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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Bakersfield, California

    Default Carport vs Garage

    I need a little help with the different fire requirements of carport vs garage in a 1970 built condo I inspected today. The original carport was open on two sides with a flat roof . A garage door has been installed leaving one side of the carport open along the top of a 6 foot tall wall and at the gate from the patio to the carport.
    For the purposes of the house fire separation Is the carport now considered a garage even though it still has one open side?
    The House door is not a solid door and has not automatic closer installed. Does it need a solid self-closing door?

    Water heater is installed in a closet opening into the carport and is not elevated. Is the water heater elevation needed?
    Thanks for your help.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Columbus GA

    Default Re: Carport vs Garage

    Since the addition of the partial wall and the roll up door, it is no longer considered a carport. It is a garage, and therefore must meet code requirements for a garage in effect at the time of the additions.

    The WH should be elevated 18" or be FVIR
    The entry door should be appropriate for use in a garage.

    My opinion is based on the 2006 IRC for a SFR
    Townhouses and condos may have different requirements.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Ormond Beach, Florida

    Default Re: Carport vs Garage

    I'm not sure about in the past, but currently the code in California specifically includes "carports" in with the separation requirements for "garages", meaning there is no difference.

    This may be because they recognize that, over time, the "carport" 'will become a garage' and to make sure that the 'now garage' meets the requirements with regard to separation from the habitable space they presume that the carport is already a 'garage'.

    I do not know the reason that California does things, unless it is just to be 'different' that the rest of the country, but in this case I agree with the state of California on separation requirements for 'carports' (i.e., have the same separation requirements as garages).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( )


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