Basement Remodel Code?

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My brother lives in Waukesha County, Wisc and told me he can't remodel his basement without putting in an auxiliary exit. I find this hard to believe. Can anyone confirm this?
TIA, J
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That's the way it is in my county.. No exceptions. At least if you want to call it finished living space. There's probably no reason you can't put a couch and a big screen TV in a "storage room".
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On 11/26/2007 5:24 PM, The Reverend Natural Light wrote:

When did this ridiculous rule get passed? All new houses have to have 2 stairways from the basement?
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"Jeef" wrote

To be on the conservative side, I'd say it's been this way for at least 25 years.

NO. Only if the space is used as living space, then there must be other means of egress. Stairs/windows/door......pick your choice. I believe windows have to be no more than 4 ft. off the ground, and at least 2'x4'.... I'm sure someone will come along and give the exact sizing, but that figure is stuck in my head for some reason.
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"cp" wrote

Matches my memory but may not be that exact number of inches. I remember it as 'suitable for a person of 4ft5in to be able to egress without having to drag any furniture over. A built in sort of window-seat was acceptable in 1972-4 in VA. There is also a memory of having to have that window-seat able to hold up to 300lbs or something like that. Window-seat could not be obstructed (like, used to hold a 70 gallon fish tank).
Oh! The window size obviously had to be big enough *and* on the other side, there had to be some way to get down savely to ground level. Since on the outside this window we adapted wasnt but a foot above ground level, it was not an issue. We couldnt have any plants though that would block egress. Inspector quibbled over the tulips but we won that one. We'd have lost had it been a rose bush I think?
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Let's see...Code requires a platform so a 4' 5" person can egress and the platform has to support 300 lbs.
How many 300 lb 4' 5" people do you know? ;-)
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"DerbyDad03" wrote

Grin, it does look funny. Its actually 2 separate issues there. 1 was the height and the 'other' was the load bearing as our window was high enough it couldnt count as an egress without the 'built in step' (window-seat in our case).
Think of it as a kid and his mother trying to escape. The kid is 4ft5in and the momma is pregnant with another one <g>.
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Yeah...I considered the whole fireman's carry thing and all that, but the visual of a 300 lb 4' 5" escapee was just to much to pass up. <g>
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Does the code state "must be large enough for a big ball to roll through"?
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"Jeef" wrote

Actually if you check, it probably says '2 exits' as in your first query. One can probably be a window if it's of a certain size and and can be reached by something built in to use as an exit in an emegency.
Emergency exit would be the reason and quite common to require such. An older house may not have it but to officially 'upgrade' you have to add them. That said, it depends on what he means by 'remodel his basement' as to how far he needs to go.
When redoing a basement once in Virginia, we didnt have to knock any holes as the back side had several windows within codespc for exits. We did have to replace one of them so it could be flipped out but that was due to the huge size of the basement (1,800sqft). Center had staircase to main house, far back corner had exterior ground level door, and we added the escapable window along the far back furthest from the door. Built a little 'window seat' under it (opened for storage) that made that wndow reachable for egress for a 4.5ft tall person (VA Code then). Using the existing posts, we separated that far side with the window from stairwell to wall into 3 rooms and an ajacent bathroom. False walls i guess you would call them as we didnt mess with the existing posts, just framed around them and left doorways (2 per room). The 3rd room was a sortof 1 room apartment with egress on one side to the huge pool table room (had 2 doors to the huge family room where the window was) and egress on the other side to the rest of the unfinished basement where the exterior door was. The under stairwell was made into a walk in closet, and a wall conjoined the bathroom (mini-kitchen on that wall and sink, bathroom on other side with shower and a toilet with a sink in the top tank such as you see in Japan).
They made us change one thing for code. We had to add more lights in the unfinished part as it was now an egress point. We didnt have a wall switch on the 'bedroom side' so added some lights then put in one of those battery charger types that go on in a power outage but keep charging when power is on. Neat huh! Now, we had to go that far because we were truely 'renovating' and clearly making a true 'living space'.
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very likely, for escape in a fire. thats what egreess ingress windows are for. good news once you add the extra access space can be called a bedroom.
this rule has spread across the US after so many died in basement fires, Its a excellent rule
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On 11/26/2007 5:26 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

How do I get out of my bedroom? All I have are windows 30 feet off the ground. This safety culture is making me ill.
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wrote:

You have basement bedroom windows, which are 30 feet off the ground?
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Jeef wrote:

Rope ladder.
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Codes Are Online, for Chicago for Rentals two points can be a seperate area, for residential I do not know but for a house it should be less stringent for fixing up. I think you have leeway, try a different inspectors idea.
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At 30 feet, the firemen can put a ladder or you can just jump. They also make rope ladders you can drop out a window.
At 8 feet below grade and having a heater, maybe an oil tank near you, the risk is greater. Statistically speaking, basement fires are ranked #1 or #2. Kitchen fires are right up there also. Am I over reacting? Many years ago my brother accidentally started a fire in our basement. He had an exit by a door, no one injured.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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"Jeef" wrote

Grin, you get a buy-off on older constuction and there are special rules for 2nd floor and above.
How much remodeling is your brother thinking of? That will narrow down what's needed. BTW, being to 'code' is a big issue on house sales. I can not technically sell my house as a 4BR because the 4th one is an enclosed porch and isnt code spec for bedroom. Close but not quite. Issues are insulation and window type (plexiglass single pane) as well as the floor has to be raised 1 inch.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

and likely pay the increased property tax due to the increased valuation of your home.

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Maybe. How does that county define "auxiliary exit"?
When your brother called the county office, what did they tell him?
Oh...wait. He didn't call. He wants to get this information from you, who got it from a newsgroup.
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