You might think you have a finished basement, but are you positive? Each county has its own specific rules, but here are 6 general basement finishing regulations in Maryland that you have to follow in order to have a legally finished basement.
Maryland Finished Basement Regulations
- Minimum Height – The minimum ceiling height is 6’8, but 6’4 under bulkheads.
- Smoke Detectors – A smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector must be near the stairs, and also within 15 feet of any bedroom entrances.
- Safe Exits – Most counties require at least two exits leading directly from the finished basement to outside of the home, though sometimes only one exit is necessary.
- Blower Door Test – If the finished basement required new ductwork or major changes to the walls or ceiling, then the airflow of your home or business might need to be tested by a device called a blower door.
- Insulation – All “continuous insulation” (a special type of heat-retaining insulation) that’s below ground must be R-10, but insulation must be R-13 for stud walls. In general, when we have continuous insulation installed by the builder (which is another code requirement), we frame the walls next to it without compressing the pre-attached insulation. When you compress it, it loses thermal resistance.
- Energy Efficiency Certification – Someone involved in the remodeling process (builder, contractor, or
designer) must provide documentation showing that the building materials and various systems are compliant with the International Energy Conservation Code.
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