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  1. #1
    brianmiller's Avatar
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    Default Converted Garage

    The garage was converted to a living space.

    Thedoor from the kitchen to converted garage door was removed.

    Interior side of the garage door was sheetrocked.

    There are no windows or exterior door from the now converted garage.

    HVAC supply vents are inside the converted garage.

    Gas-fired water heater, furnace, and dryer are located in the converted garage.

    Questions:

    1) Should there be a means of egress in the converted garage?
    2) Any problems with the gas appliances in the converted garage.

    thanks,

    brian

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by brianmiller View Post
    The garage was converted to a living space.

    Thedoor from the kitchen to converted garage door was removed.

    Interior side of the garage door was sheetrocked.

    There are no windows or exterior door from the now converted garage.

    HVAC supply vents are inside the converted garage.

    Gas-fired water heater, furnace, and dryer are located in the converted garage.

    Questions:

    1) Should there be a means of egress in the converted garage?
    2) Any problems with the gas appliances in the converted garage.

    thanks,

    brian
    Living space? Habital space without a secondary rescue or egress and NO natural LIGHT or ventillation?

    Suspect done on the sly since the Garage door is apparently still in place.
    Whole host of potential "issues" (not the least of which would be taxes due).


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    thanks, HG!

    One more question, the converted garage, is intended to be a living space, not a sleeping room, why then is it required to have emergency egress/rescue? Do you know the code section?

    Brian.

    Last edited by brianmiller; 03-15-2010 at 01:09 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    DEFINE "LIVING SPACE".

    Look shifty, if you can't ask a proper question or respond to them, you aren't going to get a proper answer.

    I'm not touching it 'til you do.

    NM Construction Industries Division - Rules and Law

    14.7.3 NMAC

    14.9.2 NMAC





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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Mr. Watson

    Habitable space? - Hmmmmm?? It sounds to me like the garage was converted to a utility room. Ergo, it doesn’t require natural light, ventilation and emergency escape and rescue.

    It does need an openable window or mechanical vent for the laundry equipment and of course enough cubic footage to provide adequate combustion air to the gas-fired appliances contained therein.

    IRC: HABITABLE SPACE - A space in a building for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    It does sound like a utility room to me also and I agree with Jerry M.

    However the original post states living space. Living space as in what??????


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Living space , meaning non - sleeping quarter...area had office furnishings, computer, etc in it.

    I guess it depends on the intent :

    Sleeping quarters?
    utility room?
    or living area?

    Once a new homeowner, my client, moves in, who knows what it'll be used for.


    Does a utility room require HVAC supply?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Occupied space versus Habital Space, WC Jerry. The OP used the phrase "Living Space", in a jurisdiction that does NOT use the Mechanical Chapters of the IRC, and instead uses UMC.

    I asked what he meant by "Living Space" and asked if he meant "Habital Space".

    He has called it "Living Space" but specifically stated the space other than where mechanicals located was not designated as a "Sleeping Room" (NM ammendment to definitions in IRC - which defines such areas as: those designated as such on the PLAN).

    Presume he means HABITAL SPACE, such as "Living Room" or "Family Room" type area.

    Mechanicals & Laundry area often found in attached Garages, he made mention of space finished as "Living Space", then changed the fact set that still made no sense. A "garage" containing less than 98 sq. ft. of floor area is not the norm. I also think it is reasonable to presume unless told otherwise that the garage is at or above grade.


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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Occupied space versus Habital Space, WC Jerry. The OP used the phrase "Living Space", in a jurisdiction that does NOT use the Mechanical Chapters of the IRC, and instead uses UMC.
    HG: That’s news to me and I’m sure to every AHJ in California? Also, what is “habital” space? Is that what they call Habitable Space in NM?
    I asked what he meant by "Living Space" and asked if he meant "Habital Space".
    So?

    He has called it "Living Space" but specifically stated the space other than where mechanicals located was not designated as a "Sleeping Room" (NM ammendment to definitions in IRC - which defines such areas as: those designated as such on the PLAN). You lost me?
    Presume he means HABITAL SPACE, such as "Living Room" or "Family Room" type area.
    I doubt that as there is no way in or out of that space if they’ve sheetrocked over the kitchen to garage door and there are no windows serving that “space.

    ”Mechanicals & Laundry area often found in attached Garages, he made mention of space finished as "Living Space", then changed the fact set that still made no sense. A "garage" containing less than 98 sq. ft. of floor area is not the norm. Whoa HG, I missed where Brian quoted the square footage of the converted garage. I also think it is reasonable to presume unless told otherwise that the garage is at or above grade. Why? With no windows I would suspect it is below grade.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    "The door from the kitchen to converted garage door was removed."

    So is the garage now part of the kitchen?
    Is it one big pantry?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Garage is above grade.


