Most people would define a garage as a completely enclosed room with a garage door for parking a car out of the weather, while a carport is a roofed-over parking space with open sides.
When a carport is attached to a house, it usually has two or three open sides. But the International Residential Code (IRC) and Florida Building Code (FBC) have a very specific way of defining the difference between carport and garage:
This means that as soon as you add a third wall to a carport, like in the photo below, it becomes a garage and must meet all the fire safety standards required of a garage.
The fact that the fourth side is open and there is no garage door does not make a difference. Because flammable materials are often stored in an attached garage, there are multiple code requirements intended to enhance the resistance of the walls and ceiling to the spread of a garage fire into the living area of a home.
Van Hibberts, CMI
Certified Residential Building Code Inspector ICC-5319905
IBHS Fortified Certified Inspector #FEV32561020109
ARA Certified Inspector #20302 (Applied Research Associates)
Florida-State Certified Master Inspector Lic. #HI 89
Certified Owens-Corning Roof Data Inspector
Florida-Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector
WDO Certificate #JE190791
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