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  1. #1
    Carolyn J Pearson's Avatar
    Carolyn J Pearson Guest

    Unhappy Designing here. Code for Minimum Garage ceiling height?

    I'm designing my final home to live in. I know the code is changing like every 6 months!

    I'm putting an Apt above a Garage, with a wood shop, kennel, maybe still get a vehicle in! Attached to the house.

    With all that, I'd like to keep the garage's "look" as small as possible compared to a small house. I will be building in western NC. Not have "the Tail wag the dog.

    I think code here (NY), asks for the garage floor to be dropped compared to house (gas fumes). I don't know if there is a minimum height for living quarters above. I like to go about 8' =8' 6" if I can.

    CJP

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    2,777

    Default Re: Designing here. Code for Minimum Garage ceiling height?

    You may get a lot of answers from this site, but your true and final answer will be from the Permit Office in the jurisdiction that the structure is located. Find the Permit and Code inforcement office and first call them, second get their response inn writing, third get your plans submitted and approved. Your Building Contractor that you will be using should be able to do the leg work for you. If you are building it yourself, you should be able to do most through the mail.

    Bottom line it is still the local jurisdiction that will determine you fate and their voice is all that realy counts.

    Good luck


  3. #3
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Designing here. Code for Minimum Garage ceiling height?

    8 feet would be about the minimum. I do not know and I am looking it up but it stands to reason that 8 foot is about as low as you can go for a proper garage door height and then of course the garage door header and garage door opener and such.

    Of course with the garage door open it would be nice for at least a six foot man to stand under the overhead door.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 02-12-2011 at 04:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
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    536

    Default Re: Designing here. Code for Minimum Garage ceiling height?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carolyn J Pearson View Post
    I think code here (NY), asks for the garage floor to be dropped compared to house (gas fumes). I don't know if there is a minimum height for living quarters above. I like to go about 8' =8' 6" if I can.
    I believe North Carolina has adopted the 2009 IRC with amendments. The relevant sections of the IRC as amended by NC include:

    SECTION R305 CEILING HEIGHT

    R305.1 Minimum height. Habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms, laundry rooms and portions of basements containing these spaces shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet (2134 mm).

    Exceptions:
    1. Beams and girders spaced not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) on center may project not more than 6 inches (152 mm) below the required ceiling height.
    2. Ceilings in basements may project to within 6 feet, 8 inches (2032 mm) of the finished floor; and beams, girders, ducts or other obstructions may project to within 6 feet, 4 inches (1931 mm) of the finished floor.
    3. For rooms with sloped ceilings, at least 50 percent of the required floor area of the room must have a ceiling height of at least 7 feet (2134 mm) and no portion of the required floor area may have a ceiling height of less than 5 feet (1524 mm).
    4. Bathrooms shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches (2036 mm) measured at the front of the fixture. A shower or tub equipped with a shower head shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches (2036 mm) above a minimum area 30 inches (762 mm) by 30 inches (762 mm) at the shower head.

    SECTION R309 GARAGES AND CARPORTS

    R309.1 Floor surface. Garage floor surfaces shall be of approved noncombustible material.
    The area of floor used for parking of automobiles or other vehicles shall be sloped to facilitate the movement of liquids to a drain or toward the main vehicle entry doorway.
    R309.1.2 Other penetrations. Penetrations through the separation required in Section R309.2 shall be protected by filling the opening around the penetrating item with approved material.
    R309.2 Separation required. The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by not less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board applied to the garage side.
    R309.3 Flood hazard areas. For buildings located in flood hazard areas as established by Table R301.2(1), garage floors shall be:
    1. Elevated to or above the design flood elevation as deter- mined in Section R322; or
    2. Located below the design flood elevation provided they are at or above grade on at least one side, are used solely for parking, building access or storage, meet the require- ments of Section R322 and are otherwise constructed in accordance with this code.
    R309.4 Automatic garage door openers. Automatic garage door openers, if provided, shall be listed in accordance with UL 325.


    So far I don't see an explicit requirement for garage ceiling height, but lacking one I would go with 8' as a minimum, given that standard garage doors are a minimum of 7' tall. Also be sure to note that 5/8" Type X gypsum board or equivalent is required on the garage ceiling if there are habitable rooms above.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Charlotte NC Licensed in NC and SC
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    597

    Default Re: Designing here. Code for Minimum Garage ceiling height?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carolyn J Pearson View Post
    I'm designing my final home to live in. I know the code is changing like every 6 months!

    I'm putting an Apt above a Garage, with a wood shop, kennel, maybe still get a vehicle in! Attached to the house.

    With all that, I'd like to keep the garage's "look" as small as possible compared to a small house. I will be building in western NC. Not have "the Tail wag the dog.

    I think code here (NY), asks for the garage floor to be dropped compared to house (gas fumes). I don't know if there is a minimum height for living quarters above. I like to go about 8' =8' 6" if I can.

    CJP

    Instead of writing an essay, I will just list some itemized facts and items you should be aware of.

    The codes are not fully enforced anywhere that I know of, sometimes they just miss things and sometimes they don't want to upset the apple cart.
    Garage sheetrock thickness and rating is one of many examples.

    Don't worry about the "look of the garage" as compared to the house. Build it larger than you think you need. The cost of garage space is much cheaper than living space. You have already lost attic storage space due to the apr above. The apt ceiling needs to be 8ft since that is an easy standard that fits material sizes. The garage ceiling needs to be no less than 9 feet to accomodate regular doors and openers, 10 feet or more is nice, then you can have taller garage doors.

    The garage will need beams that are designed to handle the living space above to prevent posts in the way.

    I have a wood shop also (have built 2) so I can offer lots of help with that.

    Western NC is not too far from here, so let me know if you need advice or inspections.

    Bruce King, B.A. King Home Inspections, LLC
    www.BAKingHomeInspections.com
    Certified Master Inspector, Independent Inspectorwww.IndependentInspectors.org

  6. #6
    Carolyn J Pearson's Avatar
    Carolyn J Pearson Guest

    Default Re: Designing here. Code for Minimum Garage ceiling height?

    Thanks!

    I figured with the Boom WNC had, they would most likely be up to the 2009 IRC. For the sake of flipping/swinging boards around, I will go with 8' 6" height. I'll go with 9', if I can fit the stair run in over the door to kitchen. It is 28' x 36', double 9' x 7' doors. Off set shop wall,( no more sawdust everywhere) for support. Just a small shop, at my age I will use for that house project, & that's it.

    I have double 5/8" rock on my garage ceiling here, & feel I should do that again. I have a 9' garage ceiling, & 8' tall door. I took it out with the truck's racks, one day with 6" of ice built up at the door. The Truck will live outside down there!

    I had on the Vineyard a 20 x 24 house, & 30 x 40 Barn/Shop/Garage. I sure miss that Barn.

    CJP


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