Results 1 to 46 of 46
  1. #1
    C Dixon's Avatar
    C Dixon Guest

    Question city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    I have a basement in-law suite, kitchen, laundry, full bath, sleeping room with walk in closet and "family" room. Access is from main back door to both basement and main house. What will be required to comply with zoning to get approved for legal rental unit?

    Similar Threads:
    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
    Kevin Yandel's Avatar
    Kevin Yandel Guest

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    It's Chicago, since when does anything have to be legal?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    You have two issues that are essentially separate but must both be compliant.
    First is the zoning issue. Your location needs to be approved for an additional unit. Calling it an in-law unit was historically acceptable but those days are over. The City sees it as another dwelling unit, period. You can PM me the address and I can look it up in my zoning book.
    The 2nd issue is building Code compliance. There are numerous factors that have to be compliant.
    Egress, light and ventilation, sufficient heating, sufficient electrical, ceiling height, proper plumbing.
    - If the ceiling height is less than 7', forget you're done, never get approved.
    - If no windows or just closed glassblocks plan on changing or adding windows
    - only 1 egress is Ok if less than 800 sqft.
    - combined heating you may be able to get by
    - funky plumbing, better plan on re-doing it, City plumbing inspectors do NOT like non-compliant, funky basement unit plumbing
    - old, small electrical service with only one panel won't pass
    Hope that helps, you can PM, call or check out the website for more info.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    American Legal Publishing - Online Library
    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    You have two issues that are essentially separate but must both be compliant.
    First is the zoning issue. Your location needs to be approved for an additional unit. Calling it an in-law unit was historically acceptable but those days are over. The City sees it as another dwelling unit, period. You can PM me the address and I can look it up in my zoning book.
    The 2nd issue is building Code compliance. There are numerous factors that have to be compliant.
    Egress, light and ventilation, sufficient heating, sufficient electrical, ceiling height, proper plumbing.
    - If the ceiling height is less than 7', forget you're done, never get approved.
    - If no windows or just closed glassblocks plan on changing or adding windows
    - only 1 egress is Ok if less than 800 sqft.
    - combined heating you may be able to get by
    - funky plumbing, better plan on re-doing it, City plumbing inspectors do NOT like non-compliant, funky basement unit plumbing
    - old, small electrical service with only one panel won't pass
    Hope that helps, you can PM, call or check out the website for more info.
    Markus where are you getting your code information from ?

    One exit is not permitted under 1500 sq feet.
    Here is a small excerpt from the Municipal code for City of Chicago.

    There shall be not less than two exits from every building, floor, space or room, except that one exit may be permitted from any room or space under the conditions outlined in subsection (a) through (b) of this section; and one exit may be permitted from a floor under the conditions outlined in subsections (c) through (o) of this section.

    (c) In single-family dwellings and townhouses, one exit shall be permitted from any floor not more than one story above or below grade; provided that the area of such floor shall not exceed 1,500 square feet.

    We are not code inspectors but I find AM Legal to be indispensable working in Chicago as much as I do.
    Here is a link for you. American Legal Publishing - Online Library

    Hope this helps.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Sorry Bob, I don't know and care what some 3rd party source is. I get my info straight out of the Chicago Code books that I purchase regularly.
    The excerpt you provided is out of 'Group 10 Exit requirements'. You conveniently provided subsection c which is NOT applicable in this case. If you actually had the Code book you would have seen the next subsection d which actually applies to the OP's scenario. "Group 34 Existing Buildings Minimum Requirements' is the applicable Code section for a basement conversion. Subsection D of Group 10 is referenced in the applicable Group 34 subsections pertaining to basement conversions.
    The OP's question and my response is based on the likelihood that his basement in-law unit is an (illegal) conversion that is seeking to come into compliance. There are specific Code sections and series of violations that have to be met in order to have a compliant basement dwelling unit/conversion.
    Granted it is possible that this unit is pre-ordinance 1957 but that is highly unlikely, those are far and few in between these days. It is however possible since I just inspected one last week to my clients surprise.
    There are many sections in the Code that seem to contradict each other. Pulling one excerpt out means nothing unless that excerpt is specific to the building and occupancy classification that is being dealt with.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Marcus am legal is the official publisher of chicago code
    I suggest you check the link provided
    I'm on my phone and have limited response at this time.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    The Chicago Code is published by Index Publishing Corporation, a Division of Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Whether AM Legal is the parent company owner or not I don't know and don't care.
    Once again, the relevant issue is that you are citing the wrong section.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    OK, back home now.
    Marcus I am sorry you do not care enough to check my facts but will give them anyway.
    I could say your books are out of date also and to confirm your information please go to American Legal Publishing: Online Library.
    They are right on the dept of buildings site for the city as official code.
    You can call them up tomorrow atDepartment Main Office
    Buildings
    Phone: 312.743.3600
    Fax: 312.743.7435
    or you can write them at 120 N. Racine, Chicago, IL 60607
    121 N. LaSalle, Room 900
    Chicago, IL 60602

    Mr Dixon you can also dial 311 to be directed however it may take several tries before you reach an official code inspector that that Marcus nor my self actually are.

