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» ICC Bulletin Board » Code Chat » Building and Residential Codes -- Non-Structural Issues » Garage floor and living space

   
Author Topic: Garage floor and living space
Spanky
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I have a resident that wants to make his means of egress from his basement into his garage. There is a 3/0 x 6/8 side hinged door from the garage to the outside existing.
Is there a code section that states that living space floor must be 4" above the floor of a private garage? It used to be in BOCA, but I can't seem to find it anywhere in the IRC.
It seems like an important requirement that has gone away.
Thanks

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Princeofpen
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Section 309.1 openings from privat garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Also if this is a use other than sleeping can this person use a rated door? Problem with this section of the IRC is that it doesn't address exit through storage the way the IBC does. I believe the intent is there with 311.4.1 with exiting through a garage as an only means of egress but it's not directly addressed. Can you go to this person and just get them to understand fuel vapors or spills may end up in their house and such an egress is foolish? So if there is a fire in the garage that enters the kitchen and sets off a smoke the people in the basement are screwed if the only two exits are into the kitchen or garage?

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The large print givith,the small print takith away........POP

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willsdad03
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IRC 311.4.1 does directly address this..."The required exit door shall provide for direct access from the habitable portions of the dwelling to the exterior WITHOUT requireing travel through a garage."
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jiano
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However, unlike the old BOCA code, I don't think the IRC requires an elevation change between the garage and living areas.
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bptp32
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The only way we have found to address this issue is to reference the fuel gas code (G2408) which requires the elevation of the ignition source 18" above the floor of a private garage. If the floors are level with one another, without the old 4" minimum curb requirement, then we would require the ignition sources to be elevated. SOmetimes the curb/landing is less costly than the elevation of the appliances.
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Spanky
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Thanks for your input,
I don't like to be creative with the language of the code, but sometimes it's necessary. As you said Prince, I will explain the dangers of having the floor levels the same. Most people are understanding when it comes to life safety.
I think the ICC should consider adding this to the residential code.
Thanks Again

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Princeofpen
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I see your point willsdad... if this is a separation between a garage and a living space then it has to be separated by a door 309.1 then it falls under 311.4 doors and 311.4.1 required door for egress not traveling through a garage. Kind of a spread around base for an argument but I think it would hold up in court.... THoughts?

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The large print givith,the small print takith away........POP

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Twincityslim
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Do we know that this basement is habitable space? If it is not, then 311.4 does not apply and the exit may pass through the garage. Also, could someone elaborate on your point about gas appliances? Is it being suggested that gas appliances in this basement be elevated or some type of curb provided?

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Twincityslim

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Princeofpen
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Twin, If there is a door between the garage and the residence still has to be rated. Also why would anyone go through the trouble of cutting concrete and exiting through a existing garage floor when they could bilco or whatever to have access from the outside. Bilco type would not work as an exit (effort in opening). With a duck being a duck sounds like this person is wanting to get around required egress from a converted living or sleeping space. As far as the raising of appliances in garages that's an instant way to get a 3 page thread going..... check mechanicals for a previous discussion on that one.

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The large print givith,the small print takith away........POP

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pwood
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we have not had the requirement for an elevation change between the garage and the house and have not had any problems.the common door is rated and the door is weatherstripped per energy codes,so what's the issue here?

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measure once,cut twice
cbo mcp vi( i am not mark obama)

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peach
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The IRC only requires ONE exit from a house... as long as it doesn't exit thru the garage, nothing would prohibit this one from it... (true, it can't open directly into a bedroom (still undefined term, I know).. and there must be at least one egress window from the basement.. but no other requirement.

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Thanks for the memories.. Frank (old blue eyes) Sinatra

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TJacobs
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If a basement stair is coming up into the garage, I would require a gas curb between the garage floor and the basement stair due to the fact that the stair is below the garage floor level and directly communicating to the basement.

A gas curb is not required in the IRC, but I think the code is assuming the house floor is not LOWER than the garage floor.

I would require a rated door between garage and basement just like the other house-to-garage door.

I would not permit this to be the only stair into the basement.

I would not permit this stair to serve as the emergency escape from the basement.

I would treat this as a supplemental stair and not a means of egress.

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Jake

Sometimes a great deal of effort is expended to avoid the inevitable.

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jim a
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Jake,
I agree with all of your statement except not allowing that to be the only stair to the basement. Per IRC sec R310.1, one openable emergency escape and rescue opening is required in a habitable basement. As long as they have that code compliant opening (a door or window), one stair is sufficient, exiting into the garage or elsewhere, unless that stair leads directly to a sleeping room in the basement.

And in response to the original question, there is no longer a requirement for a change in floor elevation from garage to living space. It may seem important to some who are accustomed to that requirement in their past code work, but statistics do not back up its need.

[ 04-08-2006, 07:14 AM: Message edited by: jim a ]

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Twincityslim
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TJacobs, you are pulling our leg aren't you?

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Twincityslim

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tsmith
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jim a, in addition to the basement "opening" required by 310.1, there is a separate requirement in 311.4 that every habitable level have an exit "door" in accordance with that section, or else a stair in accordance with 311.5, connecting the basement with a level that does have such a stair.

IMHO, since the required door can't lead to a garage, then neither can the alternate required stair. The basement is required to either have a stair connecting it to the house's one required exit, or an exit of its own which meets the same criteria.

If the basementt doesn't have another stair which doesn't lead through the garage, then it must have a proper door to the exterior per 311.4. The door would also satisfy the emergency opening requirement, but that opening would not substitute for the required door or stair.

[ 04-11-2006, 08:45 AM: Message edited by: tsmith ]

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Twincityslim
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All of these comments regarding the basement exit assumes that we are talking about a habitable basement, right? R311.4 only requires access to the required exit door without going through a garage for habitable space. The basement only needs an emergency escape window or door if there is a basement bedroom or habitable space. Based on the information given in the original question, it would seem that the owner could do what he wanted to do and no type of curbing or other impediments would be required.

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Twincityslim

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tsmith
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>Based on the information given in the original question...

The original post was looking for a BOCA-style requirement for a curb or elevation change between garage and "living space." The title also includes "living space," which sounds habitable to me. It's not unreasonable that people would respond accordingly.

But the original poster never commented on this, or came back to clarify, apparently being concerned only with the floor question, and not the issue of the "means of egress" passing through the garage.

[ 04-10-2006, 01:44 PM: Message edited by: tsmith ]

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jim a
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tsmith,
I agree.

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TJacobs
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No Twin, I'm not.

The reason I said what I said was, if this is the only stair to the basement, and they wanted to finish the basement (in the future), would you let them? You will have a fun time with that when it comes up.

311.4.1. Not less than one exit door conforming to this section shall be provided for each dwelling unit. The required exit door shall provide for direct access from the habitable portions of the dwelling to the exterior without requiring travel through a garage.

I stand by every one of my comments in my earlier post, even the gas curb part.

The IRC does not cover every scenario, but when it doesn't is not the time to ignore the hazards.

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Jake

Sometimes a great deal of effort is expended to avoid the inevitable.

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peach
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if it's a basement under the IRC, there will already be a door or window to the exterior... this stairway is incidental (now... based on some discussion on the bulletin board about non required things we add)... this can still be a lively discussion.

You can never "require" someone to exit thru a garage... (even tho, in an emergency, I can see people going thru windows, patio doors, etc).. they aren't required.. even though it's more convenient..

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Thanks for the memories.. Frank (old blue eyes) Sinatra

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Twincityslim
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TJacobs, you must be the king in your country when you can just make up whatever rules you want. Nice! Here in the US we have things like due process and laws that we have to enforce. We aren't permitted to impose rules without the support of those laws. Interesting concept though. I am surprised that Bush hasn't invaded your country and tried to impose democracy on you. You aren't harboring any terrorists, are you?

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Twincityslim

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Spanky
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Re: Garage floor and Living Space
I'm sorry I didn't clarify my question sooner as I have been away.
The homeowner wants to finish his basement making it habitable space. He wants to construct a stairway from the basement into the garage for the required means of egress. The garage has a 3/0 x 6/8 side hinged door, but the door is at the other end of the garage. I don't think this meets code because the egress from the basement does not go directly to the exterior without going through the garage.
My question was only about the 4" curb to prevent fumes or vapors from entering the basement. From what I'm reading it's not required anymore.
Thanks for the advice.

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jim a
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Only egress from the basement thru the garage not permitted. See tsmith 12:55 Ap 10 post above.
But as also previously mentioned, additional emergency egress is req'd per R310.1, 2003 IRC.

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tsmith
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Spanky, if an exterior door could be added adjacent to the stair, and the stair and door separated from the garage as per house/garage separation, then I think it would be fine. Or redesign the stair to discharge into the house instead. But as described, no, you can't have the required exit leading you through the garage.
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Twincityslim
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Odd house that doesn't have a stair leading from the basement to the main floor that could suffice for the required means of egress. Will the homeowner walk outside, thru his garage, and down the stairs to access the space? Not very convenient. Are we getting the whole story?

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Twincityslim

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peach
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good point, slim .. I was thinking the same thing..

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Thanks for the memories.. Frank (old blue eyes) Sinatra

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CSL
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sounds like a covert plan to make the basement an ADU. Nothing like charging rent to offset the cost of a new home. Regardless, as stated above and according to R311.4.1, no can do.

CSL

[ 04-12-2006, 06:41 PM: Message edited by: code saves lives ]

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If we all agreed...we would never know when we are wrong.

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peach
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we do it in model homes where the construction office is in the basement.... and for some homeowners (one right now in a custom, as a matter of fact)... but the basement has a stairway to the main floor as well as egress windows... (the custom we are building, I think has a work room of some kind in part of the basement, and this is a convenience stairway).. it can't be the required exit out of the basement (which it won't be, if there's an interior stairway).. if it's a separate dwelling unit, it had better be a walkout basement..

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Thanks for the memories.. Frank (old blue eyes) Sinatra

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TJacobs
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Spanky, yes, you are correct, the 4" curb isn't required anymore.

Twin, thanks for the rant. I hope your meds have kicked in now...

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Jake

Sometimes a great deal of effort is expended to avoid the inevitable.

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Uncle Bob
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Can I play?

2003 IRC, Means of Egreess.

311.4.1 states that;

"not less than one exit door conforming to this section shall be provided for each dwelling unit."

That means only one required exit door for the ENTIRE HOUSE.

"THE REQUIRED exit door shall provide for direct access from the habitable portions of the dwelling to the exterior without requiring travel through a garage."

So far makes sense.

"Access to habitable levels NOT HAVING(?) an exit in accordance with this section"

Is this habitable level exempt from the first requirement if it has the following?

"shall be by a ramp in accordance with Section R311.6 or A STAIRWAY in accordance with Section R311.5."

If there is a stairway (from the basement to the garage) that meets the requirements of section R311.5, then is it exempt from the first requirements of 311.4.1?

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In Oklahoma; many new homes are built with a storm shelter/cellar under the garage floor. The entry to the shelter is in the garage. There is air ventilation which terminates outside the building; but, no windows and/or other egress.

Homeowner " We are converting our basement to a storm shelter."

It is getting more and more difficult for us to do our job when the rules are so vague and supply homeowners and builders with lots of wiggle room.

Remember the bedroom conundrum?

It's not what you are building or adding; it's what you say you are building or adding.

[ 04-22-2006, 05:49 AM: Message edited by: Uncle Bob ]

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Putting back my e-mail address; osoros@hotmail.com (ps. my real name is not "Bob Hamilton"); just in case I find that I am not a "valued member". :(

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peach
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I occasionally see storm shelters here too.. accessed thru the basement... having said that, I think we realize that basements are not necessarily normal construction everywhere... this might be something the building officials need to consider as a modification...

(after all, the garage might not be there anymore after the storm)... (and I'd dare bet most storm shelters aren't like the bomb shelter Christopher Walken built in "blast from the past")..

we really did wobble off topic a bit, didn't we?

[ 04-22-2006, 05:52 AM: Message edited by: peach ]

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Thanks for the memories.. Frank (old blue eyes) Sinatra

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