Please Call City Hall To Schedule All Inspections  986-4050.
All inspections must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.

Building Inspector:

Scott Clyce:
Office: 515.986.4050
Cell:    515.402.3588

Permit Application for Basement Finish  (PDF)

Basement Finish/Remodel

Information for Finish or Remodel of Residential Basements

Floor Plan

Submit accurate floor plan for review and approval.
Floor plan must include:

  • Locations of existing walls, windows, stairs, mechanical rooms, electrical panels etc.

  • Locations of new walls to be constructed.

  • Label the proposed use of rooms created.

  • Dimensions of all rooms and spaces.

  • Size of all existing and proposed windows.

Typical Construction

  • 2x4 studs at 16" or 24" on center.

  • Bottom plate in contact with concrete floor shall be of treated material.

Drywall on walls:

  • 3/8" limited to 16" on center studs.
  • 1/2" or 5/8" limited to 24" on center studs.

Drywall on ceilings:

  • 3/8" limited to 16" on center perpendicular ceiling joists.
  • 1/2" or 5/8" at 16" on center either direction.
  • 1/2" or 5/8" at 24" on center perpendicular to ceiling joists.

General Requirements

  • Ceiling height shall be minimum 7'.

  • Area below stairs if enclosed and accessible must be drywalled.

  • Sleeping rooms require an egress window and hardwired smoke detector in the room and outside the room.

  • Habitable rooms must contain at least one supply air duct and one return air duct or return grille. Note: grille(s) may not directly communicate sleeping and bathrooms with mechanical rooms.

  • Each unfinished area of basement must have a GFCI protected receptacle.

  • Bathrooms shall have an exhaust fan vented to the exterior.

  • Bathrooms shall have a separate dedicated 20 amp. GFCI protected receptacle.

  • Bedroom receptacles require Arc-Fault protection.

  • Plumbing fixtures shall be vented.

  • Electrical junction boxes, plumbing cleanouts, valves, and ductwork damper controls concealed behind drywall must remain accessible by installation of access panels.

  • Electrical wiring must be protected, (behind drywall, in conduit etc.).

  • Mechanical room enclosure must provide for clearance to combustibles (as shown on appliance name plate rating) and clear working space at each appliance (typically 30" minimum in front of control side.) Combustion air must be provided as needed, (louvered doors, grilles within 12" of the floor and ceiling etc.) Combustion air may not be obtained from sleeping rooms, bathrooms, or toilet rooms.

  • Habitable rooms must be provided with supply and return air. Return air shall not be taken from a closet, bathroom, furnace room, or another dwelling.

  • Furnaces and water heaters requiring combustion air shall not be located in bedrooms, bathrooms, or closets. Exception: direct vent appliances.

Inspections Required

  • Rough-in electrical prior to insulation or drywall.

  • Rough-in plumbing (if applicable) prior to insulation or drywall.

  • Rough-in mechanical (if applicable) prior to insulation or drywall.

  • Framing prior to insulation or drywall.

  • The above can all be done during the same inspection.

  • Final inspection prior to use.

Smoke Detector Update Requirements - Dual Sensor

Dual sensor smoke detectors shall be installed in every bedroom, in close proximity to the bedroom, and on each floor level of the dwelling.

If new construction or if existing wall and ceiling finishes are removed, hardwired smoke detectors are required.

Additional Permits Required

Separate electrical, mechanical, and plumbing permits are required for work performed in these trades.

  • Electrical: Branch circuits, AFCI & GFCI protection, wiring, lighting, grounding, and bonding.

  • Plumbing: Water supply, drain, waste, and vent installations.

  • Mechanical: If replacing appliances. 

Contractors licensed in their respective trades must obtain these permits and perform the work.

A homeowner may qualify to obtain an electrical permit and perform the respective work through testing. Inquire at the building department located at City Hall, or call Scott Clyce at 515.986.3036.