Is house attic access thru garage firewall OK?

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Old 02-21-03, 09:12 AM
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Is house attic access thru garage firewall OK?

I have a ranch house (hip roof) that has a family room & garage addition put on by previous owner. They didn't provide any access to the attic above the F.R., and the garage is separated by 5/8 firecode drywall from floor to roof. The attic is all trusses. Can I cut an access panel/hole in this drywall to gain access from the garage attic to the F.R. attic. Can the panel remain removable or does it need to be taped/compounded/sealed again?

Thanks for any info,

Steve H.
 
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Old 02-21-03, 09:18 AM
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Just adding more info... not sure if it'll make a difference.

The garage walls are completely finished - insulated/drywalled/taped/painted. The ceiling is insulated and drywalled but not taped.

Thanks a lot,
Steve H.
 
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Old 02-21-03, 02:04 PM
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Dry wall

I dont see why you can cut a hole there to go into the attic. We can go up into the attic here from the garage. But check with code there first ED
 
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Old 02-21-03, 08:49 PM
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Also check with your Fire Insurance company. For your information, in many states you cannot do this. Good Luck
 
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Old 02-21-03, 09:42 PM
Woodsong
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Jack's right. Technically you would be weakening the firewall. I find it curious that they required what sounds like a 1 hour wall at that junction and carry it to the roof.

Also, I am surprised they got the addition to pass without any access to the family room attic...that doesn't meet code!!

If you have to get in there for a particular reason, i.e. run electrical wires, etc. and it is a one time event, you can cut an access hole through the sheetrock and then just mud/tape it back together when you are done and that would not negatively impact your firewall.
 
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Old 02-22-03, 06:27 AM
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Most all fire codes now require that any living space next to a garage on new construction or remodeling that the garage side must be sheetrocked from the floor to the ceiling with TYPE X sheetrock 90 minute fire rated and 5/8" thick. Also, I suspect that if you really took the time and looked carefully in the ceiling of your closets you would find an attic door. It may be sealed shut, but I would bet it is there someplace.
 
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Old 02-23-03, 05:12 AM
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I will check with the local village hall for more information on Monday. I really want to gain access to check for possible water/condensation damage from the roof. Also, the possibility of wiring/installing a roof attic fan before next summer. I can't think of other options for getting to this space so cutting the wall and then mud/taping after might be it.

Jack - The closet doesn't have any access above to the attic (only trapdoor below to crawlspace). The closet is positioned in a corner on what used to be the exterior wall of the house (before addition) and I think the space above it would be tight where the trusses taper down and tie into the old roof.

Thanks for all the good information. I'll try to update with any info I get locally.

Steve H.
 
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Old 02-23-03, 04:50 PM
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Sounds good. If you indeed do not have attic access, your permit people will work with you to get one in there. Go humblely and ask them for their help with your problem.
 
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