Real Estate Appraisal Forum

appraisersforum.com logo
The Premiere Online Community for Real Estate Appraisers!
 Fastest Way to Find a Real Estate Appraiser Enter Zip Code:
 
 
Go Back   Appraisers Forum > Real Estate Appraisal Forums > FHA/HUD and VA
Register Help Our Rules Calendar Archives Mark Forums Read


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-04-2012, 07:58 PM
Alpine Alpine is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
State: Oregon
Professional Status: Licensed Appraiser
Posts: 402
Default Firewall/Ceiling for Basement Garage

This inquiry may seem redundant, based on a recent thread about a garage needing a "ceiling", or self-evident, but I need specific advice. While I routinely call for drywall/firewalls to be installed on the wall between an attached garage and a dwelling, we see so few basements here in Oregon-- and fewer basement garages-- I've yet to encounter the following set-up.

The subject: Single level 1950s Rambler measuring approximately 24' x 50'. Due to its mildly sloping parcel, three of the sides are bermed/ground level, with the north side cut away with retaining walls to accommodate a 24' x 29' basement under approximately 3/5 of the dwelling. The basement is entirely open with no partitions. Walls are poured concrete, and ceiling is open wood joists and exposed wood-plank subfloor of the first level floor. The basement is accessed via a typical interior stairway from the main level, and via a 9' wide basement wall opening which is covered by a horizontally sliding "garage" door. The assessor's records correctly cite the basement area as 667sf, and reference the "Basement garage" as 230 sf (of the 667sf). This would assign it a theoretical 10' width by the 23' depth, despite the lack of partition walls.

My experience and gut tell me that there must be drywall installed on the ceiling, and possibly a dividing firewall with fire-rated door enclosing the garage portion. I expect that the parties involved in the sale are going to object when informed of that, because there is so much heat ducting and exposed plumbing/wiring/mechanical in the ceiling that drywall installation will be complicated, so I will likely need authoritative references.

I read an old thread which described a similar scenario, wherein the OP proposed a second option of walling in the vehicle opening and reducing the access to a "man-door", which is a cheaper option, and negates the need for the extensive drywall. Contributors to that thread berated the OP for over-stepping his role, but my experience is that the agents/sellers/buyers in these situations want the appraiser to call for the cheapest, fastest fix so the property can qualify and close escrow. In this case, because the existing garage door is a barn-type wooden sliding door, replacing it is probably the simplest, cheapest option.

I can't see any way to avoid calling for the firewall if the large opening remains, allowing someone to park a vehicle inside, based on fire and carbon-monoxide issues. To complicate matters, although the dwelling is heated by electric baseboard units in each room, there is an old wood-burning furnace in the basement, with ducting to all rooms-- even rarer in these parts! Although it likely has not been used in decades, it looks fully connected/functional.

Gratitude in advance for authoritative info and informed opinions.
Sponsored Links

  #2  
Old 11-04-2012, 08:16 PM
PropertyEconomics's Avatar
PropertyEconomics PropertyEconomics is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Central New Mexico
State: New Mexico
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 18,854
Default

What requirements are there in the building code? Do they apply to the subject? And why would the "sliding wooden garage door" require replacement?
__________________
Foxtrot, Uniform, Charlie, Kilo Cancer ... In memory of our friend Bill Waite!
  #3  
Old 11-04-2012, 08:24 PM
Alpine Alpine is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
State: Oregon
Professional Status: Licensed Appraiser
Posts: 402
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PropertyEconomics View Post
And why would the "sliding wooden garage door" require replacement?
I meant replacing the vehicle access door with a wood-frame, exterior wall and man-door, which effectively prevents vehicle use of the basement. It would just be an unfinished, walk-out basement with no "garage". Assuming extensive firewalling of the basement ceiling is required if you put a vehicle in there, preventing vehicle access with a few 2x4s, two sheets of T1-11, and man-door bypasses the whole fire issue and allows the property to qualify and close.
  #4  
Old 11-04-2012, 08:35 PM
Michigan CG's Avatar
Michigan CG Michigan CG is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
State: Michigan
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 17,256
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine View Post
I meant replacing the vehicle access door with a wood-frame, exterior wall and man-door, which effectively prevents vehicle use of the basement. It would just be an unfinished, walk-out basement with no "garage". Assuming extensive firewalling of the basement ceiling is required if you put a vehicle in there, preventing vehicle access with a few 2x4s, two sheets of T1-11, and man-door bypasses the whole fire issue and allows the property to qualify and close.
Why do you think you can require anything? You want to eliminate the garage?

