings directly onto an area that leads directly to a public way. This means that escape openings cannot open onto an enclosed courtyard or onto a similar area that does not lead directly and without obstruction to an area that is accessible by the public.
  5. You may open an escape opening under a deck or porch if: (a) the escape opening can be opened to the full required dimensions, and if (b) the space under the deck or porch is at least 36 inches high.
  6. Note that an escape opening may be required when converting a previously unfinished basement into finished space, especially if the finished space is a bedroom. Verify requirements with the local building official.

Locks & Bars on Openings: Do not cover or obstruct escape openings with locks, bars, screens, or similar devices unless they can be operated from the inside without tools, keys, lock combinations, and special knowledge, and can be operated with the same force required to open the escape opening.

Escape Opening Size

  1. Provide escape openings with a clear opening area of at least 5.7 square feet. This includes escape openings above and below grade level. You may reduce an escape opening at grade level to at least 5.0 square feet.
  2. Provide each escape opening with a clear opening at least 24 inches high and at least 20 inches wide.
  3. Locate the sill of each escape opening not more than 44 inches above the finished floor. Measure the sill height from the finished floor to the where the clear opening begins (the bottom of the opening).
  4. Measure escape opening height and width using the clear opening area. The clear opening area does not include obstructions such as window frames.

Window Wells

  1. Provide all below-grade escape openings with a window well.
  2. Provide each window well with at least 9 square feet clear opening area and a depth and width of at least 36 inches in each direction.
  3. Install a permanent ladder if the window well bottom is more than 44 inches below grade. Ladder rung specifications include a rung width at least 12 inches, a rung projection at least three inches from the window well wall, a rung vertical spacing not more than 18 inches apart, and a ladder may encroach not more than 6 inches into minimum window well width or depth dimension.

Canadian Minimum Requirements for Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings

ITEM IRC NBC
Required locations Bedroom
s and habitable basements
Bedrooms
Minimum Area 5.7 sq. ft. 3.77 sq. ft.
Minimum height or width 24 in. height, 20 in. width 15 in. for both
Maximum height of the sill 44 in. 59 in.
Minimum clearance in window wells 3 ft. x 3 ft. Front clearance greater than 22 in.
Additional requirements for window wells If depth greater than 44 in., a ladder must be provided. Any cover must be removable from the interior side.

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

Working Principle

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are required in new construction.

  • Carbon monoxide alarms (A) are triggered by the presence of carbon monoxide gas. Smoke alarms are available in photoelectric and ionizing models.
  • In ionizing alarms (B), a small amount of current flows in an ionization chamber. When smoke enters the chamber, it interrupts the current, triggering the alarm.
  • Photoelectric alarms (C) rely on a beam of light, which when interrupted by smoke triggers an alarm.
  • Heat alarms (D) sound an alarm when they detect areas of high heat in the room. Also available are combination smoke/CO alarms and ionizing/photoelectric smoke alarms. The combination of ionizing/photoelectric alarms is recommended because they detect both smoke and light from fires.

Install smoke alarms in and near all bedrooms and on all levels of a home.
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How to Replace a Dishwasher

How to Replace a Dishwasher

A dishwasher that’s past its prime may be inefficient in more ways than one. If it’s an old model, it probably wasn’t designed to be very efficient, to begin with.

But more significantly, if it no longer cleans effectively, you’re probably spending a lot of time and hot water pre-rinsing the dishes. This alone can consume more energy and water than a complete wash cycle on a newer machine.

So even if your old dishwasher still runs, replacing it with an efficient new model can be a good green upgrade. In terms of sizing and utility hookups, dishwashers are generally quite standard.

If your old machine is a built-in and your countertops and cabinets are standard sizes, most full-size dishwashers will fit right in. Of course, you should always measure the dimensions of the old unit before shopping for a new one to avoid an unpleasant surprise at installation time. Also,

Be sure to review the manufacturer’s instructions before starting any work.

On this post, I will share with you the maximum amount of experience that I have made through my Xjob, focus and keep reading.

What do I need to Replace a Dishwasher?

These are the tools that you must have before you start replacing your dishwasher: Screwdrivers, Adjustable wrench, 2-ft. level, 5⁄8″ automotive heater hose, automotive heater hose, 4″-length of 1⁄2″ copper tubing, Cable connector, Teflon tape, Hose clamps, Wire connectors, Carpet scrap, and Bowl.

