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beadboard ceiling vs gypsum requirements

We are trying to convert the top of an 80 yr old carriage house to a living area for our daughter. The code inspector came back with all the usual requirements, arc, gfic, insulation, even to the numbers on the house, also there for over 80 years. He has 15 requirements, ok. I am paranoid about fire and safety and this is my daughter we are talking about, so fine.
There is a stairwell at the back of the building and double doors on the front of the building where saddles were hauled up to the secong floor.
The ceiling of the carriage house/garage is beadboard and he says we have to cover it up with 5/8" gypsum. He also wants the steel lolly columns covered with gypsum. We added the columns on the first floor just to be safe with any additional weight on the second floor.
We will follow instructions to have the hard wired ,110 volt smoke detectors with battery backups on both levels and everything else.
The ceiling on the first floor is 3/4" wood with 8 to 9" space that will be filled with fire resistant insulation and then the floor on the second level is another 3/4" wood so I'm not sure what the "burn" value is. This is what he said....

"We are in agreement that the use of a 'Limited Area Sprinkler System'
to protect the garage area only would be an approved alternative.
You would need to have an approved contractor verify by calculation
but most likely 2 or at most 4 sidewall sprinkler heads would be
needed to protect that area.

In reference to IRC R102.7, & 102.7.1, these code sections do apply
to your project; the addition of a habitable space with a sleeping
area raises the hazard level in the building and causes the project
to need to meet the requirements of new construction as indicated in R102.7.1"

We checked into sprinklers but that is an unbelievably expensive way to go.
I know code is code but consider this, 1. it is less than 12 feet from the first story to the ground (Jumpable)
2. it is less than 15' from the sleeping area to the double doors (old carriage house secnd story doors)
3. there is a fire hydrant less than 200 feet from the carriage house
4. The fire company is .04 miles away
5. the sleeping area is not above the garage area but is above a couple of rooms secondary to the garage area
One other question, how fire safe is the house with a hand troweled cement basement with three brick thick walls?
This is a great site, thanks.

Re: beadboard ceiling vs gypsum requirements

Yep ... have to question the sprinkler system.

It certainly makes sense to provide appropriate 5/8 X rated drywall to the ceiling of the lower space along with the minimum of 2 coats of joint compound for all seams as well complete air seal.

The first thing that comes to mind ...... is the use of sprinklers mandatory in new residental where sleeping areas are over an attached garage for your area?

Re: beadboard ceiling vs gypsum requirements

I think the inspectors concern is the threat of a fire in the garage area being able to spread to the apartment above and according to the specafied code because they are "changing the use or the type of use" it has raised the threat level of a fire spread. the problem really is this is left to the descression of the inspector. your only alternative is to try to reason with the inspector as far as relates to the use of the garage and realistic threats involved. but most likely they will stick to their guns and you will probally find that doing the drywall and incasing the columns will probally be cheaper in most cases then the sprinkler system

P.S. the drywall you can probally do yourself to help reduce cost.

[EB] R102.7 Existing structures. The legal occupancy of any structure existing on the
date of adoption of this code shall be permitted to continue without change, except as is
specifically covered in this code, the International Property Maintenance Code Chapter
39 of the Phoenix City Code, or the International Fire Code, or as is deemed necessary
by the building official for the general safety and welfare of the occupants and the public.
[EB] R102.7.1 Additions, alterations or repairs. Additions, alterations or repairs to
any structure shall conform to that required for a new structure without requiring the
existing structure to comply with all of the requirements of this code, unless otherwise
stated. Additions, alterations or repairs shall not cause an existing structure to become
unsafe or adversely affect the performance of the building.

Re: beadboard ceiling vs gypsum requirements

Thank you for your information. The best advice I've ever read was in TOH-going green means not changing a thing. I was hoping there would be a way of preserving the beadboard and still be totally safe. It just seems wrong to mess up this old architecture. It has the old 2x6" beams and the house has the original slate roof.
The was a bed and chimney and other evidence that a handyman or someone lived in the carraige house at some point in time. In other projects sometimes the rules apply and sometimes they don't.
It is a wonder how these decisions are made.

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