Basement remodels – Code change impacts on project costs

Basement remodels – Code change impacts on project costs

Posted on June 26 , 2019 by admin0 Comments


Have you ever wondered why your appraisal shows less living space than you think there is? And is it something that should concern you?

According to Kevin Fritschy of In-East Appraisal Group, real estate appraisals are performed in accordance with American National Standards Institute or ANSI standards, which specify that gross living area or (GLA) is limited to above-grade areas of single-family residences.

The ANSI standard Z765-1996 defines this as: “The above-grade floor area is the sum of all finished square footage which is entirely above ground level. The belowgrade floor area includes spaces which are wholly or partly below ground levels”

So, using the example of a split-level home, if the level of the first floor is below the
exterior grade level, it is excluded from the total living area in the appraisal.

It is important to note, this does not mean that below-grade areas cannot be used as living areas. The current building codes allow for living spaces below-grade if there is adequate egress from these spaces. Check with your local building official to determine applicable egress requirements.

The impact of the ANSI standard is with the potential financing of that renovation you
might be considering. We would encourage you to check with your lender to
understand these potential limitations.


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