I am adding a garage attached to my house. Because I'm handicapped I must
have the garage level with the house and can't put a step between the garage
and the house. Apparently code requires a step up to the house to avoid
carbon monoxide escaping fromj the garage into into the house.
I have room for a very small "mudroom" between the house and the garage but
this doesn't obviate the requirement for the step. Can anyone think of
another way to prevent carbon monoxide infiltration from the garage to the
Any advice would be appreciated.
International Residential Code (IRC 2000) R309.3 Floor Surface:Ga.rage
floor surfaces shall be of approved non combustible material. The area
of floor used for parking of automobiles or other vehicles shall be
sloped to faciltate the movement of liquid to a drain or toward the
main vehicle entry doorway.
The CABO Dwelling Code of 1995 has nearly identical language.
I find no requirement for a step in either code.
Either add a ramp or talk to the building inspector for an idea. He may have
seen some ideas that meet code. He is not able to re-write the code nor can
he pass anything that does not meet the code. You may be able to install an
elaborate ventilation system, but that is costly and you'd need all sorts of
approvals to get it permitted.
On 12/24/2004 3:24 PM US(ET), rf took fingers to keys, and typed the
My NY garage floor is level with the floor in the house ( both on the
same slab). Only the saddle is higher. It was built in 1984. The only
requirement was that the door between the two spaces be a fire coded
door. If this is a local code, perhaps your disability would overrule
local code. Check with the ADA.
How about, in the "mudroom", a ramp-up and a ramp-down? I doubt
the "step" needs to literally be a step, as long as the height is
achieved? You might also ask your code officer for suggestions -
they're often willing to give ideas and might have seen the
I too would consult the ADA, If your building dept. can't make this work for
you, I'm sure the ADA would have a law suit for them. If nothing else works,
install the step as they want it, get your C.O., then rip it out and build a
I would imagine a ramp would comply. What they are looking for is a
differential in height so the CO would stay at a level below the living
area. Of course, knowing the conflicting codes and laws we have, I'd not
bet money on it.
I don't know the reason for the step, but if it's code, it's
"gotta be", unless as suggested ADA has something to say about
it, which I doubt. The step isn't to confine CO, however, and it
should probably be dropped from this thread. Any one of you who
had a CO detector should know CO islighter than air, and should
be mounted closer to the ceiling, per included instrauctions.
Unless you're one of those who has to be told RTFM, anyway. In
which case, RTFM! IMO, it should be above head level, so the
alarm goes off before the CO reaches low enough to trigger the
alarm, so low ceilings become problematic, but ... that's all
still irrelevant to the code issue. Even if CO were heavier than
air, it still wouldn't be necessary to "confine" it as the code
required garage floor drain would allow it to get out quite
easily. If there's no drain then the floor must ... and on and
on and on and ...
I went out and checked: My garage floor is below the entry floor
by about 4 inches, but ... the laundry room, which the entry
leads to, is lower than the garage floor. In fact, the room it
leads to, now a laundry room, used to be a garage at one time.
The it's two steps up into the house proper. I'm in far upstate
Step one is to find out what the local code really says. Next, if it
is a problem, then check with the code enforcement staff and see if they
know of an way around it for your situation. Next would be to contact the
local elected official and see what they have to suggest.
If it is needed for safety or protection of the building (like to
prevent melting snow from flowing into the home) then I doubt if it will be
waved for your condition, but they may have some suggestions.
BTW CO is lighter than air at most temperatures so that would not be the
reason. However water and many hydrocarbons like propane are heavier.
I have never heard of a requirement for that. In fact I can not count the
number of homes I have been in where there is a stairway leading down into
the lower level of the home. My dad's house for one!
The more I think about it . . . . .
Not CO but gas fumes? If you had a leak in a gas tank you'd want the fumes
to go to the outdoors rather than into the house. I know that codes do not
allow for dryer vents or heating vents into the garage.
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