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Old 01-07-2013, 10:48 AM   #1
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I have an ordinary ranch style home with a two-car garage at one end and the house at the other. Recently, a raccoon the size of a small cow got up in our attic and, in a drunken stupor, crashed through the sheetrock above the garage, leaving a large hole exposing the attic and rafters to the garage below. We had an exterminator remove the raccoon and patch the hole in the roof where our upstairs tenant was accustomed to coming and going. The huge hole in the garage ceiling has me thinking of a remodel. I want to do it myself.

Is there any harm in removing the sheetrock in the ceiling of the garage, exposing the roof structure above? If I do this, would it be harmful to wall off the exposed attic on the garage side, so the attic space above the house would be walled off to the open garage? I'm concerned with venting - is there a way to overcome this? What about a vented door to the attic from the garage in the new wall?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Old 01-07-2013, 11:16 AM   #2
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The only thing I can think of when removing the ceiling is having to fight that cow size do hickey, OK Raccoon.

Is there not an access from the main part of the house attic to the attic of the garage? Code is you need fire access, at least in this area you do. Walls to support the upper part of the garage ceiling can never hurt. Is the floor of your garage level or sloped?

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Old 01-07-2013, 11:19 AM   #3
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is there fire rated sheetrock between the garage on the dwelling on the garage side of the walls? is there fire rated sheetrock on the gable endwall between the garage attic an dwelling attic?

building codes today typically require fire rated sheetrock at these locations. you do not want fire or toxic gases (carbon monoxide) to escape the garage and enter the dwelling (including attic).
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:34 AM   #4
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The garage floor is level.

The wall between the garage and the dwelling is sheetrock - I don't know if it's fire-rated. Are you saying, if I remove the sheetrock on the ceiling in the garage, I *must* build a wall over the gable end of the attic between the garage and the dwelling? Therefore it's OK to do this?
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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The garage floor is level.

The wall between the garage and the dwelling is sheetrock - I don't know if it's fire-rated. Are you saying, if I remove the sheetrock on the ceiling in the garage, I *must* build a wall over the gable end of the attic between the garage and the dwelling? Therefore it's OK to do this?
Yes, but Why do ya want too,..??
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:24 PM   #6
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I would like to eventually raise the ceiling in the garage to 12'. This is a nice intermediate step
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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Depending on your span and what size your rafters are, installing the ceiling joist up that high will place them closer to the center of your rafters. With the outward pressure of the walls from the rafters, with the ceiling joists that high could pull a belly in your roof, also if it did your walls will have a bow outward in them.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:09 PM   #8
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BigJim you're saying beware because the walls may either lean in or out if the ceiling rafters in the garage are removed? I intent to change the roofline when I remodel the garage also. I hope to build a right angle with a gable facing the street and have the existing roof ridge meet the new roof in the garage in a 'T'. Does this make sense? For that job, I'll get a contractor to get it done right.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:10 PM   #9
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Got some pictures.
If there's garage doors there has to be 5/8 sheetrock between the main dwelling and the garage and on all walls and ceiling. No exposted ceiling joist allowed.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:13 PM   #10
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jocaption - is that code in VA?
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:55 PM   #11
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jocaption - is that code in VA?
Pretty much code everywhere.....

If a garage is attached to a house....there has to be a fire rated wall between the garage and house. If you remove the ceiling of the garage...then the adjacent wall needs to go all the way to the roof.

Basically, if you have a fire in the garage, they don't want it spreading to the house.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:57 PM   #12
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yeah but I *thought* joecaption said I couldn't remove the ceiling sheetrock in the garage even if I extended the wall all the way to the roof
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:00 PM   #13
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Virginia Residential Codes http://www.ecodes.biz/ecodes_support...tial_main.html

see Table R302.6 for requirements for separation of garage from dwelling
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:34 PM   #14
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For crying out loud, I went back and read your original post again, I don't know why I thought you were converting your garage into another room. Everyone else here that is posting now is spot on, so I will bow out. Sorry about that, but it still stands about raising the ceiling joists.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:46 PM   #15
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GBrackins: thanks for the link - I'll find the one for Texas as well (where my raccoon and I reside) . OK so I'm still confused because the table says "no less than 1/2" sheetrock" "from the residence and attics". But if you remove the sheetrock on the ceiling exposing the rafters to the garage below, is the space above the garage really still an attic? Suppose I made it a cathedral ceiling? Would that space still be an attic? How do you guys read this stuff?!?!

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