Basement garage and fireproofing

indygalAugust 29, 2006

We are in the process of designing a new house. We've been told that if we put a garage door in the unfinished basement area, it will have to be fireproofed. The area is about 32'X37'. The rear wall and part of the side wall will be studs and not cement. We have a large window at the rear of the area in case the next owner wants to change it to a game room. The basement will likely be at least 10' deep. Obviously we'll be using drywall on all studded walls. Would it be best to use drywall or a suspended ceiling in this area? Also is there another type of large double door we could use instead of a garage door? We may not put a car in the basement, but we do have a riding mower.

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I am dealing with this right now, also. See the "Separation Between Garage an Room Above" thread on the Building a Home forum.

From the 2003 IRC...
309.2 Separation required.
The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by not less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board applied to the garage side. Garages beneath habitable rooms shall be separated from all habitable rooms above by not less than 5/8-inch (15.9 mm) Type X gypsum board or equivalent. Where the separation is a floor-ceiling assembly, the structure supporting the separation shall also be protected by not less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board or equivalent.

In our locality a garage door would indicate a garage and therefore require the fireproofing. Would a large sliding patio door suffice? I suggest talking to you local inspector and tell him what you plan to use the room for.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 1:57PM
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Thanks Tom. I checked out the thread you mentioned in Building a Home forum. I see that a suspended ceiling could also be used and meet the fire code. I was thinking of a double door hinged to swing open and allow easy access for the riding mower. But if there is the possibility of parking a car in the basement, the garage door is probably best. We were hoping to avoid the extra expense of fireproofing the unfinished basement area. I guess it will have to be finished to some extent after all. It would be cheaper than building a detached garage.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 10:24PM
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Also check about the furnace and water heater. You may have to get them installed higher off of the basement floor.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 8:41AM
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I didn't think about elevating the furnace and water heater. I know that is required in a regular garage. I wonder if enclosing the furnace and water heater on the floor in a separate room would pass inspection. Another question to ask the builder.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 7:15PM
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