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House floor level vs garage floor level

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    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


      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.


        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.