    Now Marcus I see where you made your mistake and I am not trying to belittle you but you are having an angry tone with me here.(sorry if I said anything to embarrass you).That was not my intent.
    Please note below that you were quoting code for a multiple family dwelling and not a home.
    Mr Dixon in his post states this is a home so please take the time to read this or go to my link.

    13-160-050 Minimum number of exits.

    There shall be not less than two exits from every building, floor, space or room, except that one exit may be permitted from any room or space under the conditions outlined in subsection (a) through (b) of this section; and one exit may be permitted from a floor under the conditions outlined in subsections (c) through (o) of this section.

    (a) In all occupancies except hazardous use units, one exit shall be permitted from any room or space designed or used for an occupancy of not more than 50 persons and having an area not exceeding 1,200 square feet; or when used for business, mercantile, industrial and storage uses not exceeding 4,000 square feet provided the travel distance from the exit door to the most remote point in the room or space does not exceed 75 feet, or 115 feet if equipped throughout with a standard automatic sprinkler system as defined in Chapter 15-16 of this Code.

    (b) In all occupancies one exit shall be permitted from any room or space having an area not exceeding 2,000 square feet and used exclusively for storage purposes with only incidental human occupancy.

    (c) In single-family dwellings and townhouses, one exit shall be permitted from any floor not more than one story above or below grade; provided that the area of such floor shall not exceed 1,500 square feet.

    (d) In multiple dwellings, one exit serving one family only shall be permitted from the first or second story, and one exit shall be permitted from a basement space provided that the area of such floor or basement shall not exceed 800 square feet.

    (e) In multiple dwellings, one exit shall be permitted to a public corridor from a dwelling unit when the travel distance to the most remote door within the unit does not exceed 35 feet and 55 feet from the most remote point of the dwelling unit. Two corridor exit doors are required when these distances are exceeded.

    Yes Markus you were correct if we had need to reference (D) but in this case that would be the wrong subsection to view.

    Last edited by Bob Elliott; 01-23-2011 at 09:45 PM.

  9. #9
    C Dixon's Avatar
    C Dixon Guest

    Question Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Hi my responders, I currently have a single family home which has a basement floor, a main level and second story.

    The structure is called a jumbo Georgian, because in 1960 an addition was made to the house. The addition has a full basement as well as the main and second floor and is 15x24 feet on each floor.

    The basement level in-law suite has one bathroom, a bedroom with walk in closet, full kitchen and laundry room and "family room" I added the room measurements and get

    square feet calculations
    360 family room (includes stair way down )
    155 kitchen & laundry
    150 bedroom & bathroom
    50 walk in closet
    30 storage closet
    total 745 sq feet


    Additionally there is the furnace area which I have not included in the calculation because it is not "living space" for the suite.

    I would like to find out what I need to do to make this a legal rental unit rather than just an in-law suite.

    The windows in the family room where the exit stairway is are regular windows, all others in bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom/closet are glass block with ventilation opening.

    I was trying to find out if I would be required to remove the bedroom/closet window and install and "escape" window which would be messy and a goodly expense.

    I don't know what else might possibly be required by Chicago to get approval of an application to get the zoning approval for such an endeavor.

    I'm afraid that the mumbo jumbo of the info needs to be "interpreted" for the layman - ME.

    Thanks


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Hi C
    Why did I just get thirsty.()
    Look at my last post and call that number and leave a message with your number.
    They will call you back, however the best time to call is around 11:00 am if I remember correctly.
    Please remember that no one here is a code inspector and we can actually get sued by clients if we go around passing out Chicago code since only the city has that authority.
    Everything here is opinion.
    Any Inspector stating he is doing a code inspection will be in a new line of work very fast.


  11. #11
    C Dixon's Avatar
    C Dixon Guest

    Question Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    I appreciate your input, I just didn't know where to begin with preparing for applying to be able to actually gain income from the use of the suite.

    also I would really like to sell the house and know that if the suite was legal to rent and produce income it should increase the value of the house and make it easier for a buyer to finance it.

    I estimate that the farthest distance from stairway out from the back of the suite is about 40 feet max.

    I will make the call but I'm not even sure what questions I should be asking.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by C Dixon View Post
    I appreciate your input, I just didn't know where to begin with preparing for applying to be able to actually gain income from the use of the suite.

    also I would really like to sell the house and know that if the suite was legal to rent and produce income it should increase the value of the house and make it easier for a buyer to finance it.

    I estimate that the farthest distance from stairway out from the back of the suite is about 40 feet max.

    I will make the call but I'm not even sure what questions I should be asking.
    They will want to know if it is already zoned as a two flat ,which it may be.
    Just ask them what you asked here but make sure it is not already a 2 flat.

    The 311 operators are great at directing you to the proper departments.(sorry listed 411 above)


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Bob,

    FIrst your claim that "no one here is a code inspector" is downright false. Lets get that straight. YOU are not a certified code inspector, or employed as one.

    The "inlaw suite" isn't an "inlaw suite" it is an illegal basement apartment, desired to be a conforming basement appartment a separate unrelated to the family occupying above, unshared with the family occupying above, occupancy,

    It is presently an illegal "apartment" that means a two abodes - one building/house.

