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Heated garage

how/where can i get all the codes/rules for a legal install of a garage heater/furnace?? is there an online source? OR do i have to go [somewhere] to get the info?- where??

What type of heater? Natural gas, electric? etc…?


Building department for the municipality you are living in.

It is regulated by local building codes so you will need to contact your local building authorities. You may get anything from “We don’t have any rules do what you want” to “It is not allowed.”

I might ask why you want one.  Is it for occasional heat or do you live in the snow belt and want to keep your car warm and safe?

If it is the second one, I would rethink it.  It is going to cost a lot to keep it warm and it is not good for your car.  In the winter it is generally better for the car to keep it cold so the ice and salt are frozen and not causing damage.

Agree with Joseph; heating a garage is a bad idea. It will make your car rust a lot faster.

I live in a cold area and when I want to do some work on my car in the winter I simply plug in a portable electric heater. You don’t need any permits for that.

If you want easy starting and live in a cold area, install a block heater on a timer, to come on 1.5 hours before you need the car. That gives you the best of all worlds.

thats ignorant, you only heat it to min temps 40- 50 if you choose to leave it on all the time. you turn it up for times when your doing a project. if you have an attached finished garage then its vary do-able. rust? who cares? i have daily drivers not collector cars. thawed out wipers, locks, latches, easy starts, comfortable interiors,clear windoows, a hot warm drive train/engine and brakes are happy and safe. plus i know it adds resale value to a home, thats why if the home has it/they make sure to mention it in advertising. if you have a new car, you would have to hang on to it for a long time to see any rust, and if you have a used car you shouldnt be too surprised to see some rust. i save my self lots of money by servicing my own cars, that easily pays for more than the majority of that extra heat bill. i definatly agree that they will rust faster in a heated garage, but i know the benefits far far out way the rust… for me anyway. im sure if i contacted any officials, they would know. im looking for my own knowledge., if any one said it wasnt allowed, i would have a real hard time controlling my laughter. this is america, if i want my car warm or i want to be able to do any kind of repairs or projects in my garage/ i will.

Problem I have with a heated garage (I live in a snow prone area) is that no matter how much you "kick the snow off"  your car body, enough is underneath on the inner fenders and undercarriage to make it a mess once melted in a heated garage.  I levae my car outside unless I'm working on it now.  Rocketman

No matter what type of heater is installed, the garage should be insulated with a vapor barrier. Or at least the ceiling should be.

If there’s snow on the roof, and when the interior of the garage is heated, the heat rises to the ceiling. This then causes the snow on the roof to melt. The water runs down the roof to eaves or overhangs of the roof where it refreezes. This then causes ice dams. The more times this happens the larger the ice dams become. When the ice dams become large enough it can force water under the roofing material where it refreezes causing damage to the roof.

But I have to agree, it sure is nice working in a 70 degree garage when it’s 10 below outside.


rust? who cares? i have daily drivers not collector cars.

So do I. That’s why I’d NEVER consider a heated garage…and it’s very very easy to do for my garage. If you only keep your cars 2-3 years and don’t care what they look like fine…But if you’re like me who keeps them usually 8-10 years with well over 250k miles then RUST MATTERS. A heated garage will drastically increase rust formation/acceleration in a car.

i have daily drivers not collector cars. thawed out wipers, locks, latches, easy starts, comfortable interiors,clear windoows,

I have all that without a heated garage.

plus i know it adds resale value to a home

No it does NOT.

if you have a new car, you would have to hang on to it for a long time to see any rust

Um…wrong. Newer cars do resist rust far far better then cars made 20-30 years ago…but over time they do rust. When you drive salted roads and then pull into your heated garage the salt interacts with the melting snow (water). This chemical reaction is very very harsh on metals. If the garage is NOT heated the snow doesn’t melt and there is no chemical reaction.

I’ve lived in snow country my whole life…Heating a garage to park you car in is NOT a good idea.

A heated garage DOES add value to a home. When my house was assessed for tax purposes by the county, one of the things they checked is if the garage is heated or not.


In my area, the building codes require that a gas appliance be a certain distance off the floor–possibly 18". I have an attached garage and both the gas water heater and gas furnace are in the garage. The water heater is on a platform so that the burner is well off the floor. Since gasoline fumes are heavier than air, this requirement keeps gasoline fumes from being ignited. The furnace pulls its combustion air from the outside and the burner is sealed off from the garage.

I had thought about putting additional heat in the garage so that I could work in this area. I ran a 240 volt line for a ceiling electric heater. However, the garage is warm enough and I never bought a heater.

Actually, my vehicles would be better off outdoors or in an unheated garage in the winter. In the summer, keeping the cars in the garage when not in use prevents deterioration of the paint from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

If you are going to heat your garage area, I would suggest insulation and an electric unit.

Building codes vary. Visit your town hall. Introduce yourself ot your building inspector. He’'d rather work with you up front than have to force you to make changes later.

Might depend on where you live then. Because I know for a fact it does NOT increase value here.

That depends on the town and the politics involved.

I had MAJOR issues with our town and inspector. When putting an addition on 6 years ago I went to the town office and received answer A, but the building inspector gave me answer B. This went on for MONTHS. I’d ask one question from the town and get a completely different answer from the inspector. It was a nightmare. The building inspector and the town were having a power struggle. And I was caught in the middle of it.

Here’s my idea of a heated garage.


if any one said it wasnt allowed, i would have a real hard time controlling my laughter. this is america, if i want my car warm or i want to be able to do any kind of repairs or projects in my garage/ i will.

So, with that attitude, why do you even care what the regulations are?

My last house had an uninsulated, detached, 2 car garage that I used for repairs and car restorations. I scanned the want ads for a few weeks and found a used, oil fired, 80k BTU house furnace and ended up buying it for $100. It had a 120VAC blower so I rigged it up with a power cord and plugged it right into an existing socket. I bought a cheap winter thermostat for around $15. I rigged the pump up to be recirculating and used an old 5 gallon outboard motor fuel tank. I fitted the tank with a return line and quick disconnects. Some hydraulic hoses made the connection to the furnace. Now I can take the tank to the gas station to fill. A trip to the big box store for a thimble, flue piping and vent cap and installed the chimney through the rear gable end. I had an old damper to use but they’re not that expensive either. Just follow the normal good practices on the venting system and you’ll be fine. There are hundreds of furnace manuals available online that detail venting requirements.

Even in -15F temps, I could get the garage to 75F in 1/2 hour. The 5 gallon fuel can lasted many weeks between fills. I maybe spent $225 on the whole arrangement- cheaper than a torpedo heater and much more effective. When I sold the house, I was going to just unplug it and throw it all out but the new guy was ecstatic about having heat and had no issues with the install. YMMV

But that is something totally different then what the OP is talking about. A heating WORK garage is NOT the same as a garage used by 99.999999% of the people who own garages. It’s just used for storage…NOTHING ELSE.

There are times I wish my garage was heated. When a repair that needs to be done does arise it’s nice to have a warm place to do the work. But repairs on the our last 5 vehicles have been minimal…and when they do come up…a good portion ar during warmer months. For the past 20 years I think I had to do 2 repairs during the winter months in a cold garage.

just because i beleive in the freedom to have garage heat doesnt mean it wont be to code and insurable.

That not a garage, that is a living room. Where is the plazma display TV?

No. In the second post the OP says, “I save myself lots of money servicing my own cars.” What does it look like this garage is used for?