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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    84

    Default Carport Conversion

    Hello guys and gals,

    Is anyone willing to share how they report on carport conversions? We see them often here in Southern Az. They are obviously done without permits as we always have issues with the firewall, etc. Do you advise them to contact the AHJ and let them take if from there, or do you spell it out for them in more detail regarding the lack of proper fire protection.

    Here is one scenario I have now.

    " When carports are converted to garages, they should be permitted through the municipal building department and comply with current fire safety regulations. A one hour fire wall is needed to upgrade to current safety requirements. The door between the house and the garage has to be spring-loaded so it closes automatically-and the material its made from has to be fire-rated as well. We recommend further review by a licensed contractor with permitted repairs to comply with current building and safety requirements. "

    I don't know if I'm covering all my bases. Any constructive criticism is appreciated...

    Thank you,
    Chris

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Carport Conversion

    I simply spell out what is missing (no automatic door closer required in the IRC) and tell them there were likely no permits obtained.
    Make sure that you correctly state the requirements if you go into detail. I tend to be a bit vague intentionally since I have no idea what code it was built or converted under. Just like anything else, we should not be telling folks how to build a house, just tell them what is wrong and point them in the right direction to get the right repairs.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NoCal
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Carport Conversion

    [quote: " When carports are converted to garages, they should be permitted through the municipal building department and comply with current fire safety regulations. A one hour fire wall is needed to upgrade to current safety requirements. The door between the house and the garage has to be spring-loaded so it closes automatically-and the material its made from has to be fire-rated as well. We recommend further review by a licensed contractor with permitted repairs to comply with current building and safety requirements. "]

    I often use "..appears to be ...carport conversion (or appears to be an addition, or alteration) " . sometimes it is not so clear cut as to what happened. But also including the reference to "..additions or alterations typically require permit from the local municipality."
    I like your statement though, but, like Jim says "be a bit vague" such as "..certain considerations typically include proper firewall, and firedoor, ventilation, etc." without mentioning each and all possibilities of what the municipality or building standards require.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Carport Conversion

    Thank you for the feedback.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    FL, TX
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Carport Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stichter View Post
    Hello guys and gals,

    Is anyone willing to share how they report on carport conversions? We see them often here in Southern Az. They are obviously done without permits as we always have issues with the firewall, etc. Do you advise them to contact the AHJ and let them take if from there, or do you spell it out for them in more detail regarding the lack of proper fire protection.

    Here is one scenario I have now.

    " When carports are converted to garages, they should be permitted through the municipal building department and comply with current fire safety regulations. A one hour fire wall is needed to upgrade to current safety requirements. The door between the house and the garage has to be spring-loaded so it closes automatically-and the material its made from has to be fire-rated as well. We recommend further review by a licensed contractor with permitted repairs to comply with current building and safety requirements. "

    I don't know if I'm covering all my bases. Any constructive criticism is appreciated...

    Thank you,
    Chris

    Chris,
    I am a contractor in TX and have done MANY carport conversions. Most have been on detached carports, however:
    1. Any electrical changes required burying conduit to current code and depth and meeting code with a new sub panel inside. Old electrical (2 15-20 amp circuits ) were usually abandoned they were aluminum anyway.
    2. 1 Hour rating was and is required between the conversion and the next property garage if attached or within X feet of any part thereof.
    3.One hour rating is required between the house and garage when the minimum distances of code are not met, meaning any place that there is less than X feet between another structure and the exterior wall of the conversion.
    4. Permits ARE REQUIRED.
    5. Meeting of setbacks IS REQUIRED in the conversion, unless rezoning or variance exists. If there is a 15 ft rear setback required the garage may NOT be in that setback unless it has a variance or zoning change!!! The approval of a carport at construction is completely different as it may have been considered "community property" or some other type of variance allowed.
    6. Footings to current engineered codes will be required. One can not just use a 4-6 inch slab as a footing generally. I have been able to cut and rebar/adhesive and pour over slabs as required but that usually allows water intrusion into the garage at some point through hydraulic action (especially in class 5 clay soil!).

    I would check for a permit for the conversion. IF there is NO permit, then check the setback codes and variances for conversions in those subdivisions. If they do not exist then write it all down.
    1. If you are going to ask, choose another address without a garage and say that your client is interested in a conversion. Find out the requirement if you like.
    2. If no permits and you know nothing of what it takes (best attitude) then tell them in the report that a qualified contractor must review and determine what it will take to make the conversion legal and permitted.
    3. Failing to do either, then client should be informed that they may be required to pay for a demolition permit and remove the conversion.

    I have had to permit, tear out and replace entire conversions before when there was no permit. Usually because water damage, roof leacks, corner leaks, garage door header rot and other problems due to lack of proper construction. Be cautious about this kind of thing. No permits on record is a VERY bad thing.


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