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Building code varies based on where you live but there a few general things that need to be above the standard residential requirements
One of the most popular ways to bring existing basement to code is by adding a separate entrance.
Additional to the separate entrance, its important to have a secondary escape through a larger window opening
Ensure HVAC is up to local building code, has its own sprinkler system set up and emergrancy shut off.
Separate water lines and ensuring its up to building code. Typical basements are not built to legal basement standards
Building code is separate from electrical code and acquiring ESA permits will ensure the legal basement is built to code
Legal basements are required by code to have fire rated drywall and smoke detectors installed up to code