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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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The only thing I can think of when removing the ceiling is having to fight that cow size do hickey, :eek: 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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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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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
garage floor/fire-rated sheetrock

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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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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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Why do I wat to do this?

I would like to eventually raise the ceiling in the garage to 12'. This is a nice intermediate step
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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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it would be a cathedral ceiling, you'd need to make sure the wall separating the garage from the dwelling is properly covered according to the table. Of course you cannot simply remove (well you could but you wouldn't like the results) the ceiling joists. If you are planning on a remodel I'd recommend involving a knowledgeable designer to help you out with it. A cathedral ceiling typically would require either a structural ridge beam or rafter ties (installed in the lower 1/3 of the space between the ridge and top of walls) at a minimum of 48" o.c. to prevent the rafter trust from pushing out the tops of the load bearing walls, which in turn causes saddling (bowing) of the ridge.

Sorry about the mix up, I thought you asked Joe about VA. if you edited your profile to include your location it would help in providing you with more useful information. Here is a link for the building codes in Texas. http://www.reedconstructiondata.com/building-codes/texas/
 
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