How about you be the appraiser and value the property and let the underwriter make decisions? If you are saying it is code to have drywall then say so in the report and cite the source.

Could it be that the subject property does not have to meet new codes? There are places in the U.S that do not have this as a code requirement. There are too many appraisers who think they have the power to require things and many times the appraiser is only basing this information on hearsay.
__________________
You do not know what you do not know.
  #5  
Old 11-04-2012, 08:59 PM
Alpine Alpine is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
State: Oregon
Professional Status: Licensed Appraiser
Posts: 402
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigan CG View Post
There are too many appraisers who think they have the power to require things and many times the appraiser is only basing this information on hearsay.
Perhaps I did not make it clear that this is for an FHA loan, thus my understanding that HUD/FHA MPRs require a firewall between garages and living area. I thought that was evident by posting in this section, and it would seem that HUD/FHA requires appraisers to "require" that properties comply with the MPRs.

Hearsay? My very purpose in posting was to avoid speculation on how HUD/FHA MPRs would apply here, as I've failed to find specific direction in my search of HUD/FHA sources, and I've observed real expertise in the forum both in terms of knowledge and links to authoritative sources.

In conventional appraising, I typically avoid requiring anything code-wise, what to speak of applying current "code" to a house built in 1950. I am simply seeking assistance determining how the HUD/FHA MPRs for firewalls between garages and living areas apply to this situation.
  #6  
Old 11-04-2012, 09:30 PM
Michigan CG's Avatar
Michigan CG Michigan CG is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
State: Michigan
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 17,256
Default

Quote:
......thus my understanding that HUD/FHA MPRs require a firewall between garages and living area......
HUD/FHA does not talk about firewalls and there is no HUD/FHA requirement. Millions of older homes are financed through FHA without meeting CURRENT building codes.

The thing that I found absurd (no offense meant) was:

Quote:
.......I meant replacing the vehicle access door with a wood-frame, exterior wall and man-door, which effectively prevents vehicle use of the basement....
This is well above the "power" of an appraiser.
__________________
You do not know what you do not know.
  #7  
Old 11-04-2012, 09:56 PM
Alpine Alpine is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
State: Oregon
Professional Status: Licensed Appraiser
Posts: 402
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigan CG View Post
HUD/FHA does not talk about firewalls and there is no HUD/FHA requirement. Millions of older homes are financed through FHA without meeting CURRENT building codes.
I'd love to take your word for it, with you being Certified General and a moderator (no offense), but I've read too many Forum threads wherein experienced, qualified appraisers adamantly disagreed with one another over HUD/FHA MPRs and Fannie/Freddie guidelines. My research of previous threads for this inquiry found dozens of posts by experienced FHA appraisers stating emphatically that there must be drywall/firewall between any garages and living areas, thus my confusion. We are a tribe predisposed to eat our own before assisting our brethren with authoritative source data.

My personal experience has been that underwriters categorically require the specific repairs cited by the appraisers, nothing more, nothing less, and defer to the appraiser for interpretation/application of the HUD/FHA MPRs. It is also my experience that parties to the sale routinely ask the appraiser for the simplest way to make a property comply, which is why I mentioned the idea of replacing the vehicle door with a man-door.

Regarding local "codes" trumping HUD/FHA MPRs, I disagree. My county does not require that manufactured homes have tie-downs. But I've seen dozens of manufactured homes of all ages have them installed as part of an FHA loan, based on the Engineer's Report and underwriting requirements.

I'd be surprised, if relieved, to see a consensus of appraisers stating that HUD/FHA does not require any firewall protection between attached garages and living areas, so let us see if that manifests here in the days ahead.
  #8  
Old 11-04-2012, 10:19 PM
PropertyEconomics's Avatar
PropertyEconomics PropertyEconomics is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Central New Mexico
State: New Mexico
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 18,854
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine View Post
I meant replacing the vehicle access door with a wood-frame, exterior wall and man-door, which effectively prevents vehicle use of the basement. It would just be an unfinished, walk-out basement with no "garage". Assuming extensive firewalling of the basement ceiling is required if you put a vehicle in there, preventing vehicle access with a few 2x4s, two sheets of T1-11, and man-door bypasses the whole fire issue and allows the property to qualify and close.