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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    I'll let others debate the Code on this one and stick to what is probable.
    Since your client saw the space being used as a combo office/utility room, it is likely that he/she may also view this space as an 'extra room'.
    Therefore, let's assume (yeah, bad I know) that this space will be occupied part of the time as something, office, TV room etc.
    Based on that line of thought, the following abbreviated items would be in my report.
    - add natural light and ventilation, window(s)
    - consider adding a door to the exterior
    - assess and upgrade mechanical ventilation and combustion air needs
    - assess, upgrade, install a partition wall between the useable space and the utility area
    - assess and upgrade floor drainage, wall and ceiling insulation conditions; with the door to the kitchen gone, this is now essentially part of the house for heating and cooling purposes.
    - assess supply and return air from furnace now, is it effecting the water tank draft, creating negative pressure with the kitchen door gone, where is the primary return?
    - Note the potential, Zoning, Permit and Plan issues and costs your client may encounter in the future; is it possible to get this approved if he has to or will de-conversion be required?
    I discuss these and other possibilities with clients whenever there is any type of conversion. Raining on the parade by bringing up such concerns may not be fun but it will keep the referrals coming down the line.
    Good luck

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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    My take on reading the original post makes me ask:

    The ONLY entrance into the converted garage is the overhead garage door?

    YIKES?

    Then add all the other stuff you mentioned and the list becomes too long to write up.

    By the way, if it still has the overhead garage door I would STILL consider it a garage, and that removed door with 1/2" gypsum board on the kitchen side is not going to cut it, and then there are the ducts into the STILL-the-garage space, along with all the other problems associated with that being STILL-the-garage space.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    "The ONLY entrance into the converted garage is the overhead garage door?"

    That is not what he said.
    He is saying that the door in the garage leading into the kitchen was removed, and that the garage door (rollup) was drywalled over.

    "Thedoor from the kitchen to converted garage door was removed.

    Interior side of the garage door was sheetrocked."


    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    "The ONLY entrance into the converted garage is the overhead garage door?"

    That is not what he said.
    He is saying that the door in the garage leading into the kitchen was removed, and that the garage door (rollup) was drywalled over.

    "Thedoor from the kitchen to converted garage door was removed.

    Interior side of the garage door was sheetrocked."
    Thanks, got it now.

    I was thinking "The door from the kitchen to the converted garage door was removed." was saying that it was "removed", i.e., "closed up", not just that "the door" was removed from the opening.

    Still way too many things to write up about it ... in fact, probably even more things to write up about it.

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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Suspect done on the sly since the Garage door is apparently still in place.
    Not necessarily. FYI, there are subdivisions in my area where a garage can be converted into 'habitable space', but the garage door must be retained for looks from the street. I know it's ignorant, but the permit would be issued with that stipulation.
    I would expect to see a side door in the situation, though.
    I mean if a permit was issued, there would be side door or a good sized window in the plan.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 03-15-2010 at 09:19 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    I know how stupid this sounds, but how do you get in and out of this garage? You say the exterior door, the kitchen door, and the overhead door have been sealed off. Where is the door?

    There's a lot of discussion about code here... dangerous talk. What is habitable, practical, and safe? A room completely sealed without free air flow from SOMEWHERE sounds dangerous to me. Eventually that gas fired appliance is going to use up available oxygen. Whether you intend to sleep there or not, it could be a dangerous situation. I certainly wouldn't hang out in my furnace room with the door closed just for fun. is there a negative pressure there? Is the door (if there is one...) normally open or closed? It's something I would comment on for sure. Plus, how is that garage door weather sealed? I know most garage doors, particularly old ones, let in moisture. So, is that stuff building up behind that wall and causing mold? If water does leak in, will it just fester in that room adding to the situation?


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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Eric
    He is saying that the door in the kitchen was taken out, leaving only the opening into the former garage, and that the garage door (rollup) was drywalled over.

    "Thedoor from the kitchen to converted garage door was removed.

    Interior side of the garage door was sheetrocked."


    There is not a door going to the outside (exterior).
    It has one entry, that is through the kitchen.
    There is not a garage door (rollup), it was drywalled over.
    There is a opening (doorway) into the kitchen, (where an exterior door once was).
    It does has ventilation (HVAC ducts)
    It does not have a window.
    It has a Washer/ Dryer, Gas WH, and Gas furnace in it.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    This is a situation where the client should refer to the appraiser report. I inform the cleints to pay attention to the appraiser report and how they handle this room. Also, refer them to local code enforcement office for addressing any potential issues with them in regards to this room. Put the onus on the client to completely understand the issue with the room and any potential cost involved with repairs.


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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    A final question if I may and if I'm reading all the posts right the former attached garage had the connecting door between the garage and kitchen removed, the vehicle door opening sheetrocked and the space has no windows.

