Garage / Apt separation

I read some earlier posts on this forum about garage/living space separation requirements, but would like to ask a variation of that question.

We are building a post-and-beam “barn”, where the bottom is a garage and the top is a small apartment. You access the apartment via a staircase, from inside the garage. At the foot of the stairs, there is a passage door to exit the building.

We know that the building code requires fire-rated drywall on the ceiling of the garage, and we will have a fire-rated door for the apartment. Here’s my question: do we need to completely enclose and separate the whole staircase (i.e. the whole path of egress), or is it sufficient to just drywall the ceiling and walls surrounding the apartment? Right now, the staircase is open and visible to the rest of the garage, which obviously looks nicer in a post-and-beam structure.

Thanks in advance.

I am actually in the process of building a garage apartment for a client; other than the required draft stopping and fire blocking the stairway must be protected including dry walling and taping under same. You should check with your local building officials for any additional requirements they may have.

For further reading check R314.8 and R602.8 of the code.