Can I finish my basement?

Old 01-12-02, 09:36 AM
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Question Can I finish my basement?

I am looking into finishing my basement. I've bought a couple of books at Home Depot/Lowes and have come across a potential problem. From what I've read/heard, code for ceilings are:

- Height required is 7'-6" over 50% of the room
- Reduced height of 7'-0" is allowed in hallway, bathroom and under obstructions (I-beams and ducts)

My problem is that the bottom of my I-beam and ducts are 6'-10" from the floor slab. Does this make my basement unfinishable? Do folks have ideas on ways to get around this?

Thanks in advance.
Old 01-12-02, 11:33 AM
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Have a talk with your building department. They will probably work with you on this.
Old 01-12-02, 02:50 PM
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Use a drop in ceiling, that way its not permanent. In my area taxes are much cheaper if something is considered not permanent. Height requirement may/might matter only if you have a ceiling fan. Ask the management of your local home improvement stores, or stop in on a home being bulit and ask the contractor, just trying to avoid uncle Sam getting the permit fees, however there may be BIG fines if caught. ( anybody that might come over 6.5' tall.
Old 01-13-02, 04:49 AM
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Ceiling height requirements

Check with the local building codes re: ceiling height requirements as well as permits and inspection requirements. With my luck one of the neighbors would be the brother-in-law of the inspector who just happens to be over 7 feet tall. Perhaps they will let you box in the beam and ducts.
Old 01-14-02, 05:48 PM
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If you can find it use surface mounted accoustical ceiling panels. It looks just like suspended ACT but actually attaches directly to the joists or a lath. The grid is plastic.

I've never used this type of system. I've seen them in buildings and just recently saw it on the home improvement show on TLC.

I have looked available products as this is how I intend to finish my basement. So far I haven't found anything at Lowe's or Home Depot. Good Luck.
Old 01-15-02, 04:28 PM
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There is a grid system by Ceiling Max that supports 11/16" acoustical tile that hangs 1-1/4" from the ceiling joists. Although I haven't installed the system yet, I did buy the system and it appears to be easy to install. You can go to for more information and where the product can be purchased.
Old 01-29-02, 08:18 PM
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Thanks to all for the input. Upon calling the building department, I was told that there were "rules" and then their is "living with reality". They have indicated that so long as I fasten the ceiling directly to the bottom of the I-beam, they will work with me.

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