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cmarlo 03-29-2011 11:07 AM

Wall Partition in Garage - need footer?
I was intending to convert the back section of our 3 car garage into a workshop. All I want to do is install a simple partition wall. (2x4, insulation, 1/2 dry wall, insulated door) The wall is non-load bearing.

I spoke with one of the inspectors at the permit office and they told me I would have to break through the concrete, dig and poor a 4' footer under that wall. This is crazy.

He told me I need to do this to avoid being in contact with the garage concrete which could heave as much as 2". The house is relatively new construction. I know concrete can expand and contract, but in that past 4 years of brutal winters, I've never seen it heave. Two inches seems a lot.

He didn't offer me many solutions.

Has anyone run into this when doing the same to their garage. Did they get a permit? If I don't put any electrical on that wall, can I avoid a permit? How can I challenge the permit office?

Thanks to anyone that can offer advice.

oldognewtrick 03-29-2011 04:04 PM

So if I understand your question, you want to convert an area inside a finished garage into a work shop and the codes inspector wants you to break up existing concrete why? What will adding a non-load bearing wall do to cause any additional frost heaving? Are you sure you explained your intentions so he understood you correctly?

If all else fails hire a structural engineer. Its not that expensive to get their stamp on a design to take to the codes office.

nealtw 03-29-2011 05:17 PM

If all he is worried about is frost heaving you could build a slip joint wall like they do in log houses or make sure you don't build it under a floor joist or ceiling joist so if it does heave you won't dammage structure. The engineer will agree with the inspector because they will want to have a break between heated and cold concrete and the only way they can tell to do that is the way he told you.
They are not allowed to tell you short cuts.
A slip joint wall is built with two peice studs screwed together thru slots and leave the drywall 2" off the floor and cover that with molding.

inspectorD 03-29-2011 06:40 PM

If this is to be a heated shop, just cut the concrete floor at the wall. Then you can have a 2 inch trip hazard when it heaves.

Just kidding, Just heat and insulate the entire heaving, no more issue.

epox 03-29-2011 07:50 PM

Frame your wall....pull your wires....and be done with it ....dang a permit for some stupid stuff like that.

nealtw 03-30-2011 10:38 PM

I kinda think epox has the right idea unless you think there is alot of water under the floor.

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