step down to garage?

Just did an inspection and my client had a question I am not sure about. Once again, I know we do not enforce code but thought this was important enough issue to research.
Scenario = New construction and there is no step down to garage from the living room which is right next to it. Should there always be a step down in new construction? (Walking into this garage is like walking into an adjacent bedroom).Thanks

In Phoenix there is generally a 4" step/grade change in the garage floor usually 4-5’ from the door into a home…for a slab-on-grade.

New Construction should absolutely have the step-up from the garage to the living area. The height of this step-up varies from State to State.

Step needed to help stop any gas vapors or water from entering the house.

Code reference anyone? Come on Dale I know you have a code book.:slight_smile:

I have seen many new homes without a step.


I think you are right, it might not be a code requirement here.

But I don’t ever remember seeing any garage slabs level with the interior either, mine isn’t, how about yours?

There is no mandatory code requirement in the UBC, IRC and IBC on an elevation separation from the garage to the living area. But, I always call them out due to car fumes ability to enter the living area from the garage.

Common sense prevails on this issue.


With that said, it would be derogatory to mention they might want to consider jackhammering their floor out and have it installed a few inches lower than the interior, huh…:smiley:

I have never seen one installed level with the interior as Brian mentioned though…:shock:

Dale as my predominate source of income is Home Inspections I would venture a guess that I may see more new homes than you. My garage in Phoenix has a tire stop. I have seen many new homes without the tire stop (I will take a picture of the next one). As long as the garage floor is slopped correctly the requirements are met, as gasoline vapors, CO, and water all comply with the laws physics/gravity.:slight_smile:


By the way…where in the heck do you get all the illustrations from?

Man you have a lot of them…:smiley: …good ones!

What Dale said, I am very jealous.:slight_smile:

Better yet tell me who the builder is…:smiley:

Even though that is predominately beyond what you get paid to do…:smiley:

Dale I participate in many unpaid activities too.:wink: :roll:

You are funny. Jack hammering the floor, digging out quite a bit of dirt and re-pouring the floor at a lower level would definitely work, but not required.

I simply mention “No fume barrier at entry door from garage” in my report, and explain the situation to my client and leave it at that.
With the cold winters here in Massachusetts, there are a few idiots out there that warm up their car in the garage.

That small step will not help those idiots.:roll: :wink:

Spies like us…:stuck_out_tongue:

If you can tell me one builder constructing garages without a curb, I buy you a beer.

Or…if your wife leaves town again I’ll drop off a case of wine…:smiley: …for the landscapers…:smiley:

The fume barrier is simply “A Preventive Measure”.

Especially in Phoenix where you want to get the hell out of the Garage and get that :-;; AC compressor spinning…:smiley:

David, if someone is running their car in a closed garage you are going to need more than that little step to keep exhaust gasses out of the house.

I call that step a tire stop.:slight_smile:

Tire Stop???

By the time the tire hits that fume barrier, the front bumper already went through the wall. Nice tire stop…