    Sounds like we now have a large utility closet and I would be concerned about 2 main items;
    1. Is there adequate combustion air being supplied to the gas burning appliances within the former garage, now walk-in closet?
    2. Why would anyone not want a door to close off that large closet?

    Besides the obvious problems these alterations may not only be non-code complying but are violations of the local zoning codes.

    At best it’s a very large closet sans door and an automatic "Disclaim & Defer" situation for any HI.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    "1.Is there adequate combustion air being supplied to the gas burning appliances within the former garage, now walk-in closet?"
    Yes, that is the question
    But the appliances are drawing air from the former garage AND the kitchen and possible more, depending on if the kitchen has door(s) closing it off from the rest of the house.


    2. Why would anyone not want a door to close off that large closet?
    I'm picturing a garage (now closed off) that had a utility room.
    The utility room was/ is seperated by a door from the former garage.
    So it's not like it's one big room. At least that's how I pitcure it.

    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 03-16-2010 at 03:32 PM. Reason: changed carport to garage
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Interesting takes on the issue. I am picturing one large room, with the furnace and WH off to one corner. The doorway is open into the kitchen area continuously, with no door in the doorway. I picture the area as a family room, rec room, type of area. I've seen more than a few people do this for pool tables, ping pong, treadmills/weight benches, etc. No emergency egress required.

    So, Brian, are the gas appliances behind a closet door, or open to the entire room? Got any photos?

    Apart from the permits, the only thing I'm seeing as a code violation would be the lack of daylight and ventilation, which would not be hard to change. The make up and combustion air should be pulled from the entire house, since there is no door between the original garage and the kitchen. Not ideal, but still allowable if the house is large enough to supply the air.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    " I am picturing one large room, with the furnace and WH off to one corner"

    The reason I think it has a separate utility room is because, it's very rare that the furnace is in the garage.
    Has to do with separation and penetrations, as such.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    It's not that uncommon here in the wild west. And he's even a little more wild west than where I live.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Rick
    In California 90% of gas fired FAUs including water heaters are located within SFR attached garages.
    Upscale homes may have moved the laundry appliances into a utility room within the home and the FAU and WH into a garage closet.
    All HI’s should be concerned about combustion air, its source and adequacy, but you know that...

    For years the CBC required all garages to be equipped with what we called “suicide vents” because of the common practice of locating gas-fired appliances within the garage, but for some strange reason they dropped this code a number of years ago. Go figure?

    Jerry McCarthy
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    I guess it different for different parts of the Country.
    I said very rare, but to be honest, I can not remember ever seeing a furnace in the garage execpt when in a utility room.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    This is just the tip of the iceberg I was pointing to ... and then the captain of the Titanic went to sleep at the wheel ...

    a) First, there was this uninsulated garage ...
    b) Then, the door separating the uninsulated garage from the insulated thermal envelope of the living space was removed, leaving just an opening connecting the two spaces together ...
    c) Now there is a gigantic 36"x80" hole through the thermal envelope of the living space ...
    d) Then someone had the bright idea to pump conditioned air into that huge thermal vacuum so it could seep to the outdoors ...
    e) The "man cave" was renamed to "the office" and there is no natural ventilation but there are gas appliances sucking up the oxygen from "the office" ...
    f) The lack of natural light helps hide the dead body from discovery for days ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Oh, but for that vivid memory of the pungent odor of a decomposing body, once smelled, never forgotten.
    From inspecting a mortuary early in my career, vas mir!!!

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Here's a diagram that may help.

    The water heater and the furnace are in a closet with louvered doors taking combustion air from the converted garage and kitchen space. Both fo the WH and furnace closet ceilings are exposed to the attic.

    brian

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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by brianmiller View Post
    Here's a diagram that may help.

    The water heater and the furnace are in a closet with louvered doors taking combustion air from the converted garage and kitchen space. Both fo the WH and furnace closet ceilings are exposed to the attic.


    brian
    .
    Brian,

    If that is the case then change the Louvered Doors to a Sealed Supply Closet.
    * All the Required Combustion Air would then be provided vie the unconditioned attic space.
    ** provided The Attic is Vented and considered outside of the conditioned space.
    *** Seal the Pull down Stairs.
    **** Add the Required Window.

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 03-16-2010 at 09:31 PM. Reason: *** Pull Down ****Window
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Converted Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    c) Now there is a gigantic 36"x80" hole through the thermal envelope of the living space ...
    d) Then someone had the bright idea to pump conditioned air into that huge thermal vacuum so it could seep to the outdoors ...
    And compounded the condition by installing louvered doors to an open-to-the-attic closet ... smart, real smart.
    Quote Originally Posted by brianmiller View Post
    The water heater and the furnace are in a closet with louvered doors taking combustion air from the converted garage and kitchen space. Both fo the WH and furnace closet ceilings are exposed to the attic.
    As I said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Still way too many things to write up about it ... in fact, probably even more things to write up about it.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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