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Low ceiling height - grandfather clause?

Low ceiling height - grandfather clause?

New postby ajnorcal on Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:04 pm

Hi,

My house was built in 1950 and the lower level (finished above ground basement used as a bonus room) has a ceiling height of 7 feet. The current code in California says that habitable space must be 7 feet 6 inches. Is there a grandfather clause that would allow me to get the square footage in the lower level recognized since it was built so long ago? I have an appraiser who is cutting out a third of the square footage of my house because of the ceiling height, and I'm trying to get my facts together to appeal. I'm having a difficult time finding out when the current code went into effect and what the code was in 1950 when the house was built. The space is listed as "legal and permitted", but it is not counting in the square footage.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks,
Adam
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Re: Low ceiling height - grandfather clause?

New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:18 pm

I have part of an answer, maybe all of it, but I will contact my California Codeman to answer as he is an expert in the California codes and I am not.
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Re: Low ceiling height - grandfather clause?

New postby ajnorcal on Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:37 pm

Thanks! I appreciate the help.
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Re: Low ceiling height - grandfather clause?

New postby Jerry McCarthy - California Codeman on Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:43 pm

Sorry but I will have to agree with your appraiser in that the following is taken from the 1949 Uniform Building Code (UBC), the adopted state building code of California at the time your home was constructed. Sec. 1405 (b) Room Sizes and Ceiling Heights: Every room required to have windows by subsection (a) shall have a ceiling height of not less than seven feet six inches (7’ 6”) in at least 50 percent of its required area with no portion less than five feet (5’) in height. Rooms used for living, eating or sleeping purposes shall have not less than 80 square feet. (80 sq. ft.)

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