    Markus was entirely correct. and you've some nerve telling Markus where to find the current codes for the City of Chicago.

    And, why tell someone to call information/directory assistance (411)!?! Cripes talk about a waste of time for getting a deparment listing!

    Isn't the City of Chicago "Info" number 311 (three-one-one) for City of Chicago "information" and services when calling from within the City???

    C. Dixon:

    Markus generously offered to correspond with you, off-the forum, privately.

    I STRONGLY suggest you take him up on his very generous and kind offer. BEFORE YOU START MAKING CALLS to the City and speaking to ANY city employee or politician, IDENTIFYING YOUR NON-CONFORMING PROPERTY ADDRESS.

    PM means to "Private Message" via the forum. You can link to that quickly by clicking on his name which will get you to his profile. From there you will see an option to "Private Message" Markus. He also offered you information from his website about, and to call him, his number also appears at the close of his posts.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-23-2011 at 10:07 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Bob,

    The "inlaw suite" isn't an "inlaw suite" it is an illegal basement apartment, desired to be a conforming basement appartment a separate unrelated to the family occupying above, unshared with the family occupying above, occupancy,

    It is presently an illegal "apartment" that means a two abodes - one building/house.

    Markus was entirely correct. and you've some nerve telling Markus where to find the current codes for the city of Chicago.

    And, why tell someone to call information/directory assistance (411)!?! Cripes talk about a waste of time for getting a deparment listing!

    Isn't the City of Chicago "Info" number 311 (three-one-one) for City of Chicago "information" and services when calling from within the City???

    C. Dixon:

    Markus generously offered to correspond with you, off-the forum, privately.

    I STRONGLY suggest you take him up on his very generous and kind offer. BEFORE YOU START MAKING CALLS to the City and speaking to ANY city employee or politician, IDENTIFYING YOUR NON-CONFORMING PROPERTY ADDRESS.
    You have some nerve being a pompous blow hard and getting involved plus I think Marcus can speak for himself as I was only trying to help Marcus to find the correct information.
    I am a Chicago Home Inspector (are you)?
    Are you a City of Chicago Inspector ? because if so please list your License number here.

    Seems you get involved in being a person who goes around spitting so much code that the poster has no idea what you said.
    Must be a social problem as you certainly must not be on anyones party list.

    I see how you are on this forum and ask you to please refrain from ever posting on any of mine as you seem to have real anger management issues..
    You have some nerve implying Marcus or yourself are more qualified to give the correct answer by the way so please go find some newbie to go terrorize.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    I'll post where I chose. And If I see you steering someone down a perilous path ill-informed and dis-informed I'll stop you, and post whenever I chose. You are not a qualified consultant on this issue for the OP. You are yep, "just" a home inspector in illinois, nothiing special about your trade in Chicago.

    'Tis a delicate path bringing a non-conforming residence into complaince, if the original poster is concerned about expense of an EERO, following YOUR suggested path is going to be a (sticker$$$) shocker, right quick.

    Noticed you've been correcting and modifying those prior posts.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-23-2011 at 10:23 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    I'll post where I chose. And If I see you steering someone down a perilous path ill-informed and dis-informed I'll stop you.

    'Tis a delicate path bringing a non-conforming residence into complaince, if the original poster is concerned about expense of an EERO, following YOUR suggested path is going to be a (sticker$$$) shocker, right quick.
    The best advise is the advice I gave him.
    My advice was to call the building department.
    I am from Chicago and had the exact same issue as he does.
    You need to see how it is zoned and then get it zoned if someone is going to live there.
    You must bring it up to code no matter what and Chicago Inspectors may or may not site him for violations at any time as their word is the final word.
    City Inspectors have 100% authority and absolutely zero liability and Home Inspectors have zero authority but 100% liability.
    Now if you do not agree with that then that is your problem and not mine.
    Go ahead and play like you are his code Inspector and give him detailed advice to get him in trouble since you will not pay the price for it.

    To sum up you tell me I have a nerve to correct what I see as wrong advice on a Q and A forum?
    You OK?


  17. #17
    C Dixon's Avatar
    C Dixon Guest

    Red face Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Wow, I didn't want to start world war III,

    I am just trying to find out if there is anything I can do to get my basement suite to actually produce an income by renting it out. I would like to get info on what the city requires and see if I am any where near those requirements and if I'm "short" somewhere I could then evaluate the expense to make necessary changes and then decide it it is financially possible to proceed.

    My family has owned the house since 1941, I grew up there with my siblings and we are all grown up now, so this is just a huge single family home with a lot of currently unused space.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by C Dixon View Post
    Wow, I didn't want to start world war III,

    I am just trying to find out if there is anything I can do to get my basement suite to actually produce an income by renting it out. I would like to get info on what the city requires and see if I am any where near those requirements and if I'm "short" somewhere I could then evaluate the expense to make necessary changes and then decide it it is financially possible to proceed.

