Re: dirt floor basement
First of all, building permits are only good for three things: making building inspectors (and possibly your insurance company) happy, making future buyers of your house happy, and recording improvements so your taxes can be increased. Getting a building permit doesn't do YOU any good.
Codes are there to ensure basic safety. They do not ensure the quality of construction.
People think the building inspector will make sure it's built right. The inspector only makes sure it's to code, and there have been quite a few that don't take their job seriously. Besides, you can't hold the inspector accountable for missing a critical detail.
Sure, you can pour a concrete floor, you just won't be able to market it as living space. As long as you're not doing any structural changes, and you are providing a vapor barrier or an escape path for moisture, I can't see how putting a floor in there will impact health, safety, or durability of your home.
One more thing codes and permits are good for: protectionism for the building trades industry.
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I wouldn't do less than three inches, on undisturbed or compacted soil/substrate. Two inches seems to be kind of weak, even when not under a heavy load. Remember that concrete will ALWAYS crack as it cures; you need to ensure that once cracked it doesn't shift.
Last edited by Fencepost; 04-27-2012 at 02:48 AM.
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.