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Discussion Starter #1
Before I decide whether to talk to my local building inspectors I like to learn as much as I can beforehand, and am hoping someone here has experience with the building/fire code and can shed light....

My shop is in the basement of our house, and I'm thinking of covering the walls with plywood, either salvage subflooring or ((gasp)) new T-11. I know a lot of people do that. But I haven't checked the fire rating of the materials, or what the code expects for retrofitting a 1920s home.

Anyone?
Thanks!
 

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Before I decide whether to talk to my local building inspectors I like to learn as much as I can beforehand, and am hoping someone here has experience with the building/fire code and can shed light....

My shop is in the basement of our house, and I'm thinking of covering the walls with plywood, either salvage subflooring or ((gasp)) new T-11. I know a lot of people do that. But I haven't checked the fire rating of the materials, or what the code expects for retrofitting a 1920s home.

Anyone?
Thanks!
"Before I decide whether to talk to my local building inspector"

There is no decision to be made. You must talk to your local building inspector regardless of what you read on here. Your local codes may/probably will be different. You are playing Russian Roulette with any future insurance claims if you do modifications that are no up to code.

George
 

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George is correct. Even though there is a UBC (Uniform Building Code) it varies state to state and even city to city within each state.
 

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Find out what your local code says on this matter _before_ you talk to a building inspector.
You might as well go into the conversation well-informed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Find out what your local code says on this matter _before_ you talk to a building inspector.
You might as well go into the conversation well-informed.
That's my general idea, all right, and I'm a big believer in following code and talking to the inspectors when required. This isn't my first potential code rodeo. A lot of codes are online

The IBL is here

and then there is an archive to current (or at least very recent) state's versions.

As for seeing Mr. Inspector without thinking first.... do you do that every time you install curtains or change flooring? I just want to read the codes for myself. If I come away with a firm belief the codes say nothing about this, then I'm willing to take the risk of forging ahead and being wrong if there's a problem down the road.

On the other hand, if I come away at all uncertain, then I definitely make use of Mr. Inspector and I make a papertrail to prove it. For their part, the officials always appreciates it when I come in being fully prepared and as informed as possible.

So back to the original question.... has anyone plowed this ground already? I can and will start reading the codes "cold", but first I thought I'd at least ask if anyone can provide their own knowledge about the issue for a guide/comparison.
 

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wild arse guess here

I would think that the furnace room, as such, would be the only place you would need fireproofing. Drywall 5/8" thick is rated 1 hr for fire.
There are 2 separate issue, combustion and heat transfer. The material facing the heat source should be non-combustable and not allow heat transfer to the studs. Cement board was my first thought

This article is interesting: http://forums.finehomebuilding.com/breaktime/general-discussion/cement-board-fireproofing

I used cement stucco board for a wood stove hearth. Is is fire resistant and has a nice texture. It looks like this and if you read down the description you will find it is "fire resistant" :

http://sensink.en.made-in-china.com/product/qbCxuXkKZTpl/China-Fiber-Cement-Siding.html

I'm not recommending, just supplying information. :no:
 
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SteveEl: There are so many variations in code from one place to another.
I'd want to see what I face, where I live. What happens anywhere else is a non-starter
and can be conveniently ignored altogether.

What is a "furnace-room?" What is a "furnace?"
I heat 2 x 1200sqft with a Harman P38+ pellet stove.
Sits in my downstairs kitchen.
I'd argue that its hardly a ferocious furnace.
My sense of that is a big fire, big heat, big fans, etc.
I measured = the fire is 2" wide from front to back and 6" wide, left-to-right.
I can't even get a pot of water to steam, let alone boil, on top of that thing.
 

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George is correct. Even though there is a UBC (Uniform Building Code) it varies state to state and even city to city within each state.
This is definitly true! My buddy and I where both adding onto our houses. He has to follow different rules than I did. He lives in Toledo while I live in Maumee. We are both in the same county! Do your best to find out as much as possible before talking to the inspector. Most of the time they are willing to help, even make recomendations. I have found that the more you know heading in, the more they will help.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'd argue that....
Not interested in off-the-cuff guesswork. I plan to go read my own code, and you can do that too for your pellet stove, instead of inventing your own arguments.

I'm just asking a simple question - Has anyone already jumped thru their own jurisdiction's legal hoops regarding wood basement walls?
(1) Yeah my code will differ.
(2) Reading my code with knowledge about others' code will be easier than reading my code 100% "cold". Sort of like learning from others about table saws first, before you buy one and try to understand everything just reading the manual.
 

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SteveEl said:
Not interested in off-the-cuff guesswork. I plan to go read my own code, and you can do that too for your pellet stove, instead of inventing your own arguments. I'm just asking a simple question - Has anyone already jumped thru their own jurisdiction's legal hoops regarding wood basement walls? (1) Yeah my code will differ. (2) Reading my code with knowledge about others' code will be easier than reading my code 100% "cold". Sort of like learning from others about table saws first, before you buy one and try to understand everything just reading the manual.
You obviously have doubts about your own idea so if asking why would you diss replies. You are going to read your own local regulations, good, where 'robson green" resides happens to be in the same area that I reside, and here nobody is going to raid your property to check on things. Here, What you line your basement walls with is between your common sense and your insurance company.
 

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I don't know what the cost is but there is fire resistant plywood and particle board. I tried to burn some of that particle board in my wood stove one time and had to take it out because it wouldn't burn.

Cement board may not do well if have a great deal of heat around your furnace. I put some close to a my wood stove and it cracked from the heat.
 

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Check with your insurance company as well before doing any work. My first insurance company would not allow wood planks for a ceiling, second insurance co. had no problem with it.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Cement board....
Good idea in terms of fire, but the basement stone walls are prone to moisture. Anything that goes up has to let water vapor pass and the hardiplank stuff can grow mildew on the back side since a lot of the content is cellulose. Then again, I suppose plywood has a bit of that in it too.
 

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I don't know what the cost is but there is fire resistant plywood and particle board. I tried to burn some of that particle board in my wood stove one time and had to take it out because it wouldn't burn.

Cement board may not do well if have a great deal of heat around your furnace. I put some close to a my wood stove and it cracked from the heat.
Particle board seems to be fire resistant without any special treatment

George
 

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I think that walls are more of a structural issue that any sort of flooring laid on top of a concrete slab, either above or below grade.

I did my basement = 1250 sqft. 2x4 stud walls, wiring to code, fiberglas insulation, vapor barrier glued up tight, drywall/gyproc/gypsum board skin. Mud and tape and sand and paint. No offense to subtrades but the labor is the killer. Materials are OK $$$. I got warm and comfortable as I intended.
 
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