    My family has owned the house since 1941, I grew up there with my siblings and we are all grown up now, so this is just a huge single family home with a lot of currently unused space.
    C
    I do not post on here because I see there are a handful of guys here that try and control the forum through gang rule ,but please just take my advise and call the City before these guys spend the next 100 answers arguing over a subject they are not qualified for.
    If anyone here gives you advice on code and states they are the authority ,ask them to put it in writing so they can take liability for it down the road.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    Hi C
    Why did I just get thirsty.()
    Look at my last post and call that number and leave a message with your number.
    They will call you back, however the best time to call is around 11:00 am if I remember correctly.
    Please remember that no one here is a code inspector and we can actually get sued by clients if we go around passing out Chicago code since only the city has that authority.
    Everything here is opinion.
    You know what Bob, its just not worth it to discuss squat with you.

    YOU have no indeminty to the OP, zero. And can't read a thread title "City of Chicago - basement rental unit" either, so debating anything with you would be futile.However, why you started in on this thread in the first place is quite apparent.

    You are the angry man here. Find a meeting.

    Markus Keller is an experienced professional Code Counselor and Project Consultant as well as an inspector. He graciously offered correct information, and private discussion to C. Dixon.

    You spout defamation and libel, and steer the OP on a treacherous path, perhaps with mean-spirited motives, which may prove surprisingly costly to the OP when that City Inspector shows up unexpectedly.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-23-2011 at 10:52 PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Bob you can slice it and dice it anyway you want but you aren't getting it right in this case. The second, the house has a basement conversion it is no longer a single family home for the DOB and compliance purposes.
    ALL basement conversions fall under a specific set of Group 34 requirements. The same goes for attic conversions. One can call the house a single family all day long, but once that basement unit is there, it is NOT considered a single family by the DOB until that unit is fully removed. If the unit is brought into compliance the house is a multifamily A2, no longer an A1.
    I have defended more basement conversions on the 11th floor and AH for clients than I can possibly remember. I have never lost a conversion case, not 1 in 10 years. My track record in both venues is impeccable. I don't recall ever seeing you on the 11th floor Bob. There's a lot in life I don't know but illegal conversions and the Code, those I know.
    Telling anyone to call the DOB or 311 is a waste of time. You might actually get through, its possible. Even if you get through you don't know who you are talking to. Not everyone at the DOB actually knows their stuff. When I call the DOB I don't need to call a central number, I call direct.
    My Code book set is 2010, haven't bought 2011 yet.
    I could say a lot more but this is out of your league Bob. You want to have lunch and discuss it let me know.
    Markus

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Marcus ,this is a very strange conversation.
    First off this is a Home Inspection forum and I wish to ask "are you a home inspector"?
    My second question is (suppose I could read all your threads) do you insult every other Home Inspector who dares dis-agree with you as I certainly did not use language to slander you as you just did above with me such as "you are out of your league"
    What is that trying to imply as it sure reads as rather insulting to me and how dare you imply you are somehow a better or more privileged H.I.

    Home Inspectors are not Lawyers and your above post imply s you have spent lots of time at city hall .Were you a bad developer that built everything with untreated split block?

    I somehow doubt you are more qualified than myself if you are not even aware that AM Legal is the place to go for up to date code reference .

    Please inform me what your special qualification of knowledge is that you are so insulting and belittling of your competition.
    I spend my days helping clients and other Inspectors all I can,including my close competition here in Chicago however you seem to be trying make yourself look more important by taking offence and using your little buddy Gilligan Watson to attack me for my opinion.

    You should not be posting on a forum board with thousands of opinions on different subjects if you can not take another viewpoint .

    As far as the city goes I very well know all about the bureaucracy here but I also have gotten through to the DOB and had questions answered when i call in an effort to look out for my clients.
    DOB is who told me to look up codes on AM legal by the way.

    Now if you have some special background you would like to share I am all ears.


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Bob I sugest you restrain yourself and take a meeting, seriously.

    Take that green-eyed monster for a ride and switch to water when you're thirsty.

    Your ignorance far eclispes your arrogance.

    If you're craving work and feeling so small, you might try cleaning up those three embarassingly pitiful websites you don't dare linking to from here.

    Educate yourself man, and seriously, get a clue.

    To anyone who is even the least bit familiar with the topic subject, you are just digging yourself in deeper and embarassing yourself. I don't expect you to see, or agree; you're probably not embarassed by your web site(s - multiple) content either.


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Bob I sugest you restrain yourself and take a meeting, seriously.

    Take that green-eyed monster for a ride and switch to water when you're thirsty.

    Your ignorance far eclispes your arrogance.

    If you're craving work and feeling so small, you might try cleaning up those three embarassingly pitiful websites you don't dare linking to from here.

    Educate yourself man, and seriously, get a clue.

    To anyone who is even the least bit familiar with the topic subject, you are just digging yourself in deeper and embarassing yourself. I don't expect you to see, or agree; you're probably not embarassed by your web site(s - multiple) content either.
    So typical of a idiot such as yourself to try and resort to personal attacks in absence of any real thought process.
    One only needs to follow your past posts to see what kind of creature you are.
    I suggest you go to another thread and leave this to the Chicago guys.
    You are just a small speck my eye,now go away little buddy.

