Legal second unit in basement

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Posted by: from Brampton
10/9/2016 at 7:16:00 PM

I have an existing basement apartment that is semi completed (but liveable) and I am now thinking of making it legal. The only approval I got so far is zoning compliance approval from the City for a second unit. I am now required to get drawings done to apply for a permit to alter/repair.

My questions:

Does the city require a sprinkler system in the furnace room?

My alarms are presently interconnected (all three floors) and I am required to have an alarm in every sleeping room in the house, how can I do this?

I presently have the regular half- inch drywall in the basement ceiling, what can I add to the ceiling to bring it up to code for fire separation?

I am yet to get ESA approval but the wires are already hooked up, most of the drywall already screwed up but not plastered.

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Date/Time10/10/2016 at 12:56:53 AM


Yes, the city building services will require a sprinkler system because your application must adhere to new building codes. Furthermore, you will need fire rated door(s), min 5/8'' to all joining walls and ceiling, you might have to provide arc fault breakers to the bedroom, the city will require ESA certificate and lastly a dedicated parking spot. Word of advice you might to have separate hydro meter to that the tenant is responsible for the hook up and payments, otherwise it's difficult to assess the hydro usage.

Just some things to think about, your best bet is to talk to building inspector in your city.

Best of luck,


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Michael from B&B Renovators in Oakville
Date/Time10/10/2016 at 9:35:25 AM

I believe a proper fire code minimum 5/8 drywall in furnace room with roxul insulation should be adequate. 3/8 drywall to ceiling to exceed code. Remove a few sheets from the ceiling so detectors can be hooked up.

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Date/Time10/10/2016 at 9:26:42 PM

ESA does not require a second meter, although I would recommend one. ESA does require that the all people living in the building have access to the breaker panel for their living space. So if you don't get a separate meter, the people in the basement unit and / or the upper unit must be able to turn on / off breakers as required.

Most insurance companies will want you to have a 200 amp service also. This might be "over kill" but that is a potential discussion point.

ESA will want to inspect the wiring before drywall goes in (rough-in) and after the everything is powered up (final). Sounds like you may need to remove some drywall for the ESA.

John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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Date/Time10/11/2016 at 11:13:32 PM

Hi There!

You need to install sound proof on ceiling and furnace room,resilient channel on ceiling, 5/8 drywall on ceiling and furnace room(considered as fire rating), smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, shot of smoke detector in furnace room either in return or supply, water mixing valve.Outside walls c/w R20 insulation, adjoining walls to a unit above need to be fire rated c/w fire door. Bedroom needs to have egress windows,minimum 3.9 sq.ft.clear opening and that is required for every Bedroom, 5 sq.ft.of day light in Living room area. Some Municipalities insist on air supply to installed 18"from the Finished floor, and every Municipality insist on return air down 12" from the finished floor.

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