Finishing Your Basement? Pikes Peak Regional Building Tips on Plans, Permits, and Code.

Posted by Jerry Sanden on Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 at 5:46pm.

Basement Finish Plan Review


A basement finish in Colorado Springs requires a plan review and permit before work commences. The licensed general contractor or homeowner (performing the work) obtains the permit and is responsible for inspections being completed.

Plans: The homeowner, designer, or architect provides a basement finish floor plan that is drawn to 1/4” = 1’ scale, identified with the address of the property. Most basement finish plans can be reviewed and a permit issued the same day. (The plans reviewer can usually determine if a variance is required when existing, nonconforming conditions impede compliance with a code provision, such as finished ceiling heights and soffit dimensions.)

Permits: After the plan is approved, the permits are issued. Separate construction, electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits are required if work is being performed in each discipline. A homeowner may obtain the permits and perform all of the work, or the homeowner may choose licensed subcontractors to perform portions of the work, such as electrical, mechanical or plumbing.


Basement Finish Inspection Guidelines


Most basement finish projects include four components: Plumbing, Electrical, Mechanical (HVAC), and Building. This list is intended to cover the required inspections for the majority of basement finish projects and may not include all inspections necessary for every situation. Inspection requests must be made by the contractor responsible for each trade or the homeowner if the owner has obtained the permit(s) and is doing the work associated with that trade.


Plumbing Base: This inspection is only required if the piping coming out of the concrete slab needs to be relocated. Call for this inspection prior to covering the newly placed pipes.

Plumbing Top Out: Call for this inspection before you set any of the plumbing fixtures, except the tub or shower base. This should be installed for the top out inspection.

Plumbing Final: This inspection should be called in when all plumbing work is complete.


Electric Rough: Call for inspection when wires have been pulled and terminated to locations at outlets and fixtures, prior to insulation or drywall.

Electric Final: Ready for inspection when fixtures and outlets have been installed and are functioning and all electrical work in this scope has been completed.

Mechanical (HVAC)

Mechanical Rough: Call for inspection when any ducting has been installed, before it is covered with drywall.

Mechanical Final: Ready when all items noted by plan reviewer are in place.


Rough Frame: Call for this inspection, prior to insulation or drywall, when all other rough inspections are completed or called in for same day.

Building Final: Call for this inspection when all other final inspections are completed or called in for same day.


General Code Requirements


Bedroom: Any room larger than 70 sq. ft. having a closet greater than 16” in depth.

Ceiling Heights: Minimum 7’0” finished floor to ceiling; 6’8” in bath, toilet, and laundry rooms; 6’4” under beams, ducts, and pipes.

Egress Window Wells: Minimum 36” from exterior foundation to inside of well. Vertical depth >44” requires a permanent ladder with the lowest rung ≤ 18” above grade.

Exits/Egress: Two exits required to include main stair and one egress window or door. Egress window to the exterior required in each bedroom: minimum 20” width, 24” height and 5.7 sq. ft. of opening area. Maximum 44” sill height from floor.

Gas Fueled Appliances: Gas furnaces and water heaters cannot be located in or obtain combustion air from a bedroom, bathroom or closet. Clothes dryers must be in rooms provided with make-up air. The efficiency of the furnace must be indicated.

Natural Light and Ventilation: 8% and 4% respectively of the square footage of the room area for habitable rooms. Alternatively, artificial lighting providing 6 foot-candles and mechanical ventilation of minimum 0.35 air changes per hour.

Bathroom Exhaust Fan: Minimum 50 CFM, ducted to exterior using rigid, flex metallic or Class 1 duct products. Must terminate minimum of 3’ from any opening into the building.

Non-Bearing Walls: Required to be floating.

Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Install at least one smoke detector per level, in all bedrooms and hallways to bedrooms. Carbon monoxide detectors must be installed outside of all bedrooms. Smoke detectors must be interlinked and hardwired where possible.

Receptacle Outlets: Required for 2 feet or more of wall space. Maximum of 6 feet from an opening or doorway and 12 feet maximum between receptacles, measured along the baseboard.


For more detailed information and to submit plans, please visit Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.

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