    How many inspections you do lately?
    I doubt many with that personality.Markus seems OK from the posts I caught in the past but you are just some kind of low life form that sits on this forum and insults everyone that asks a question here.
    I bet many do not post out of fear you will reply.

    Now just go away as I am here to help the poster and not look at your ugly,insulting,moronic, thought process.

    People that try to talk over others heads or belittle them have insecurity complexes.You qualify "little buddy".

    Markus feel free to call me anytime away from this creep.He seems like a cyber stalker and I am deciding right now if I should report him.

    Last edited by Bob Elliott; 01-24-2011 at 12:56 PM.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Well now, at least you've stopped attacking Markus Keller.

    Perhaps you may finally figure out he was correct and you are wrong citing single family subsection and see your participation here "off the mark" from the get-go. You're still justifying yourself and claiming there was a wrong to be corrected as you went on the attack. The only wrong information has come from you.

    Perhaps you will someday understand that there are others who have more qualifications, education, and experience in areas that exceed your own limitations.

    As far as who can't see the forest for the trees Bob Elliot:

    The mere presence of the second and completely separate kitchen on the basement level along with its companion rooms and facilities; under zoning that the property IS other than single-family according to city code (see zoning).

    Next, as Mr. Keller already has indicated comes the issue of if it was it, is it, and can survive a transfer of ownership as conforming. (he offered to check the zoning for the property), and if not that's a whole other process.

    Making that Zoning Cert request can "magically", if no, or if a technical violation is observed....even, and especially, if previously non-conf. conversion, or non-permitted alteration; seems to almost always trigger a "citizen report" of violation(S) too.

    One treads carefully and hopefully with good consultants, counselors and advisors, and not without a feasible, multi-faceted (plan A, in the alternate B, or C, and if X then Z or Y, and if it "goes to the mattresses"...fight or abort) plan of action (and not prematurely "tip ones cards" unless and until resources are in place and one is prepared to "batten down the hatches" and to "jump into action").

    Money is tight the City is in the red; there will soon be a "changing of the guard", many employees are mindful of their cost-benefit and income-generating statistics in addition to enforcement actions, safety, completed reviews, inspections, scheduling, and overall performance review criteria; even more importantly, most reviewers, technical inspectors, etc. are very mindful of the eyes of investigators from many levels of government cast upon them. There are more than a few who may tend to overcompensate.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-24-2011 at 03:05 PM.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Bob you should really stop, you are just making yourself look worse. As far as anyone attacking anyone else you seem to be at the head of the line on that. Your comments to HG are really way out.
    Yes Bob, I am an HI. A minority of my work is standard HI. The majority of my work still consists of Building assessments, rehab cost analysis, and helping people who get written up by the City & compliance matters. Contractor gets nailed with a stop work order, sometimes I get the call and work out a settlement between the parties.
    I was at a CityClub luncheon today with another inspector I work with regularly. When it comes to remembering what furnace or water tank was used during a specific period, or which X is prevalent in which neighborhood, he IS the Man. Somehow he manages to remember all those weird little factoids.
    I do not consider myself better than another HI. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I happen to have a wider field of experience when it comes to dealing with City & Code compliance matters.
    I can't remember how many times I have slam dunked a defendant or attorney because they pulled out some code section that appeared to give them a leg to stand on. It is not responsible to pull out a particular code section and assume it applies to your particular case. It is important to know what occupancy and construction that section applies to.
    I don't know where you get this idea that am legal, an outfit out of Ohio, is the official publisher of the chicago code. Index Publishing down on State st. puts it out. The site you linked to states it only as excerpts from particular chapters. You really should start backpeddling and apologize to HG.
    No I am not a developer. I was telling people CMU was garbage 20 years ago. I've never built a CMU building for a client and wouldn't.
    You say you are experienced in Chicago, if that's so, doesn't the subsection you referenced make you think about its logic in relation to vintage Chicago construction? Except in a minority of houses and neighborhoods, you aren't going to find houses with 1500 sqft per floor. A standard City lot is 25x125, a standard vintage house is 20x50 +/-. Based on your assumption, 90+ percent of vintage homes would fall under that rule. That just isn't the case.
    Please try to understand Bob, the OP's question relates to a basement conversion DU. Whether that basement DU is compliant, illegal or pre-1957 we do not know for sure. Either way a basement conversion falls under a specific set of rules, just like an attic conversion.
    Special qualifications, yeah one could reasonably say I have those.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    I simply came here to help the poster and did not realize you and Dr Watson were the controllers of the board.
    Markus or anyone else for that matter can backtrack to see where this ignorant personal insult stuff started and you sure are not helping matters with this latest post when I kindly offered for you to call me personally.
    The only point of your first post I disagreed on was the square footage and your response took an angry tone by declaring you could care less about my source when as I pointed out and provided links to it as legit.

    Not sure where such hatred and anger comes from just because a fellow inspector disagrees with your facts ?
    Must be the Bears loss.


  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Mr Dixon i just called D.O.B for you but was to late in the day however i think you will find this link of interest as it explains things with no ego conflicts.

    Legal two flat with rented basement concerning LOC? - Trulia Voices

    Here is my favorite response and also on the D.O.B site you can find a PDF application for certificate of occupancy.

