Basement Finish - Town of Walworth

Basement Finish - Town of Walworth
Town of Walworth, New York
Building & Zoning Department
3600 Lorraine Drive, Walworth NY 14568
Phone: 315.986.1400 Fax: 315.986.1440
Building Permits
Emergency Escape Window Wells Below
Required for the conversion of any non-habitable (unfinished Grade
basement) into habitable space. This includes, but is not limited to;
playrooms, bedrooms, recreation rooms, home offices, etc…
Grade Floor Opening – A window or other opening located such
that the sill height of the opening is not more than 44 inches above
or below the finished ground level adjacent to the opening.
Emergency Escape and Rescue Opening – An operable window,
door or similar device that provides for a means of escape and
access for rescue in the event of an emergency.
Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings
Basements with habitable space and every sleeping room shall have
at least one open able emergency escape and rescue opening
meeting all these requirements:
 Sill height not more than 44 inches above the floor.
 Net clear opening area not less than 5.7 square feet
(exception: Grade floor openings shall have a minimum
net clear opening of 5 square feet.)
 Minimum opening height not less than 24 inches
 Minimum opening width not less than 20 inches
 Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be
operational from the inside of the room without the use of
keys or tools
The clear horizontal dimensions shall allow the window to be
fully opened and provide a minimum accessible net clear
opening of 9 square feet with a minimum horizontal
projection and width of 36 inches.
Window wells with a vertical depth of more than 44 inches
shall be equipped with an approved permanently affixed
ladder or stairs that are accessible with the window in the fully
open position. The ladder or stairs shall not encroach into the
required dimensions of the window well by more than 6
inches. Ladders or rungs shall have an inside dimension of at
least 12 inches. They must project at least 3 inches from the
wall and be spaced not more than 18 inches on center
vertically for the full height of the window well.
36 inches measured horizontally from the foundation wall to
the well and from the open windows inside surface to the well.
Note: 3 foot by 3 foot wells will not provide the required
access for the casement windows.
Note: Centering a window well at the window might not give
you the required minimum 36 inches. Measure carefully!
Walkout Doors as Emergency Escape and
Rescue Openings
Where a door opening having a threshold below the adjacent
ground elevation serves as an emergency escape and rescue
opening, the following conditions shall apply:
 Bulkhead enclosures shall provide direct access to
the basement and with the doors open shall have a
minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet
Bars, Grills, Covers and Screens
Fuel Burning Appliances
Bars, grills, cover, screens or similar devices are permitted to be
placed over emergency escape and rescue openings, bulkhead
enclosures, or window wells that serve such openings, provided the
required minimum net clear opening size is maintained and such
devised shall be releasable or removable from the inside without
the use of a key, tool or force greater than that which is required
for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.
If new walls are enclosing the existing furnace and hot water heater,
adequate combustion air must be provided for these appliances to
operate properly. Fuel-fired appliances shall not be located in, or
contain combustion air from, any of the following rooms or spaces:
 Sleeping rooms
 Bathrooms
 Toilet rooms
 Storage closets
Fuel burning appliances shall be accessible for inspection, service,
repair and replacement without removing permanent construction.
30 inches of working space shall be provided in front of the control
side to service an appliance.
The appliance manufacturer’s specification manual should be
reviewed for further product specific requirements.
Minimum Room Areas
Habitable rooms shall have a floor area of not less than 70 square
feet with a minimum dimension of 7 feet in any horizontal
Ceiling Height
Habitable space in basements shall have a ceiling height of not less
than 7 feet from the finished floor; and beams, girders, ducts or
other obstructions may project to within 6 feet, 8 inches of the
finished floor.
Space in basement, other than habitable space (bathrooms, closets,
hallways, storage and utility rooms may have a ceiling that projects
to within 6 feet, 8 inches of the finished floor; and beams, girders,
ducts or other obstructions in such space, may project to within 6
feet, 4 inches of the finished floor.
Insulation and Moisture Vapor Retarders
A moisture vapor retarder should be installed on/against
the basement exterior foundation walls prior to framing.
Basement exterior walls shall be insulated a minimum
Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are required in each sleeping room, outside of
each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the
bedrooms and on each story of the dwelling, including the
basement. Smoke detectors shall be hard-wired with battery
backup and interconnected to existing hard-wired smoke detectors.
Electrical Inspections
All electrical installations must be inspected by one of the following
Town of Walworth approved agencies:
 Commonwealth Electrical Inspection Service, Inc.
Main Office 585-624-2380
Local inspector–Bill Schell 585-746-7030(cell)
Middle Department Inspection Agency
Main Office 585-454-5191
Local inspector–Steve Haak 800-641-6342
New York Electrical Inspection Agency
Main Office 585-436-4460
Local Inspector-Mike Shumway 585-729-2779 (cell)
Local Inspector-Fritz Gunther 585-230-4186 (cell)
Bathrooms shall be provided with aggregate glazing area
in windows of not less than 3 square feet, one half of
which must be able to open or artificial light and a
mechanical ventilation system capable of exhausting 50
cfm directly to the outside.
Toilets and sinks are required to have not less than 21
inches of clearance in front of the fixture and not less
than 15 inches of clear space from the centerline of the
fixture on each side.
Shower compartments shall have at least 900 square
inches of interior cross-sectional area with not less than 30
inches in minimum dimension measured from the
finished interior dimension of the shower compartment.
Bathtub and shower floors and walls above bathtubs with
installed shower heads and in shower compartments shall
be finished with a non-absorbent surface. Such wall
surfaces shall extend to a height of not less than 6 feet
above the floor.
All plumbing fixtures installed in a basement must be
protected by a sanitary backflow preventer.
Framing – upon completion of framing of walls, posts, beams, etc.
– prior to insulation.
Under-slab Plumbing – for new drain/waste/vent lines installed
under the concrete floor – backflow prevent or.
Rough Plumbing – for new drain/waste/vent lines that will be
concealed once completed.
Rough Electric – see above
Insulation – wall insulation, heating ductwork and smoke detector
Final Electric – see above
Final – Certificate of Compliance
Sample Basement Finish Plan
Show electrical outlets,
switches & lights locations.
Protect enclosed accessible
walls a minimum R-11.
spaces under stairs on enclosed
side with ½” gypsum board.
Install vapor retarder
Provide combustion air to
Insulate basement exterior
on/against block wall prior to
furnace and 30” clear working
space in front of furnace
Construct all walls on treated
A water heater must be able to
be removed with the furnace
intact. Keep 30” clear space in
front of water heater.
___________?_________________ ____________________
is required in
and mechanical
This information
is a guide to the most common questions. It is not intended, nor shall it be considered, a complete set
of requirements.
Smoke detectors required in
each sleeping room, outside
of every sleeping area and on
every story. Must be
interconnected, hardwired
and battery backup.
A bathroom fan is required
unless there is an open-able
window. Insulate the fan duct a
minimum of 4’ from the
outside of the house rim.
Show window sizes. Egress
window required in each
bedroom. Egress size: 5.7 sq. ft.
of open-able area with 20” min.
width and 24” min. height. Sill
no more than 44” above floor.
Label uses of each room on
Supply and return air is
required for all habitable
Minimum ceiling height is 7’ with
6’-8” allowed for projections such
as beams and ducts.
Gas-fired furnace or water heater
cannot be in a bedroom,
bathroom or closet.
This information is a guide to the most
common questions. It is not intended,
nor shall it be considered, a complete
set of requirements.
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