Seattle Home Inspector's Blog


Out of sight—can mean out of one’s mind!

The house I want to talk about today, originally had a three car garage.

Very early in the life of the home, perhaps dating even to the time of construction, someone decided one of those garage bays would become living space.

Door opener button location

In this first picture you can see the closet doors built to enclose the water heater. You can also see the overhead door opener buttons on the wall next to what would have originally been the door from the house to the garage. At the bottom right hand corner of the picture you can see the edge of the door from the room to the garage.

The problem is that the garage overhead doors are not “visible” from the opener buttons as required.

Anything can be going on around the doors, either during closing or opening that the person pushing the buttons would not be able to be aware of.

You have to be able to see the doors from the buttons

The buttons need to be relocated to the proper position inside the garage where the overhead doors will be in full few.


Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Seattle Home Inspector


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Comment balloon 8 commentsCharles Buell • November 21 2015 09:42AM


There is no end to what people do. Keeps your job interesting to say the least.

Posted by David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation, Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential (Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC ) about 3 years ago

So sad when a homeowner chooses to turn a perfectly good garage bay into living space. Don't they understand that most men would kill for a larger cave?


Posted by Barry Kessler, Barry Kessler (CENTURY 21 Troop Real Estate) about 3 years ago

It really doesn't pay to try and cut corners when you are remodeling Charles Buell.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) about 3 years ago

That's true - but wouldn't the new garage doors have one of those sensors that would stop the door if there were an impediment?  I agree, however, that the buttons should be within view of the doors - just makes sense.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) about 3 years ago

Is this a code issue? There are properties with detached garages where the doors are not visable from the home. These doors are normally operated from inside the residence.

Posted by David Spencer, Show Me real estate in Kansas City (Keller Williams Northland) about 3 years ago

Hi Charles - I've seen that issue tagged on inspections before, in slightly different circumstances but with the same safety concern. Makes a lot of sense.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 3 years ago

I wonder what the percentage is of people that close in a garage bay or carport for more living space? I see it very often!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 3 years ago

Maybe they should put the laundry room and water heater buttons in the garage.  Tit for tat.

Sounds good to me.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago