Initial planning

Old 09-28-03, 01:14 PM
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Question Initial planning

This is my first time posting, so bare with me!

I'm in the initial planning stages of finishing off a portion of my basement. Nothing too complicated...basically a short dividing wall to separate the main room from the utility half of the basement, drywall the exterior and interior walls of the room, and a drop ceiling.

I guess I'm stuck...I read that my local codes (Milwaukee, WI) state that habitable space needs to have a minimum of 7' of headroom. The bottom of the ceiling joists are 6'10" from the floor. If I attach a drop ceiling grid directly to the bottoms of the joists, that might eat up another inch of that head room. Am I dead in the water right here? I don't think there is any way to add headroom! I know that I've been in other people's finished basements with low ceilings just like mine. What options do I have here?

Also, I'm confused about permits. Will I need a permit for this simple remodel. Like I said, I'm pretty much just dividing the basement to add a livable room. Perhaps adding a light switch and/or some outlets.

Any advice would be appreciated!!!

Old 09-28-03, 01:53 PM
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I'll give you some thoughts, but I'm certainly not going to bare with you!

Yes you need a permit.
See if you can get an exception to the height rule.
Talk to your building department about both.

Drywall the ceiling and it'll only cost you 1/2" of headroom.

You say "just a light switch and some outlets," but be advised that you will need to comply with all codes. That will very likely require other things too.

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