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shane2943 10-31-2010 03:44 PM

Eliminating Drywall Ceiling In Attached Garage
Hi everyone!

For my first official post outside the Introductions section, I'll ask what might be an odd question.

But first, to describe my setup. I have a 2-car attached garage in my house. It shares one common wall with the house and the other 3 walls are exterior walls. The ceiling height is 8 feet at the head of the garage, and then a step down of 3 inches makes the ceiling height about 8'3" over most of the garage. It has two single doors instead of one large double door (I hate that but live with it). The distance from the top of the ceiling joists to the highest point of the roof deck is approximately 4' and tapers off from there. The roof peek is centered over the garage and runs from the front of the garage to the back. There is a ridge vent installed on the peek over the garage. The attic space above the garage is shared to the attic space over the rest of the house. The ceiling above the garage is uninsulated.

OK, now that I've descibed my setup, I want to tear down the drywall ceiling above the garage so that I can:
a) have more space for things - there's not really room up there to install a drop down ladder and floor the space up there. It'd be better for me to be able to just lay long pieces of wood across the tops of the joists for storage and/or install a pully lifted shelf.
b) have more ventilation - as it is, the garage in the summer stays about 10 degrees cooler than the attic and for those that live in Texas, THAT'S REALLY HOT! ;) I figured the ridge vent might help a bit there. Maybe I'm wrong. In the winter time, the garage does stay pretty warm...but then again, I'd rather have it cool in the summer than warm in the winter.
c) Have the space to hang a garage filtration system - with the 8' ceiling, the filteration system would hang too low and get in the way of things

I do plan to extend the common wall up to the roof deck and seal it, effectivly making the main attic space smaller.

What are the pros/cons of my idea? Is it lunacy? Have I been drinkin too much cough syrup? Are the Halloween gouls effecting my BRAIN? :eek:

Thanks in advance! :beer:

oldognewtrick 10-31-2010 04:08 PM


Originally Posted by shane2943 (Post 50525)
What are the pros/cons of my idea? Is it lunacy? Have I been drinkin too much cough syrup? Are the Halloween gouls effecting my BRAIN? :eek:

Thanks in advance! :beer:

Possible lunacy, cough syrup poisining, sugar overload from to many Butterfingers;)...never rule anything out, but could you post a pic of the garage ceiling and also the attic framing?

shane2943 10-31-2010 04:48 PM

The garage and it's ceiling will be easy. The attic framing above the garage.....not so much since the only attic access is on the complete opposite end of the house so I'd have to crawl all the way over there.

I'll do it though. Done it before. ;) Gimme a bit...

shane2943 10-31-2010 06:00 PM

OK, got the pics. When I said that the garage shares a common wall, it's more like 1.5 common walls but that's neither here nor there. Would just make separating the garage from the rest of the attic a bit more of a pain, but doable.

Ok, I'll do my best to describe the photos:

This is the front of the garage, taken from the bed of my pickup. You can see the roof ok from here:

This is a shot inside the open door:

This is a shot at the ceiling from the head of the garage by the door into the house:

This is a shot from the same spot, but aiming across the garage towards the back corner:

[continued on next post]

shane2943 10-31-2010 06:01 PM

This shot is taken off to the right of the garage so the peak of the roof and ridge vent can be seen:

All 3 of these shots were taken from the back wall of the garage towards the front of the garage (where the two garage doors are). Please forgive the ghettotastic wiring. Yet another project I have to do.

Hope those shots were what y'all were after. Bout the best I could get. There ain't much room in the attic of this house.

havasu 10-31-2010 06:17 PM

5 Attachment(s)
What you are doing was exactly what I did to my garage last December. Because of the lack of space in the attic portion, I lowered the entire ceiling one foot. I then installed a low opening roll up door, and cut a hole to access the new attic space. Below are some pics of my garage.

shane2943 10-31-2010 07:57 PM

DANG! You gotta nice garage there, my friend.

Actually, what I'm wanting to do does differ from what you did in that I want the attic space, and the garage space to be one in the same. The only ceiling I want above the garage are the ceiling joists and roof deck above that. I want to get rid of the drywall ceiling all together. It seems as though you have a bit more attic space than I do, even if I were to drop the joists down a foot. There's really not much space up there which is why I nixed the idea of flooring it and installing a drop-down ladder.

havasu 10-31-2010 08:18 PM

Thanks for the compliment! I now understand what you are trying to do, but I think it will be more work than you think. I have about the same headroom in the attic (about 4 1/2'), and once it was insulated and lined with 1" plywood, there was more room than I imagined. Your firewall is an important fire block and mandatory by most fire codes. This means if you remove it from your ceiling, it may come back to haunt you, unless you line the entire lower roof ceiling with 5/8" drywall. You would also need to add structure and support to keep your walls square and your roof from potentually sagging.

I think the easier solution is to cut a hole, box it in, relocate the exposed romex, line with plywood, and call it a day.

shane2943 10-31-2010 08:24 PM

Not quite sure what you mean by adding support to keep my roof from sagging. I don't want to remove any supports. I intend fully to keep every 2X10 and 2X4 that is currently there in it's place. I only want to remove the drywall to open the space up.

Now, your firewall statement really makes some sense to me and I didn't consider that before.

What's romex?

And thank you for the reply! :beer:

havasu 10-31-2010 09:00 PM

OK, I assumed you wanted to eliminate the 2 x 10's along with the drywall. If you left them intact, you would not lose strength in the structure. Drywall as a fire break will still be a consideration for you, if you chose to eliminate the drywall. The romex I was referring to are the wires laying on top of the 2 x 10's, which power your garage door and ceiling lights.

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