Common wall of garage is Laundry room / firewall ?

the backwall wall is common to the laundry room…the door opens
to a bonus room…the house was built in 1964…the common wall is wood …Should I recommed that drywall be installed? ( as a fire barrier)

all of the wall …left of the door is a laundry room. Directly thru the
door is a bonus room (living area)

Depends how thick the plywood is. The door is not fire rated.

The wall and door must be a rated assembly.

This is what I would state;

For the door, I would state;

Jeff, do you feel there is a duty to upgrade an older home to today’s standards? I cringe at the word “mandated” and “will need to be replaced”. This is still America and buyers nor sellers don’t have to do as we say. I would phrase it a little less authoritatively, such as:

“There is no firewall separation between the garage and the residence, which is required by today’s commonly accepted construction standards…We recommend installation of a functional fire barrier for safety reasons.” (Emphasis added.)

No, but to the best of my knowledge, there has always been a fire separation requirement for an attached garage.

If I considered it an “upgrade” to newer standards, I would word it that way.

Agreed, that requirement goes back to the 1920’s if memory serves



Well if so, it must not have been enforced here in the Carolinas. I grew up in a home built in 1972 with a plywood separation (Mother still lives there). Most homes around here older than 20 years old do not have a functional fire barrier.

Hi Joe,

that may well be the case in your area, but that would surprise me.

The 1 hours firewall rule was in the 1st edition of the UBC in 1927 (yeah I just had to look it up) and UBC and others are the for-runners of todays IRC/IBC.



There’s absolutely no requirement to upgrade an older home to today’s code standards, but I would always recommend a firewall upgrade (separating living area from garage area) in older homes simply as a safety feature.

Exactly…I recommend the same.

I don’t consider it an “upgrade” when it is/was a required component.

It could be that the laundry to bonus room is the intended firewall. Was there a fire rated door possibly at that location?


Was this garage created from an existing car port?

With this sort of thing, I mention that it may not have been required at the time the home was built, but that widely-accepted modern standards require it for safety reasons, then I recommend it be brought into compliance with modern standards.

This idea gets my vote which makes it an incomplete carport to garage conversion and repairs should be peformed to bring it into the accepted standard that has been in force since the first building code in 1927.