As Donald Trump would say .. YOU'RE FIRED ... please learn what your job is and what it isnt ...

You have no business doing assignments like this .. and I mean it with respect even though its harsh ... the property owner deserves a better valuation of their property than you apparently can provide given your current thought pattern. Wishing to make sure safety concerns are met (when required) is one thing but to tell someone what they can and cannot use their property for .... please decline this job.
__________________
Foxtrot, Uniform, Charlie, Kilo Cancer ... In memory of our friend Bill Waite!
  #9  
Old 11-04-2012, 10:35 PM
gregb's Avatar
gregb gregb is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
State: California
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 1,939
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PropertyEconomics View Post
the property owner deserves a better valuation of their property
Bit of New Mexico over-reacation ala Donald Trump melodrama.

Property owner is not the client of the appraiser.

Last edited by gregb : 11-04-2012 at 10:40 PM.
  #10  
Old 11-04-2012, 10:44 PM
Alpine Alpine is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
State: Oregon
Professional Status: Licensed Appraiser
Posts: 402
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PropertyEconomics View Post
As Donald Trump would say .. YOU'RE FIRED ... please learn what your job is and what it isnt ...

You have no business doing assignments like this .. and I mean it with respect even though its harsh ... the property owner deserves a better valuation of their property than you apparently can provide given your current thought pattern. Wishing to make sure safety concerns are met (when required) is one thing but to tell someone what they can and cannot use their property for .... please decline this job.
Please spare me the speculation on the circumstances and the self-righteousness. This is an FHA sale of a vacant, semi-fixer property wherein the buyer has already spent their own money to repair the foundation because the estate will do no repairs. The parties involved simply want to know what will be the simplest, most affordable way to render the property HUD/FHA compliant.

I'm not TELLING anyone what they can or cannot do with their property. I'm simply seeking a relatively definitive answer to whether drywall is required on the ceiling of the basement, because there is clearly a history of ambiguity in HUD/FHA "requirements" on this issue. I've read multiple threads here dating to 2003 on the same topic which included posts wherein OPs wrote things like: "We actually got a phone call back from the DC office with their answer. (apparently paraphrasing HUD personnel) The garage must be separated from the living area. Even though the local building codes may or may not address this issue and even though it is not specifically addressed in the 4150.2 handbook, HUD does consider it a Health and Safety issue. Their biggest concern was the fact that the carbon monoxide could enter into the living areas of the home..."

This is just one example of multiple previous topics where posters referenced firewalls and carbon monoxide as HUD safety issues, but no one here wants to address my actual inquiry. You rather prefer to strawman me as some kind of run-amok control freak for trying to sort out 1) What is actually required; and 2) What is a feasible cure for the circumstances if firewall/carbon monoxide must be addressed. Both of which are clearly within the purview and responsibilities of an FHA appraiser.

This is such a classic Forum over-the-top response and tangent, and the reason so many appraisers simply stop asking for clarifications here.
Sponsored Links

Closed Thread


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump




Copyright © 2000-, AppraisersForum.com, All Rights Reserved
     Terms of Use  Privacy Policy
AppraisersForum.com is proudly hosted by the folks at AppraiserSites.com

Fastest Way to Find a Real Estate Appraiser Enter Zip Code:
Partner Sites:
AppraiserUSA.com - National Appraiser Directory AllDomainsUSA.com - Domain Name Registration
DeadbeatListings.com - Deadbeat ListingsAppraiserSites.com - Web Hosting for the Professional Real Estate Appraiser
Find FHA Appraisers - FHA Appraiser Search Commercial Appraisers - Commercial Appraiser Search
Relocation Appraisal - Find Relocation Appraisers Domain Reseller - Business Opportunity
Home Security Buzz - Home Security Info Radon Testing - Radon Gas Info
My Medicare Forum - Medicare Info Stop Smoking Help - Help Quitting Smoking
CordlessPhoneStore.com - Great Cordless Phones AndroidTabletCity.com - Android Tablet Computers

Follow AppraisersForum.com:          Find us on Facebook            Follow us on Twitter


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:36 PM.

SiteMap: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93