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st paul building code requirements - basement remodel project

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  #1  
Old 07-01-14, 04:13 AM
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st paul building code requirements - basement remodel project

Can someone please tell me where a homeowner can go to find out what is required for a basement remodel project in St. Paul Mn? Specifically, the basement has block walls, which I would like to frame up, add electricity, insulate and sheetrock. There is a drain tile system (Standard Water Control System) which has a small black channel on the floor designed to catch any wall condensation and channel it into the drain tile under the floor. I'm unsure on how to apply the vapor barrier. I understand that it should be on the side of the wall closest to the living space, but it seems to me that I should put plastic sheeting directly on the block wall to ensure that any condensation on the block does not get onto the studs.
Thanks for any help.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-01-14, 05:03 AM
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Go here: City of St. Paul, MN - Official Website - Information & Applications 6th one down on the left. "Basement Finishing"
Otherwise call the city and get it from the horses mouth.
 
  #3  
Old 07-01-14, 07:39 AM
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I suspect it is more than condensation, which would go away once covered with an insulated wall, so you should get a clear picture of what you are dealing with. Moisture from the surrounding soil moved easily through basement walls, especially block walls. What time of year does the moisture appear?

If there is sufficient moisture coming through the blocks, such that it needs to drain behind the new walls, there are drainage materials ($$) that can be installed to protect the new wall and direct the water/moisture to the drain.

I know you don't want to hear this, but not all basements can be finished (at a reasonable cost) into living space. Water and moisture issues should be resolved from the outside first and then preventative measures taken on the inside. To install an insulated wall over a known moisture problem has a high probability of growing mold.

Bud
 
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Old 07-01-14, 08:49 AM
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The drain tile system was just installed this spring, and the condensation has been an issue for years. Now it seems to be only in a couple of areas. I suspect this is where there is a higher concentration of rain water pouring into the walls and down into the trench, which makes these areas cooler than the rest of the wall. The system installed has drain holes in the bottom coarse of every block which should drain into the trench. I called the city inspector this morning and he confirmed that the system I have installed requires poly on the block before framing. Insulation is not required on the sub grade walls, but he said if I do want to insulate, I should use Rigid Foam R10 minimum.
Thanks
 
  #5  
Old 07-07-14, 09:49 AM
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More specific requirements

Tolyn Ironhand, Thanks for the link. I looked through it and still have a few questions

1) what is required for fresh air supply? There is currently a fresh air supply duct attached to a window which is being replaced. I intend to relocate this in the rim joist. Are there any specific rules that I should be aware of - size, location (distance from the ground, adjacent windows, etc.

2) What are the requirements for installing the bathfan? There was no mention made about obtaining a separate ventilation permit in the remodel permit application which was approved. The permit only stated that we needed separate plumbing and electrical permits, which we have.

3) Same question, regarding the dryer vent. What is required, or where can I find the rules?

Thanks so much
 
  #6  
Old 07-07-14, 06:35 PM
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I am not familiar with what is required for make up air in St Paul. so it would be best to call them. Most homes I have been in that have it only have a 6" insulated flex duct for MUA.

A bath fan would fall under an electrical permit for the electrical work, and a building permit for the venting work.

Check this:Clothes dryer safety is about installation and maintenance | The Home Inspector | StarTribune.com article for info about installing dryer vents. There is a link in there with the MN code requirements.
 
  #7  
Old 07-13-14, 10:38 PM
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insulation and code

Regarding insulating this basement, I had two different City Inspectors tell me two very different things.
One said that no insulation was required below grade.
I called another day to verify what would be required in terms of vapor barrier if I elected to insulate- I was told that insulation is required and they recommend rigid foam.
Where can I read what the code says exactly?
 
  #8  
Old 07-13-14, 11:54 PM
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Codes are generally available to read at the place that issues the permits. This would be city halls or county offices. Some enlightened areas have them available on the Internet while other areas make you BUY the code books, usually at a hefty price, to keep legal publishers in business.
 
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