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11/24/2017 4:44:23 PM
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 9/23/2004 2:45:52 PM EST
So I was heading out to walk my dog tonight and my neighbor from across the street came running out, "Wait! I have to talk to you!" Apparently she heard from the neighbor behind her that Virginia passed a law that prohibits homeowners from finishing their unfinished basements unless it is a walk-out basement.



So as soon as I returned from walking the dog, I jumped online to try to find more information. So far I haven't found anything.

Anyone heard of anything like this? I find this hard to believe, but since my wife and I are talking about finishing our basement, it is of interest to us if there is in fact a law being passed or bill being presented.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 3:35:23 PM EST
Don't think it's true, but who knows?

First, you have to follow all State and County codes when doing any work yourself. Basements can be squirrelly as there are evacuation requirements for completely submerged (i.e. non-walkout) basements that require mutliple escape routes. I also know you're supposed to file appropriate permits and notify your County so they can tax you more if you do finish it.

You know how things go - one person circumvents code and someone dies, a law gets passed "for our own good" that eliminates people like you and I doing our own work. This may be a case of that?

Black Fox
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 5:21:34 PM EST
Simple,

Call miss Utility, have them mark the lines. Add steps to the outside back yard from your basement. It will meet code AND increase the value of your home.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 2:09:01 AM EST
I don't think this is correct. There are a lot of new homes in northern VA with finished basements and no walk-outs. However, if the homeowner wanted to finish a basement and put in a bedroom then yes, I believe it needs to be a walkout or have an appropriate-sized window (depends on code) for egress during an emergency.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 2:52:37 AM EST
My opinion...

If you're doing the work yourself and it's YOUR house, screw 'em!

Some of these bad laws just need to be ignored.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 3:03:37 AM EST
I guess my basement is 'preban' then.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 6:26:03 AM EST
<------ walk out here, As long as they dont ban my workbench, Safe, and Corona fridge, Then my basement is "In spec"
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 8:18:32 AM EST
The stated adopted the new IBC (International Building Code), it differs slightly, or a lot , depending...

and yes gotM4, if you built it before it would be "pre-ban".

The only places that are required to comply with new additions for retro fit are mainly institutions like jails and prisons. There has always been a portion of the code detailing basements, and since I don't have a copy of the IBC in front of me I can't tell you what has changed. I wouldn't really worry about it, besides who is going to peek into your basement to check. This is VA where your home is your castle.

FMO
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 9:12:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/24/2004 9:14:11 AM EST by PrivateJoker]

Originally Posted By FMO:
The stated adopted the new IBC (International Building Code), it differs slightly, or a lot , depending...

and yes gotM4, if you built it before it would be "pre-ban".

The only places that are required to comply with new additions for retro fit are mainly institutions like jails and prisons. There has always been a portion of the code detailing basements, and since I don't have a copy of the IBC in front of me I can't tell you what has changed. I wouldn't really worry about it, besides who is going to peek into your basement to check. This is VA where your home is your castle.

FMO



Hmmmmm....... I found this:
www.dhcd.virginia.gov/Forms/DBFR/1USBC.pdf
Page 35:


R310.1. Emergency escape and rescue openings
required.

Basements with habitable space and each
sleeping room shall have at least one openable
emergency escape and rescue opening. Where
emergency escape and rescue openings are provided,
they shall have a sill height of not more than 44
inches (1118 mm) above the floor. Where a door
opening having a threshold below the adjacent
ground elevation serves as an emergency escape and
rescue opening and is provided with a bulkhead
enclosure, the bulkhead enclosure shall comply with
Section R310.3. The net clear opening dimensions
required by this section shall be obtained by the
normal operation of the emergency escape and
rescue opening from the inside, except that tilt-out
or removable sash designed windows shall be
permitted to be used. Emergency escape and rescue
openings with a finished height below the adjacent
ground elevation shall be provided with a window
well in accordance with Section R310.2.



Sound Right?
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 10:00:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By PrivateJoker:
Virginia passed a law that prohibits homeowners from finishing their unfinished basements unless it is a walk-out basement. Anyone heard of anything like this? I find this hard to believe, but since my wife and I are talking about finishing our basement, it is of interest to us if there is in fact a law being passed or bill being presented.



Obviously somebody has misunderstood something! There is no "state" law" prohibiting owners from finishing a basement or anything else (about their home). While there may be some local restrictions (ie building codes), those are easily confirmed by calling the local Codes and Compliance Dept of your local govt. As long as any "improvements" are done in accordance with local requirements, fee simple deed owners can pretty much do as they please with their property. BTW, been selling VA real estate since 1973...
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