Welcome to Q&A for Home Maintenance Q&A section, where you can ask questions and get answers from me and other members of the community.

Spam, self-promotion, questions with abusive, inappropriate language, and irrelevant questions will be deleted.
All of the questions are moderated!

You'll be notified when your question is answered. Please reply with Feedback to share whether a solution worked or didn't work. Thank you!

Connect on Google+
Find on Google+ Local

Home entrance from attached garage, HVAC in garage, water heater in garage

0 votes


Dan says:
August 13, 2011 at 3:32 am
Hi, very informative and helpful. Hope you’re still following this and might have time to read and reply.
I’m doodling/daydreaming my retirement build and found this on looking for some guidelines on attached garage issues. I was aware of most of those noted but the attic hatch one was new to me. Good call, seems pretty obvious in hindsight. What about wrapping the wood support frame for the door in drywall for the same fire rating?
Also, looking ahead I’m trying to make the place as handicapped friendly as possible. I was hoping to keep it all on the same level and avoid the requirement of the step up from the garage floor to the house floor.
A steel fire rated door with self closer is the only real choice, but is it enough without a step? Currently retirement is leaning to Florida if it’s a code issue you’re aware of there. Any other options? Room for a ramp is possible but not ideal.
On another bit I was hoping to install the HVAC unit in the garage but obviously there are concerns with vapors, fumes, open flame. Maybe a sealed unit? Any thoughts on that or is it a total no go?
Maybe in the garage attic? Being Florida it’ll probably be just VAC, no heating (using room baseboard electric for the rare chilly times) so that would at least leave out the open flame. The plans I’m starting with do have the water heater in the garage, but maybe they’re thinking electric rather than gas.
asked in Car Garage by darekrudy (21,730 points)
Share this question on your favorite network.

1 Answer

0 votes


Hi Dan,
    You can wrap the frame supporting access panel with drywall, you could also purchase some flat or “L” shaped metal strips and make a frame out of it, or cover the wood with drywall and set the panel on the metal (just like on that drawing below).
I would definitely ask about the step requirement at your local building department, this may vary between the jurisdictions. They will most likely require that 4” step (or more) and you’d have to add a ramp. I was trying to find some Florida specific attached garage code but without any luck.
Other option would be to forget about the door inside the garage and make one on an exterior wall so it is only accessible from the outside / not directly from home.
    Automatically closing home entrance door is a standard requirement, steel door is perfect because it will most likely have a higher fire rating than the minimum (20 minutes) requirement.
    Check this post: water heater garage installation
    HVAC unit (an air handler with the coil) – this can be installed inside the garage but in the closet / behind an air tight door. Any exposed air ducts will have to be 26gauage steel (unless otherwise specified by the local code). Gas or electric, same rules apply, theoretically spark source or combustion chamber could be raised 18” above the garage floor but the air ducts are the main concern since they are not air tight.
    Instead of electric baseboard heaters you can install an air handler with supplemental electric coils to provide some emergency heat.
    Attic would be fine for the air handler installation, just make sure it is well insulated (including air ducts) and check this post – attic AC drip pan    
Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.
answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)


 Dan says:
        August 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm
        Thanks for the info and links, and for looking into Florida codes, you tried and it’s much appreciated, I’ll contact the local dept. You’ve been very helpful.
        I had been thinking about an exterior garage entry instead, another good suggestion and it’s looking like that may be the best option. The plans will accomadate it nicely.
        The link for the attic AC was also very informative. The whole site is very well done, I’ll have to give it a good browsing. I like the detail and presentation, and the q&a help is a huge bonus.
Thanks Dan, I’m glad I could help. Good luck on your project!