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Thread: House floor level vs garage floor level

  1. #11
    We built our home 4 yrs ago in Wisconsin and had no problems with our garage being zero grade into the home. As far as I was told, at least here, that code hasn't existed in years.

  2. #12
    OK, we're starting to design a home in SW subs of Chicago and found each city has own code. I was told by the Fire Chief in a town that requires it that all I need is a sign affidavit stating that I know it is code and for my safety, but I am not putting in the gas ledge and take responsibilty.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Joe-MN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Twin Cities, MN , USA
    Can you work it out so that there is a little difference, say 2 or 3 inches? That is what it is between my house and garage. Then put in a short ramp either using concrete when the garage is poured or after.

    Whatever you do, you may want to consider the affect on resale value.
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

  4. #14
    We bought a twinhome after Dave's SCI. We needed a place to live in a hurry and were lucky to find a one level with a wide hall that goes straight in the bedroom with no turns. It made things easier as sometimes he gets a little wild with the sip-n-puff.
    There is a 3" drop to the attached garage.
    We use a small roll a ramp and has worked out well.

  5. #15

    Final answer.

    Thanks for all of your good answers!

    Well my new home is about 50% complete. This board had some good answers but the city wouldn't budge. So I have to have a small ramp and pad with a "sealed" door in the garage with a guard rail. The contractor has been very good to work with. Everybody working on the home is always asking me many questions pertaining to the proper heights of everything. From counter tops, switches, telephones, outlets, fire protection and pavement pitch.

    The home has been inspected many times already by the residential building inspector, electrical inspector and plumbing inspector. They are making sure everything is done to code which is good. You won't find this home on Holmes on Homes!

    One problem I did have in my current shower room was the mirror cabinet in front of the sink. It is a triple mirror cabinet and the center mirror hits the spout of the faucet. My tile guy is making the same cabinet out of Meganite, a product like Corian, with sliding mirrors! Another problem with this mirror cabinet is that the finish is wearing off maple from the shower mist. The Meganite unit won't have this problem. I'll post a picture once it is installed.

    "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

  6. #16
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Virginia Beach, Va
    Quote Originally Posted by titanium4motion View Post
    I am in the process of getting a new home built. I have one problem with it. The house floor height is the same as the front porch as the first section of the driveway and garage floor. You can draw a circle around the path and everything is the same level, no ramps.

    The problem comes with the city code. Garage floor must be 4” lower than the house floor height due to carbon monoxide from a motor vehicle. Now the entrance door to the garage is at the front of the garage not the rear where the exhaust would be coming from.

    I contacted the U.S. Access Board in Washington D.C who created the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities, also known as ADAAG. There is nothing stated in it. The reply I got from the U.S. Access Board states, “Also, please understand that private homes are not covered by the ADA or ABA. It is my understanding that the International Residential Code no longer requires a change in level between the dwelling unit and a garage. Where the ADA applies, there must be an accessible route between a dwelling unit and the garage. However, that route can be from any entrance and through the driveway.“

    For those who built a new home how did you deal with this issue?

    I'd talk to the local inspectors and see what they recommend, worst comes to worst, due it there way and then pour 4 more inches in the garage after you move in
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  7. #17
    They're idiots if they believe CO is the reason. CO is not heavier than air - it's pretty much the same. If so they would require CO detectors to be mounted near the floor. Volatile hydro carbons are heavier, but 4" isn't going to protect you. I's all a moot point since modern cars don't put out enough significant CO and they are equipped with evaporative control systems. The hazard is if there is something seriously wrong with the vehicle.

    This is an antiquated code. I'm currently remodeling and all my local code office requires is that there be a slope from the door to a drain or the doors. You want at least an inch of slope anyway to keep water away from the door.

    I would ask if a raised entrance platform (inside the house) is permissible. Then remove it after final inspection and move the door back down. Inspectors are just bureaucrats worried about their job. As long as they can see the code is met day of inspection, they really don't care.

  8. #18
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    Ti, any pictures yet? We were looking at quartz counter tops but went with an acrylic based composite due to cost. They have definitely improved composites since we had Corian put in our kitchen remodel after my injury in 1992. For those looking for bathroom counters especially smaller ones quartz is naturally antimicrobial and stain proof so you should weigh that in when totally things up.

    For those who still have the garage problem I'd first suggest, if you get the CO reason, asking if a carbon monoxide detector with battery back up is sufficent. I know level entry is possible in many areas from talking to others who built and a show on TLC, that I wish I could find a copy of shown about 1999-2000. It was the most accessible house built to the owners specs that had I have ever seen. They had an infant son and they had his room wall to the kitchen/open area set with a large just above floor to just below ceiling window for easy monitoring and then a pocket door opening to the right side of the room for added ease--and speed. The builder added supporting beaming above and below the window when framing so that the wall could easily be enclosed or a shorter height window installed as an in between stage.

    Has anyone just had blue prints put forward with a level floor and had them ok'd? I cannot imagine a judge condemning a house built with all the proper city stamps and then someone finds the difference on final inspection.

    And we just moved into a condo in a 4 and a half story building. We're in a great first floor unit with a wrap around deck and 2 steps down to the lawn if someone wants to short cut it down to the dock or around to the pool. Walkways to both are accessible from 2 exits. This is mainly used by my husband if Maggie needs to use the designated dog potty area. Best thing though here in Wisconsin is the underground heated garage. Obviously they do not consider CO to be a problem. We do have a CO detecter in the house because as of February 2011 they are required in all homes in Madison. So far we haven't seen anyone about elevator problems if the electricity goes and it did go while we were heading back to Maryland while our general contractor/decorator did the renovations we needed for aging in place. We weren't in the elevator thankfully. But we did learn who among the year round residents knew how to bypass the automatic garage door opening system. Now we know.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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