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J.E. “Sam” Ryan, CBO

5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, Washington 98226
Telephone: (360) 676-6907

Residential / Garages

Garages attached to residences require a fire separation consisting of 1/2" sheetrock on the common wall of the garage and house to separate the residence and its attic from the garage. The sheetrock shall be continuous from the garage floor to the roof diaphragm. The sheetrock may terminate at the garage ceiling if the entire ceiling is sheathed with 1/2" sheetrock. If there is living space above the garage then the sheetrock on the ceiling shall be 5/8" type "X".

There shall be no window openings between the house and the garage. Doors between the house and the garage shall be 1 3/8" solid core doors or other types of doors with a fire rating of 20 minutes or greater. Doors from the garage shall not open directly into a sleeping room.

Any mechanical equipment located in the garage that creates a glow, spark, or flame shall be mounted a minimum of 18" above the floor.

The floor where vehicles are parked shall slope for drainage to the main vehicle door.

Special construction is required at the main garage vehicle door where small wall sections and large beams are typically located. There are illustrated provisions in the IRC code book and the County Plan Review & Construction Guide offers prescriptive solutions to incorporate in your plans.

For detached garages/buildings, please go to the Accessory Structures page.