Bedroom Opens to Garage

Ok, my brother-n-law bought a house a few years back. The garage entry door is from his master bedroom! Short of sealing off the door, does anyone have any ideas? I am afraid that when he goes to sell it, he will have a tough time.


John, Its just plain wrong and an unsafe condition. obviously some changes have been made to the building without the benefit of permitting. He really has no choice other than the remove the doorway.



Should be a steel door, with automatic door closure, and the door should have weather stripping or magnetic weather stripping. CO and smoke detector inside of bedroom. Failing that I would be sure to check requirements with local building department or fire department.

Hi to all,

Ray, I don’t know if Canadian code differs greatly from the IRC and other US codes but down here the installation is completely verboten.

What you suggest would no doubt make the home a bit safer but would still be improper.



I would never feel safe sleeping in a bedroom like that. No matter how it was “fixed up”. I would think they would have great difficulty selling the home with that kind of an issue.

Hi Gerry,

I agree with you, but I do not know of any specific building code (not saying there isn’t one in Canada) but improvement or removal is better then nothing. Would I construct a door way from bedroom to garage? No.

I read a how-to story about this the other day. Can’t find the article, but the gist was to add a little “mud room” in the garage so as to not have direct access to the garage from the bedroom.

The door to the mud room would have weather stripping and be fire rated. To reduce risk even more, a self closing device could be added.

The current door would need to remain to keep the rooms separate.

Batman always had direct access to the Bat Mobile via a firemans pole from his dressing room which was off the bedroom…So it must be okay. :wink: He didn’t even have a mud room. Did you ever see any mud on Batman or Robin? :wink:

Ray, you are quite correct, I missed that one. Do you know which code Gotham City uses :lol::lol::lol:;-).

Too funny.

The Mud room idea would also work and provide a better solution within the spirit of the codes.



Thanks gentlemen. Good discussion. This home was built in a subdivision in Chugiak Alaska with no building codes at the time. Less than a quarter of a mile away my OTHER brother-in-law purchased a home with the same floorplan. Basically a ranch house with the garage on the bedroom end, instead of the kitchen end. My 2nd brother-in-law added a 2nd floor master bedroom over the garage and converted the master bedroom into an office, subdividing a hall off for the garage entry. The first brother-in-law doesn’t have that kind of money.

Interestingly, there’s a subdivision up in Rancho Bernardo where every house has an exit from the master bedroom to the garage. The first time I did an inspection in that neighborhood back in 2002, I got royally reamed by both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent for putting “such nonsense” in my report.

I kept communication open with all parties but emphasized to everyone that it was not right, was unsafe, and should be corrected, notwithstanding the fact that every home in the neighborhood was like that. And I did drive through the neighborhood after the inspection to see what I could see. Indeed, every garage door that was open showed a door from the garage into the area where it looked like the master bedroom would be.

The Client’s correction was to create a mud room between the garage and master bedroom, but the Realtors still were not happy with me and have not used me again. The Clients, however, referred quite a few people to me within the first few months after the inspection. Almost three years later, he was one of the first to take advantage of my Referral Rewards program when I institututed it in August 2005.

This is funnny

R302.6 Dwelling/garage and/or carport fire separation. The garage and/or emport shall be separated as required by Table R302.6. Openings in garage walls shall comply with Section R302.5. This provision does not apply to garage walls that are perpendicular to the adjacent dwelling unit wall. A separation is not required between the dwelling unit and a cmport, provided the carport is entirely open on two or more sides and there are not enclosed areas above.
R302.S Dwelling/garage opening/penetration protection. Openings and penetrations through the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be in accordance with Sections R302.S.1 through R302.5.3. R302.S.1 Opening protection. Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 13/ 8 inches (35 mm) in thickness, solid or honeycomb-core steel doors not less than 13/ 8 inches (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors, equipped with selfclosing and self-latching devices.
Exceptio1l: Where the residence and the private garage are protected by an automatic residential fire sprinkler system in accordance with Sections R309.6 and R313, other door openings between the private garage and the residence need only be self-closing and self-latching. This exception shall not apply to rooms used for sleeping purposes.

Actually the project i am working on has a opening without any door from garage to elevator lobby, not sure if this passes current building code.

Seems batman’s garage has automatic residential fire sprinkles ; }

IRC prohibits direct access from garage to sleeping room. Amazed anyone would need to ask.

Agree, Dan. I was surfing this message board today, and there are many comments by HI’s who are simply clueless. Gravel in attic? Garage opener bracing secured with lag bolt? Many of these posts are frustrating for us veterans, but we still help where we can. It’s just that some HI’s need to go back to school, or open up their common sense.

Gary …

“Go Back to School”. I’m guessing its NEVER been to school in many of these posts