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I would like to convert a two story building I own to a lower…

I would like to convert...
I would like to convert a two story building I own to a lower level garage and an upstairs apartment.
currently both levels are apartments, but the original design was to have a lower level garage. I am curious as to what kind of code requirements are necessary to have between the lower and upper levels. Can I just install drywall on the ceiling? or does there need to be something special between the two.
The upper level has two entrances, after looking at the wall, it appears I just need to remove some windows and the door to make access for the garage door. The headers seem pretty sufficient
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Answered in 2 hours by:
1/1/2010
Stephen Cutler
Stephen Cutler, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2,062
Experience: 35 years of troubleshooting construction, remodel, component & material failures. What to do next
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Hi and thanks for using JustAnswer.com.

You will be involving the fire codes for your jurisdiction. Your local Fire Department Chief can give you the specifics. Examples are existing access from 1st floor to 2nd floor may require sprinklers and smoke doors. Eliminating windows may trigger sprinkler requirements. A secondary means of egress will need to be added to the 2nd floor if it does not already have one. It's all about fire saftey and less about the building department, although you will begin at the building department for permitting. The building department will not sign off until the Fire Chief does. So start with the Fire Department. Each state has their own fire codes, and each Fire Chief has his own pet peeves. Make the chief happy and all will go smoothly. As far as "just install drywall"; it will be 5/8 firecode drywall- at least one layer- more likely 2.

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Stephen Cutler
Stephen Cutler, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2,062
Experience: 35 years of troubleshooting construction, remodel, component & material failures. What to do next
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