Minimum ceiling height?

edselpdxOctober 1, 2006

I know local codes may vary, but what is generally the minimum height for a finished living space in a basement. I'm thinking about adding egress/closet/bathroom downstairs for my soon-to-be-teen, because our current bedrooms don't offer much privacy from each other. The ceiling in the space is pretty low, though, and I don't want to start investing in too much research if it will never meet code....


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Because codes vary greatly around the country, you should check with your local building department. Around here many have basic information available online, in some cases even an downloadable "checklist" for basement finishing.

Typically there are different requirements for basement "bedrooms" too. Egress is very important! One common way to get around those requirements is to call the space a home office or craft room. But if someone is going to actually be sleeping in the space...make sure you have proper egress.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 6:49AM
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Thanks for the reply... I had looked on-line, but went back this morning and did more searching and did find the Portland requirements (6'8", generally, with some exceptions around pipes, etc.) I am planning to add an egress window in any case, since part of the space is finished already (by a previous owner, concrete painted walls and fiberboard ceiling...) and is used for occasional sleepovers. It actually appears that my concrete stairs to the basement may not be "grandfatherable" due to height restrictions, and it would be a major job to change those to add a legal "bedroom". I'll probably drop by the building permit office and ask some questions... they're pretty nice here, and I worked with them on a kitchen remodel and addition a while back.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 3:11PM
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Most building departments are pretty decent. Sure there are some folks that are real jerks but most just want you to follow the code, a code that often exists for a reason.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 5:33AM
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