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Fire Wall in Lieu of Fire Sprinklers

adamflyer's picture

The fire district is where I am at is requireing fire sprinklers for residences (R-3) for anything over 5,000ft^2. The problem for me is this requires garages, porch overhangs more than 4' and any attic that could be used for storage or converted to living space. The 3 car garage, attic (even though its unfinished), and large porches push me over the 5,000 figure.

Short of dropping square footage I'm wondering if I can get an exception by separating the garage with a fire wall. Has anyone had any luck with this in a similar situation? I'm wondering what I should propose. A 1 hour firewall built per a UL wall construction detail? 1.5 hr 2 hr? I'm on a low producing well and the quote I got for fire sprinklers was north of $10k. I figure a 1 or 2 hour fire wall will not add that much to construction? Any other ideas to propose for an exception?

If this does not work I'll just have to re-design the house. It is a U-shape with master bedrooms for each wing (one is an in-law sweet for my father in law). If I have to make the house smaller the living space would stay about the same the only thing that would change is the "fire area" becasue the unused attics that were counting against me are now used as bedrooms. I would just remove those two wings and put them in the attic which means the house would be going from all the bedrooms on the ground floor to having some on the second story. A ground level house without sprinklers sure seems safer to me than a 2 story with sprinklers but rules are rules...

If the lot size is right, I (post #215814, reply #1 of 1)

If the lot size is right, I would decrease the size of the attached garage and put the $10,000 towards a detached second garage...or build the house and garage as detached with poured slab with full footers between the house and the garage.  As soon as you get your occupancy certificate "accidentally" close in the two end walls between the house and the garage and throw on a roof.