How long does it take to replace a dishwasher?

Replacing an old, inefficient dishwasher is a straightforward project that usually takes just a few hours especially if the dishwasher was a standard one, it will take no more than 2 hours as maximum for removing existing to installing and testing a new dishwasher. The energy savings begin with the first load of dishes and continue with every load thereafter.

How much does it cost to replace a dishwasher?

When you are replacing an existing dishwasher, the installation will include minor adjustments to countertops, Plumbing, or wiring. Typical labor runs between 150$ to 475$, with most homeowners paying 300$. but the best thing is that you can replace it with yourself easily, and save 100% of the cost.

Steps to Replace a Dishwasher

1. Start by shutting off the electrical power to the dishwasher circuit at the service panel. Also, turn off the water supply at the shutoff valve, usually located directly under the floor.

2. Disconnect old plumbing connections. First, unscrew the front access panel. Once the access panel is removed, disconnect the water supply line from the L-fitting on the bottom of the unit.

This is usually a brass compression fitting, so just turning the compression nut counterclockwise with an adjustable wrench should do the trick. Use a bowl to catch any water that might leak out when the nut is removed.

3. Disconnect old wiring connections. The dishwasher has an integral electrical box at the front of the unit where the power cable is attached to the dishwasher’s fixture wires.

Take off the box cover and remove the wire connectors that join the wires together.

4. Disconnect the discharge hose, which is usually connected to the dishwasher port on the side of the garbage disposer. To remove it, just loosen the screw on the hose clamp and pull it off.

You may need to push this hose back through a hole in the cabinet wall and into the dishwasher compartment so it won’t get caught when you pull the dishwasher out.

5. Detach the unit from the cabinets before you pull it out. Remove the screws that hold the brackets to the underside of the countertop.

Then put a piece of cardboard or old carpet under the front legs to protect the floor from getting scratched, and pull the dishwasher out.

6. First, prepare the new dishwasher. Tip it on its back and attach the new L-fitting into the threaded port on the solenoid.

Apply some Teflon tape or pipe sealant to the fitting threads before tightening it in place to prevent possible leaks.

7. Prepare for the wiring connections. Like the old dishwasher, the new one will have an integral electrical box for making the wiring connections. To gain access to the box, just remove the box cover.

Then install a cable connector on the back of the box and bring the power cable from the service panel through this connector. Power should be shut off at the main service panel at all times.

8. Install a leveling leg at each of the four corners while the new dishwasher is still on its back. Just turn the legs into the threaded holes designed for them.

Leave about 1⁄2″ of each leg projecting from the bottom of the unit. These will have to be adjusted later to level the appliance. Tip the appliance up onto the feet and slide it into the opening. Check for level in both directions and adjust the feet as required.

9. Once the dishwasher is level, attach the brackets to the underside of the countertop to keep the appliance from moving. Then pull the discharge hose into the sink cabinet and install it so there’s a loop that is attached with a bracket to the underside of the countertop.

This loop prevents wastewater from flowing from the disposer back into the dishwasher. Note: Some codes require that you install an air gap fitting for this purpose. Check with your local plumbing inspector.

10. Push an adapter over the disposer’s discharge nipple and tighten it in place with a hose clamp. If you don’t have a disposer, replace one of the drain tailpieces with a dishwasher tailpiece, and clamp the discharge tube to its fitting.

11. Adjust the L‑fitting on the dishwasher’s water inlet valve until it points directly toward the water supply tubing. Then lubricate the threads slightly with a drop of dishwashing liquid and tighten the tubing’s compression nut onto the fitting. Keeping the brass bushing between the nut and the L-fitting.

Use an adjustable wrench and turn the nut clockwise.

12. Complete the electrical connections by clamping the cable and joining the wires with wire nuts, following manufacturer’s instructions.

Replace the electrical cover, usually by hooking it onto a couple of prongs and driving a screw. Restore power and water, and test. Replace the toe-kick.

Tube Choices, Note: Codes still allow copper supply tubes like the one shown, but a 4‑ to 5‑ft. flexible dishwasher supply tube is a better choice if you are likely to be sliding the appliance in and out. A copper tube is less likely to burst, so it may be preferable in cases where the appliance is unlikely to be moved.

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