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How to Make Your Basement Comply with the Ontario Building Code

If you are planning to finish your basement, it is important that you make sure that it complies with the Ontario Building Code. There are a number of things that you need to take into accounts, such as the height of the ceilings and the type of insulation that is used. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most important aspects of making your basement comply with the building code. Let’s get started!

Permit

A building permit is required for any finishing work that is done in a basement, including the installation of new walls, ceilings and floors. The permit must be obtained from your local municipality before any work can begin.

Ceiling

Building Code 9.5.3.1. states 2100 mm (~82″) over at least 75% of the basement area except that under beams and ducts the clearance is permitted to be reduced to 1 950 mm (~77″). This is to ensure that there is enough headroom for people to move around comfortably. If your basement ceiling is lower than this, you will need to install new framing to raise it up to the required height.

Insulation

All basements must be properly insulated in order to comply with the building code. The type of insulation that is required will depend on the climate in your area. In most cases, fiberglass batts or spray foam insulation will be sufficient.

In Supplementary Standard SB-12, the required R-value for the basement is R20. The insulation must be installed that eliminates thermal bridging.

Fire Safety

One of the most important aspects of the building code is fire safety. All basements must have a working smoke alarm and an emergency exit in case of a fire. The emergency exit can be a window or door that leads to the outside of the house.

Adding a bedroom in the basement requires additional fireproof measures. In 9.10.9.14. Separation of residential Suites it states, a fire-resistance rating of either 30 min to 1h is required. To achieve this, fire-resistant drywall is to be used.

9.9.10.1 states that an egress window is required for bedrooms in case of fire. The egress window must have a well.

A smoke alarm is required in every bedroom and it must be hardwired not battery power.

Framing

2×4 and 2×6 are mandatory for framing with 16 inches spacing.

Squash block shall be placed when a load-bearing wall is present in the level above.

There are numerous framing requirements in general. Follow the standard guideline for those.

HVAC

Heating

There are multiple paragraph in 6.2.4.4 . two important to take notes are

Section 4, at least one warm-air supply outlet shall be provided for each 40 m² of floor surface area in unfinished basements serving dwelling units, located so as to provide adequate distribution of warm air throughout the basement.

and section 5, At least one warm-air supply outlet shall be provided for each 80 m2 of floor surface area in heated crawl spaces serving dwelling units, and it shall be located so as to provide adequate distribution of warm air throughout the crawl space.

Electrical

ESA inspection is required for finishing basement electricals.

A receptacle is required every 12″

TR receptacle is required for all non-moisture areas

GFI outlet is required in bathrooms, laundry areas.

These are just some of the most important things to keep in mind when finishing your basement. By following these guidelines, you can be sure that your basement will comply with the Ontario Building Code. For more information on this topic, please visit the website of the Ontario Building Code Commission. Thanks for reading!