Step 2: Make it Legal ent RE u N id O e Basem g Doing a DIY basement renovation? There are permits and other legal considerations to take into account. Here are six tips to ensure your renos are legit 1. If it’s a non-structural reno, like laying a new floor, you don’t need a building permit. But if you’re moving a telepost, building a wall with electrical, adding an egress window or converting the space to a rental suite, you will need a building permit. Plan it Before you begin breaking up concrete and putting up drywall, sit down with pen and paper (or some design software) to sketch out how you can best use the space Mark the positions of: water heaters, plumbing, sump pumps, drainage, sewage pipes and other features that can’t be moved. Create a separate lighting plan: Detail where fixtures and switches will go. (You’ll need this information to get an electrical permit.) Measure vertically: Beams or ductwork can alter the height of the ceiling in certain spots, restricting elements like door or lighting placement. Consider potential water damage: Examine your foundation Map out furniture size and placement: Consider if you can physically get the furniture down into the basement—queen beds are notorious for not clearing low ceiling heights down stairs. 48 Spring 2018 AMA inSider to check for cracks. Check your yard to ensure it slopes away from the house so water won’t drain into your basement. If you plan to add windows or exterior doors, be sure to add drainage to your to-do list. 3. For an electrical permit, you may be required to provide a wiring diagram indicating the location of receptacles, lights, switches and all other equipment to be installed. plumbing permits may also require a diagram that shows the location fixtures, as well as drain and vent pipe sizes. 4. all electrical and plumbing work must be inspected prior to covering with insulation or wallboard. 5. Final inspections don’t just focus on electrical and plumbing. an “all trades inspection” looks to make sure ventilation is up to code, insulation levels are correct, and minimum ceiling heights are being met. 6. Inspectors do hundreds of inspections each month. respect their time: clean up before they arrive and make sure it’s easy for them to walk around. If they can’t complete the work, you could be charged for additional visits. Step 1: 2. If you’re doing your own renovation, apply for electrical and plumbing permits from your municipal planning and develop- ment branch before you begin work. If working with a general contractor who uses electrical and plumbing contractors, they will get the permits for the job.