I am working on an old house that has a garage that needs some updating. The shared wall with the garage has the old house siding (when presumably there was no attached garage). There is a partial ceiling (50%) that holds attic space. The part that doesn't have attic space has the rafters exposed. I also have crawl space access behind the stairs leading from the garage to the kitchen.

After reading several of the questions and answers in this DIY exchange, it appears I need to: (1) Install 5/8" sheetrock on top of (or in place of) the old siding that is installed in the shared wall. (2) I need to find a fireproof solution to the crawlspace access (or close the access entirely with 5/8" sheetrock) (3) I need to figure out a way to make the ceiling/roof fireproof.

For (3) I was thinking of extending the attic floor to cover 3/4th of the garage. I would build a wall on the edge that I am not extending. I would then install 5/8" sheetrock to the "new" garage ceiling (attic floor) and to the new attic wall. Now, what do I do with: (a) access door to attic? Does it have to be fireproof? Can I build same access door that I see built with pull-down stairs? This access door doesn't seem tightly sealed like some of the answers I have seen suggest it needs to be. (b) what do I do with the exposed rafters in the area i did not extend attic? Do I need to install 5/8" sheetrock like a vaulted ceiling would have?

Depending on the answer to (a), can I use the same technology to fireproof the access to my crawlspace?

Lastly, on the 3 sides of the garage that do not share a wall with the house, can I just install 1/2" drywall? And, any additional considerations regarding insulation of any of the 4 walls?

  • Relevant: IRC: Gypsum board
    – Mazura
    Apr 11, 2015 at 5:26
  • Just a thought; any wood-framed structure will become fully engaged. Any "fireproofing" effort here will slow the spread of a fire originating in the garage, but it will not contain such a fire indefinitely, nor will it prevent the structure itself catching fire.
    – KeithS
    Sep 8, 2015 at 18:44
  • Are you being made to do this, or just want to add more protection? There are many things you can do to slow down a fire .Its how much you want to spend.. Sheetrock on the wall to the house from floor to top of raters helps..And you can tape it and add another layer if you want. It will help but if you have a old wooden door. I would go one layer of dry wall and a metal door. .Cutting down where walls can act like vents seal holes add some wood blocking to frame helps .Fiber glass insulation in voids helps.
    – user101687
    May 24, 2019 at 1:52

1 Answer 1


For the Access to the Crawlspace and Attic you can use a Fire Rated Access Hatch. We used one in our Garage. I can't seem to find the Make/Model, though its something like this. They come in all sizes.

You also want to have Any Wall Penetrations with Fireproofing. If you have Plumbing (water heater, Vent Stack, Electrical, etc that is not behind the sheetrock you need a fireproof barrier. They make several things to do this

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