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Garage wall finishing, and a code question

Chris Johnston | Posted in General Questions on

My garage is unfinished.  Is drywall the only code approved wall covering?  Are there any other options?

If I add drywall is there any reason to add insulation underneath if I never plan to heat it?  If I need to add insulation, is fiberglass OK?

Also, a conditioned breezeway connects the house to the garage. I have installed rigid foam insulation on the portion of the garage wall that touched the breezeway, and installed type X drywall over the rigid foam.  A potential issue is the attic of the breezeway “opens”  to the garage.  I can climb a ladder in the garage and directly access the breezeway attic. Does this need to be sealed for any reason?
Thanks!

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Replies

  1. Brian Pontolilo | | #1

    Chris,

    Will you please describe the breezeway for us. To some people, a breezeway is a roof connecting an otherwise outdoor space that connects the garage and house. Others call indoor corridors between the house and garage breezeways.

    Typically the wall between the house and attached garage needs finished drywall to meet a fire rating and should be air sealed and insulated not only for energy efficiency, but also to keep all of the harmful fumes that garages have to offer, out of the house. The other garage walls do not need a finish. If the garage won't be used for anything, those walls don't need insulation either. So, there may be other finish options. It also may be helpful for users to know why you want to finish the walls of a space you don't plan to use for anything.

    As far as that attic goes, if it interfaces with the house at the other end, the building inspector may want it closed up with drywall, which would be a good idea, but again, I think some more info about the breezeway would be helpful.

    There's a whole lot of good info about garages on this site, try these search results for some helpful reading:

    https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/?s=garage&qaf=0

  2. Chris Johnston | | #2

    Thank you for the information! Sorry I should have been more descriptive. The breezeway is a fully insulated 10 foot by 10 foot laundry room connected to the rest of the house. You walk out of the kitchen through an interior door to it. This room is also connected to the garage with an outside door. We have a full basement and the laundry room is over the basement.

  3. Expert Member
    Zephyr7 | | #3

    There is a lot of good info here:
    https://www.nachi.org/attached-garage-fire-hazards.htm

    The primary concern is fire containment, generally with a layer of 5/8” type X drywall.

    If you ever want to condition your garage, insulation might be a good idea. Most people probably won’t bother though. Remember that the garage is likely to always be a pretty leaky part of the house so insulation won’t provide as much benefit as it would in a well air sealed part of a house.

    Bill

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