    As Markus stated it more than likely is not a legal unit but you never know and in this town there are tons of them that slip under the radar.
    Just trying to find parking in many neighborhoods is a challenge because of it.

    Here is the response ...if you are the owner of the building you can apply for a certificate of occupancy or let the building department send its inspectors over to look around. provided that (a) the property meets all applicable building/fire/electric/plumbing codes, and permits were pulled for all improvements (as may have been required) the city will certify the apartment as "legal" if any of those things are lacking, the seller is at risk for fines and compliance.

    the point i am trying to make is that most basement and attic units are "illegal" for a reason - namely that some corner was cut and some code not met. it is inferior housing. no offense intended.


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    I simply came here to help the poster and did not realize you and Dr Watson were the controllers of the board.
    Markus or anyone else for that matter can backtrack to see where this ignorant personal insult stuff started and you sure are not helping matters with this latest post when I kindly offered for you to call me personally.
    The only point of your first post I disagreed on was the square footage and your response took an angry tone by declaring you could care less about my source when as I pointed out and provided links to it as legit.

    Not sure where such hatred and anger comes from just because a fellow inspector disagrees with your facts ?
    Must be the Bears loss.
    No, it is "NOT LEGIT" as you say, it is an "information purposes only" un-reviewed unofficially codified resource. Snippets or entire sections copied from same are not admissible or cited.

    I guess it wouldn't surprise me that you completely overlooked the very clear, and consise disclaimer on your so-called "legit" resource:

    American Legal Publishing: Online Library

    Quote Originally Posted by amlegal.com

    Published by:

    American Legal Publishing Corporation

    Disclaimer:

    This Code of Ordinances and/or any other documents that appear on this site may not reflect the most current legislation adopted by the Municipality. American Legal Publishing Corporation provides these documents for informational purposes only. These documents should not be relied upon as the definitive authority for local legislation. Additionally, the formatting and pagination of the posted documents varies from the formatting and pagination of the official copy. The official printed copy of a Code of Ordinances should be consulted prior to any action being taken.

    For further information regarding the official version of this Code of Ordinances or other documents posted on this site, please contact the Municipality directly or contact American Legal Publishing toll-free at 800-445-5588.
    Emphasis above, mine.

    By the way, that's pretty standard for any municipal code hosting website. On-line public access versions are rarely, if ever, "official".

    Again, you're NOT helping "your cause".


  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Sheesh.

    You still don't get it. And that's NOT what Markus Keller said!

    Even if it was and is a legal non-conforming apartment, it doesn't mean it will or can remain as one when a transfer of ownership takes place. Who knows? we don't know if the zoning presently existing affords a conforming multifamily.

    Sigh.

    And you have no idea the standards this basement "in-law-suite"/apartment was built to!

    Bob, for all YOU know it could be the Taj-Mahal of garden apartments!

    From what the OP indicated the 40s built-home's basement itself was expanded at the time of the addition to the home in the early 60s.

    We don't the basement "suite" was to plan at that time, or some time thereafter - we do not know, with or without plans and permits, don't know.

    For you to presume the fitness of habitation to be in some way substandard is "a leap" to say the least. Perhaps your own basement has such problems, but AFAIK you know nothing about the original poster's subject property.

    You also do not know what the present zoning IS for the property.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-24-2011 at 04:02 PM.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    No anger or hatred implied whatsoever in my response Bob. I just really don't care about some 3rd party out of Ohio excerpt you pulled up. Not mad, not angry, not anything hostile, just don't care.
    I have the Code books, the actual books at my desk. I can also log onto the Index publishing site, the people who put out the book, and do a search.
    HG and I don't control squat. You screwed up, period. You referenced a section that isn't applicable. I've done it at times myself.
    I've talked out of my butt on this site before and Jerry has kicked my _ss. It's the way it goes sometimes. We all make mistakes.
    Please say you aren't suggesting the OP or anyone else for that matter call the City to their house. That is the worst information you can give an owner.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    No, it is "NOT LEGIT" as you say, it is an "information purposes only" un-reviewed unofficially codified resource. Snippets or entire sections copied from same are not admissible or cited.

    I guess it wouldn't surprise me that you completely overlooked the very clear, and consise disclaimer on your so-called "legit" resource:

    American Legal Publishing: Online Library



    Emphasis above, mine.

    By the way, that's pretty standard for any municipal code hosting website. On-line public access versions are rarely, if ever, "official".

    Again, you're NOT helping "your cause".
    Sorry but you are wrong and I am a Chicago Home Inspector that has dealt with the city many times.
    AM legal is the official publisher of the code and if you were not so lazy you would go on the City of Chicago site to check facts .

    I HAVE NO CAUSE BUT YOU APPARENTLY DO,so I will waste no more time answering your persistent and constant personal attacks as I find them depressing and not worth my time to respond to.

    My job is to help those in need while yours seems to be fighting boredom by stirring the pot of anger and resentment.
    I feel sorry for you.
    Do you even have a job other than official cat caller of the forum?
    Please seek help.


  32. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by C Dixon View Post
    Wow, I didn't want to start world war III, .... snipped
    It's fairly easy to do here. No effort required. Just ask a simple question or post a innocuous statement. It's not your fault. Hope you glean some helpful information.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    It's fairly easy to do here. No effort required. Just ask a simple question or post a innocuous statement. It's not your fault. Hope you glean some helpful information.
    Stuart I enjoyed jousting with Markus as it had me looking up facts ,which is always a good practice.
    Seems the guys on this forum take things to a personal level and I know see why Brian Hannigan wrote a post on this type of activity.
    I was warned by other inspectors that if I post here I would be dragged into the mud and they may have been right.

    Easy to see why so many good inspectors do not waste time here.
    No offence to you or anyone else but it only takes a few jerks to ruin everything.

    Next time I will ignore the angry guys however as a Chicago guy that is hard to do as we are all fighters that stick up for ourselves and our friends.


  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Yep, he has told the OP to do so repeatedly (even after editing) since last night!

    Even envoked a response and tentative commitment to do so from the OP!

    See post 12 above.


  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    No anger or hatred implied whatsoever in my response Bob. I just really don't care about some 3rd party out of Ohio excerpt you pulled up. Not mad, not angry, not anything hostile, just don't care.
    I have the Code books, the actual books at my desk. I can also log onto the Index publishing site, the people who put out the book, and do a search.
    HG and I don't control squat. You screwed up, period. You referenced a section that isn't applicable. I've done it at times myself.
    I've talked out of my butt on this site before and Jerry has kicked my _ss. It's the way it goes sometimes. We all make mistakes.
    Please say you aren't suggesting the OP or anyone else for that matter call the City to their house. That is the worst information you can give an owner.
    Markus ,at least that is a response with information attached to it.
    Your post in this thread early on simply dismissed my information as if waving your hand at me.
    However I repeat a city inspector told me to use the site and also the city web site says to use AM legal so I still need facts that back up your dismissal of a site I always rely on for issues from expansion tanks to fire safety.

    This is what I do for a living so if you can provide proof of what you say I will listen ,and there is no reason for name calling though this Watson guy sure enjoyed trying to get a rise out of me.Seems to be his M.O from the threads I have visited so far.

    I also agree that calling for the city to inspect anything can be asking for trouble.

    I did a porch study for an association that had gotten fined for violations the builder left them even though the previous city inspector approved the design.
    Turns out I did lots of porch violation study on that job and loved the research.
    It is amazing what we see out there as the city never even bothers to inspect the small buildings most of the time and if you request an inspection they will fine the unit owners ,not the developer.
    Madness.
    I am sure you are a good inspector but so am i so when we dis agree lets pick up the phone or at least stick to facts without the personality conflicts.
    Most Inspectors I have jousted with in the past turned out to be good guys when I met them in person.


  36. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    Stuart I enjoyed jousting with Markus as it had me looking up facts ,which is always a good practice.
    Seems the guys on this forum take things to a personal level and I know see why Brian Hannigan wrote a post on this type of activity.
    I was warned by other inspectors that if I post here I would be dragged into the mud and they may have been right.

    Easy to see why so many good inspectors do not waste time here.
    No offence to you or anyone else but it only takes a few jerks to ruin everything.

    Next time I will ignore the angry guys however as a Chicago guy that is hard to do as we are all fighters that stick up for ourselves and our friends.
    No offense taken. You seem to still be a little upset.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Just an Open Note
    I have noted over the years that there are some who frequent this web site who apparently just have to have the last word on any subject. Maybe the assertion or evidence cited is correct. Maybe not. It just seems that the point of the discussion is lost while some are fighting as hard as they can to get that last word in. Some folks are just like that. I know. My wife and youngest daughter frequently exercise that personality trait.

    One would like to think that a excellent web site like Inspection News would naturally produce intelligent discourse and debate presented in a respectful and courteous manner. Often, it does just that. However, it seems that too often the discussions get out of hand and become ugly. I'm not sure if they are spitting or penis measuring contests.

    One can make a simple statement that accepts or rejects another point of view. One can cite example or evidence without being an imperious lout. One should be allowed to question or counter a statement without a response that implies or shouts there is some fault with his or her intelligence or heritage. Hey! Some of us may be a little dense at times and need a different perspective to "get it"

    Anyone who has been around the internet very long certainly knows THAT USING ALL CAPS IS PROPER WAY TO SHOUT AND BE RUDE. I'm not too sure why BOLD, LARGE, and COLORED fonts are used The different font face is perhaps, more eloquent, but still carries the same connotation.

    I'm pretty sure most of us that use this forum have less time left to spend in this life than we have already lived . Why waste it with useless and faceless arguments?

    Peace and tranquility. (anti-depressants or a lot of Tequila might help)

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  38. #38
    C Dixon's Avatar
    C Dixon Guest

    Unhappy Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Dear Sirs,

    I greatly appreciate information on my question, I realize that there may be differences in opinion.

    If the purpose of the website is to assist "laymen" like myself to get information and find resources to get jobs done that is great. However, it is very distressing to have to try to hash through arguments and character assassinations to find that information. Might I suggest since the site appears to offer private messages, perhaps it would be more productive to have your "disputes" in private using that instrument.

