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Attached Garage Attic Access Pull Down Stairs

Discussion in 'Residential Building Codes' started by jar546, May 3, 2019.

  1. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    OK so the new 'spin' that I hear on this is that an attached garage, although required to be separated from the attic with 1/2" gypsum or equivalent (with no habitable rooms above) is meaningless because 1/2" gypsum has no official fire rating, therefore a wooden pull down ladder installed in a garage does not have to be the equivalent protection of the 1/2" gypsum because the gypsum has no official rating.

    I really don't agree with this. What say thee?

    IMG_4125.JPG
     
  2. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    Where does it say the garage needs to be separated from it's attic? Is that a FL thing?
     
  3. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    Have a similar condition in a friends attached garage which is separated from the attic by a vertical wall covered with Gyp. Using your example, he installed an access door to the attic space in the wall. Shouldn't the door then be rated?
     
  4. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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  5. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    Table R302.6, dwelling, garage separation.
     
  6. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    In the IRC and FBC in chapter 3. We are talking about an attached garage with a shared attic.
     
  7. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    Did not know you meant a shared attic. In that case since the garage ceiling doesn't have type x 5/8 drywall installed and the fold down stairs really doesn't have anything to do with it. They need 1/2 drywall between the garage attic and the house attic.

    Like I said I don't know any requirement to have 1/2" drywall at all between the garage and any attic, but there is separation requirements between dwelling and garage. This garage is non compliant even if did not have the fold down ladder.
     
  8. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    You might want to start reading this section then:

    Screen Shot 2019-05-03 at 13.25.36.png
     
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  9. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Registered User

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    Nothing in the IRC requires any fire rating for the walls or ceiling between the garage and the dwelling unit.
    The IRC does have minimum prescriptive requirements of which the 1/2 gypsum board is one of them. Install the 1/2" gypsum board on the face of the drop down ladder and you are done IMHO.
    Something is better than nothing
    19/32-inch wood structural panel bonded with exterior glue will give you the same 15 minutes 1/2" gypsum board will.
    2012 IBC TABLE 722.6.2(1)

    Remember the IRC is a prescriptive code not a design or performance code. It is all about increasing the time for the occupants to get out of the building in a fire event. Even NFPA 13D only requires a 15 minute water supply in a sprinkled residence.
     
  10. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    Just went from the 2009 IRC to the 2015 IRC and did not know about that table. Did not do any 2015 plan reviews yet. So now they only need 1/2 on this ceiling while before we required 5/8 for this situation. I always considered an attic above the garage as part of the garage if 5/8 was not on the garage ceiling.
     
  11. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    So why wouldn't you need to go by this section for the opening to the attic? Would you be ok if drywall was glued to a swinging door too?

    R302.5.1 Opening protection. Openings from a private
    garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall
    not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and
    residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less
    than 13/8 inches (35 mm) in thickness, solid or honeycombcore
    steel doors not less than 13/8 inches (35 mm) thick, or
    20-minute fire-rated doors, equipped with a self-closing
    device.
     
  12. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    There it is, though shalt not penetrate the rated wall between a garage and the attic above the residence unless the door is rated.
     
  13. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    It is not a door between the garage and residence. Garage and attic, yes.
     
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  14. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    Just an idea, but who thinks that Table 722.6.2(1) would prove a worthwhile argument.

    Per IBC Table 722.6.2(1), 1/2" GWB provides 15-min resistance. To achieve an equivalent resistance, 19/32" WSP is required.

    Gasketing is a further issue.

    upload_2019-5-3_14-0-55.png
     
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  15. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    This is exactly how we handle it.
     
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  16. my250r11

    my250r11 Sawhorse

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    Our state amendments require 5/8" on ceiling & walls if no attic separation. If separated 1/2 on ceiling but still 5/8" on walls.

    We allow the drywall or 26 gauge sheet metal attached to door, or a rated door.
     
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  17. Paul Sweet

    Paul Sweet Sawhorse

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    Drywall attached to the door will likely overload the springs and keep it from closing tightly. Fire-rated attic stairs are available, of course they cost more.
     
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  18. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    Fire-Rated pull down attic ladder is the way to go. Costs are not our problem. If you want a pull down ladder to your garage attic, it is on your dime. There are other ways to access it or design it.
     
  19. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    We amended the table to 5/8" Fire-X type rock from residence to attic separation.

    I'm envisioning a ranch style house Most likely where your installing a drop down pull ladder there is no need for separation unless there's living space above the garage ceiling requiring separation..
     
  20. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    A ranch home with a built in garage would have a common attic between the living space and garage which is often the issue.
     
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