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Currently framing a completely unfinished basement, I would like to leave the closets unfinished, for space primarily and to have access to ceiling above. I have 3 closets, one leading to under the stairs which also connects to my utility room (furnace and hot water heater), one enclosing my sump pump and another storage closet. I would like to leave them unfinished, no studs along the concrete wall and no ceiling (open web joists above).

My township does require fire blocking however their code seems very loose in description and code inspectors are impossible to get to answer questions unfortunately.

Is it necessary I finish the inside of my closets? I've never seen a closet enclosing a sump pump be finished, but I'd like to make sure.

Appreciate the responses!!!

  • I should also mention the outside of the closet will have 5/8" drywall, just the inside will be bare stud and concrete wall, with bare joists above. – Hybrid Sep 15 '16 at 2:14
  • Did you list which spaces are planned to be finished and which ones weren't on your permit plans such as "unfinished utility closet"? If so and if the township issued the permit, you've got one official that has already given you an okay to leave the spaces unfinished. – statueuphemism Sep 15 '16 at 12:27
  • What climate zone are you in? In my area of the world, the exterior walls would at least have to be insulated (and likely need a framed exterior wall for this to be practical). Are these actual "closets" you intend to use for storage? A small room to keep a sump pit out of view but accessible (with maybe a couple shelves for infrequently-accessed storage) is one thing, but a sump pit in the bottom of a bedroom closet is pretty unappealing. – gregmac Sep 15 '16 at 13:54
  • Thanks for the replies! Climate zone is 5, but about 80-90% of my concrete wall is below the ground so no insulation is needed. There hasn't been a plan submitted yet. The basement is 1 large room, no bedrooms, just a separate room where the furnace and hot water heater are. They are storage closets, 2x4 shelving with plywood, will be keeping large sealed plastic totes in them, no clothes, etc. – Hybrid Sep 17 '16 at 18:33

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