    Like I said my intention was to seek information and direction from professionals in the field, not to start WW III.

    Cam


  39. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Now where is that little red "REPORT" button................

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    [quote=C Dixon;157503]Like I said my intention was to seek information and direction from professionals in the field, not to start WW III[quote]

    Not to worry.

    On our planet, this is WW XIVXXII.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  41. #41

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    Markus ,at least that is a response with information attached to it.
    Your post in this thread early on simply dismissed my information as if waving your hand at me.
    However I repeat a city inspector told me to use the site and also the city web site says to use AM legal so I still need facts that back up your dismissal of a site I always rely on for issues from expansion tanks to fire safety.

    This is what I do for a living so if you can provide proof of what you say I will listen ,and there is no reason for name calling though this Watson guy sure enjoyed trying to get a rise out of me.Seems to be his M.O from the threads I have visited so far.

    I also agree that calling for the city to inspect anything can be asking for trouble.

    I did a porch study for an association that had gotten fined for violations the builder left them even though the previous city inspector approved the design.
    Turns out I did lots of porch violation study on that job and loved the research.
    It is amazing what we see out there as the city never even bothers to inspect the small buildings most of the time and if you request an inspection they will fine the unit owners ,not the developer.
    Madness.
    I am sure you are a good inspector but so am i so when we dis agree lets pick up the phone or at least stick to facts without the personality conflicts.
    Most Inspectors I have jousted with in the past turned out to be good guys when I met them in person.
    Bob I believe Mr.Marcus and Mr. Keller have their ducks in a row here. You need to go back to your amateur message board where your followers heed your advise. Sorry.

    Last edited by Linas Dapkus; 01-25-2011 at 05:31 AM.
    www.dapkusinspections.com
    www.chicagoinfraredthermalimaging.com
    Infraspection Institute Certified Level III Thermographer # 8510

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,776

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    C Dixon,
    Think about another mother in-law.
    One with a Pension and Soc Sec check, get power of attorney and put her in the basement. Then sell her with house, having the new owner adopt her. That skhould get around the code issues.

    I have a mother in-law that you can have.


  43. #43
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    The authoritative resource for ordinance changes and ammendments in between OFFICIAL published editions of city code are acquired via the City Clerk's office in the form of certified city council minutes and related certifications of interim publication.The City Clerk is the official resource for City Code and its codification.

    The disclaimer from AMwhatever.com is true. Similar disclaimer on the City Clerk's site. Internet access to an official electronic publication is on the City Clerk's plans for the future, someday, when funded, it may occur. In the meantime, it is not.


  44. #44
    Ceci Horodyski's Avatar
    Ceci Horodyski Guest

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    You have two issues that are essentially separate but must both be compliant.
    First is the zoning issue. Your location needs to be approved for an additional unit. Calling it an in-law unit was historically acceptable but those days are over. The City sees it as another dwelling unit, period. You can PM me the address and I can look it up in my zoning book.
    The 2nd issue is building Code compliance. There are numerous factors that have to be compliant.
    Egress, light and ventilation, sufficient heating, sufficient electrical, ceiling height, proper plumbing.
    - If the ceiling height is less than 7', forget you're done, never get approved.
    - If no windows or just closed glassblocks plan on changing or adding windows
    - only 1 egress is Ok if less than 800 sqft.
    - combined heating you may be able to get by
    - funky plumbing, better plan on re-doing it, City plumbing inspectors do NOT like non-compliant, funky basement unit plumbing
    - old, small electrical service with only one panel won't pass
    Hope that helps, you can PM, call or check out the website for more info.
    I know this is an old thread, but seemed like a good place to start. I live in Chicago(single family home) and was wondering what the plumbing code says about using PVC/CPVC for interior supply lines. I did call the Department of Buildings and left a message, but since I have been living in Chicago forever having a feeling won't get a call back. I also went onto their website and put in a search, but am not getting anywhere that way. Does anyone know what the code says about those interior supply lines. I just had a licensed plumber replace an interior drain pipe behind the wall and he did use PVC. Don't want to call him to ask since not the most confident I will get a reliable answer since when I asked about CPVC said there wasn't such a thing.

    Thanks,
    Ceci


  45. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    PVC allowed for drainpipe
    PVC not allowed for supply pipe, potable water
    CPVC not allowed at all
    Connections between old galvanized or cast drain pipes and new PVC repairs must be properly done. No bandaids, etc.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  46. #46
    Ceci Horodyski's Avatar
    Ceci Horodyski Guest

    Default Re: city of Chicago - basement rental unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    PVC allowed for drainpipe
    PVC not allowed for supply pipe, potable water
    CPVC not allowed at all
    Connections between old galvanized or cast drain pipes and new PVC repairs must be properly done. No bandaids, etc.
    I thought so. Thanks for confirming that. Yes, no bandaids at all. Saw it being done on that pipe they replaced and it was amazing how simple it was. So simple that it only took 3 hours so that ended up being almost 300.00 per hour. Just got to love those plumbers, especially ones that leave their helpers to do the job and come back at the end to check the job and yes, get final payment. Yes, the Chicago way.

    Thank you,
    Ceci


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •