Code question: ceiling height

I have just read that the US Building Code requires a 90" ceiling height in all living space. When did this rule come into effect? The basement cceilings of the 30-yr old house we bought last year might have been just 90" from concrete floor to joists, but now they are 83" high from top of carpet to suspended ceiling. The home inspector made no comment on this.
MB
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Where did you read this? As far as I know, there is nothing called "US Building Code", and if there were, there's no particular reason to assume that it applies in your municipality. There may also be special rules for habitable basements.
Massachussets building code appears to require 7'3" between finished surfaces.
--Goedjn
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The UBC (Uniform Building Code) calls out minimum ceiling heights and is widely adopted, but I agree with Goedjn, you should check with your local building official to see what THEY require.
Then again, if the ceiling is high enough for you then live with it. Building code is typically enforced at the time of construction so it is unlikely that you will be raided. If it is too low for you then better remove the suspended ceiling.
Jack
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OK, I should not have referred to it in that way, as though there were a single uniform building code. My source is a book called _basements: step-by-step projects_, published by Creative Homeowner, Upper Saddle River, NJ (c) 2003. The phraseology the book uses throughout is "According to building codes, . . .", "Building codes generally require that . . .", "Building codes usually allow . . .", etc. The book does acknowledge that codes vary from place to place, but claims to use as its standard "the latest edition of 'One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code' published by The Council of American Building Officials (CABO)."
WRT ceiling heights, the book says: "According to building codes, a room in the basement must have a minimum ceiling height of 90 inches over at least one half of the room. The only exceptions are bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways, which are allowed a ceiling height of 84 inches" (page 13).
MB
On 04/20/04 03:51 pm snipped-for-privacy@uri.edu put fingers to keyboard and launched the following message into cyberspace:<br>

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I don't know of a US Building code, but the International Residential Building code requires a 7ft (84in.) height with some exceptions. Was the basement finished when inspected? -Don

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Yes, the basement was just the same when inspected (by an insector we hired, not by the municipality's "Building Inspector"), but I wondered whether this was a violation he missed (since I know some people here have a low opinion of "home inspectors"), or whether the code had changed and ours was still grandfathered. The "finishing" of the basement certainly took place after the original construction, because above the suspended ceiling there are still the original "basic ceramic" lampholders screwed to the joists. I have no idea whether a permit was ever granted (if needed) for the finishing; it was done long before the immediately preceding owners' time: they were here only a few years and moved only because of a work-related transfer.
MB
On 04/20/04 06:03 pm The Firm2 put fingers to keyboard and launched the following message into cyberspace:

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Yes, according to the Residential Code, your space is 1 inch too short. I can't tell when it came into effect, but I don't think anybody owes you anything. Under beams or girders spaced not less than 4 feet, 6'6" would have been allowed. The owner maybe could have put the ceiling higher and used the beam allowance, but probably opted to put up the ceiling with the 1-inch violation in order to keep the whole ceiling flat. That's probably the real answer to your question. -B

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Minnie,
A home inspection is not a code inspection.
There is no single building code for the entire country. Check with your local building department for the minimum ceiling height.
Also, keep in mind that codes change over time and it is unfair to expect a home inspector to know what codes were in effect at any specific date.
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On Tue, 20 Apr 2004 13:35:45 -0400, Minnie Bannister

Locally 84" finished height. Home inspectors are not building inspectors.
Jeff
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