Making the basement legal

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9/24/2012 at 11:01:28 PM

How to make a basement legal. As i heard the window are supposed to be bigger size. Do all the basement windows have to be bigger or one or two?

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Date/Time9/25/2012 at 12:17:15 AM

Hi Syed:

All bedroom windows, whether they are in a basement or upper floor have to be at least 2' 6" by 2' 6 ". I would imagine that the minimum height for a basement window should be 3 ' or have some sort of step nearby. The windows have an opener that is to this size of window.

This is known as an "E-gress" window.

Also, if the basement is below ground, you should have a good sized well, so that in the event of having to go out the window, that the well would be big enough to accomadate an adult using it.

Your local building codes will give you all of the necessary measurements for your question.


Meadowood Homes

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Date/Time9/25/2012 at 7:24:31 AM

As Chuck said, the basement windows must be large enough for egress. As well, ceiling and bulkhead height, door size, air circulation issues must be addressed. Your best approach if not to hire a designer, is to draw a detailed sketch of the existing basement and one including the changes you wish to make. When you apply for your permit from the city, they will make changes and tell you what they require according to the building code.

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Date/Time9/25/2012 at 8:01:58 AM

Unless you have a door on the same level you will require one window with a minimum opening of 3.8 ft2 with no dimension being less than 15 inches. If your window has a window well then it requires a clearance in front of opening part of window on not less than 21 5/8 inches.

This is in accordance with Ontario Building Code of Ontario Bedroom Windows.

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Date/Time9/25/2012 at 10:41:07 AM


The whole idea of window size is that they are an escape route and must be large enough to climb through. To be sure, in your area, contact a local building inspector.

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Date/Time3/17/2013 at 7:23:38 PM

You've got the basic information above but your building department will give their requirement which maybe a little different from the OBC. Also, the bottom of the opening must be no more than 44" from the floor and if there is a well outside, it must be no more than 44" deep. There are more rules if the window is obstructed by a deck or other structure. Aids to egress can be used to help in complying but, again, your building department will help with this.

Bottom line, there must be two accessible exits from all bedrooms and access beyond if a basement. And two doors from the bedroom to one basement exit doesn't count!

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