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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Haunters!
I am not exactly sure if this is the right place to post this but anyways. I am going to move very soon and my garage in this house is full and will no longer have anything inside of the garage (except for my props!) I was wondering, do I really need walls. I see posts saying that I need to have fire exits and talk to a fire marshal and then the cost of the walls/backdrop. With the price of the walls I possibly could get another prop so, I am trying do avoid costs as much as possible. As I said before there will be nothing else in the garage. If this plan can work I will use path way marking things for the path. Let me know and please look at this post I need help! Since some are viewing please check out my wanted post and gores manor youtube!
Thanks!
Nick
 

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Hi Nick,
Regarding the fire exits and fire marshal that all depends on your local and state laws. In Nebraska, if there's a roof over it, you have to have an automatic sprinkler system with fire alarm system. Well, you don't have to but you do run the risk of being shut down...yikes. Check your state fire marshal website they usually have something posted
I'm not sure I'm following the rest of your post, but here are a few thoughts, if I'm on the right path.
Walls/tarps/sheets etc. not only give your props a back drop but also prevent 'line of sight' to the next scare.
I don't think you 'need' walls, but you could do it cheap or free with a little work. Depending on your theme you could use free pallets, tree branches, make walls out of cardboard boxes, etc. (I use a lot of dollar store curtains in my haunt, besides going through curtains creeps people out)
After all, part of the fun of being a haunter is being creative!
Hope this helped.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Nick,
Regarding the fire exits and fire marshal that all depends on your local and state laws. In Nebraska, if there's a roof over it, you have to have an automatic sprinkler system with fire alarm system. Well, you don't have to but you do run the risk of being shut down...yikes. Check your state fire marshal website they usually have something posted
I'm not sure I'm following the rest of your post, but here are a few thoughts, if I'm on the right path.
Walls/tarps/sheets etc. not only give your props a back drop but also prevent 'line of sight' to the next scare.
I don't think you 'need' walls, but you could do it cheap or free with a little work. Depending on your theme you could use free pallets, tree branches, make walls out of cardboard boxes, etc. (I use a lot of dollar store curtains in my haunt, besides going through curtains creeps people out)
After all, part of the fun of being a haunter is being creative!
Hope this helped.

Great! Thanks Grey Lady.
I have been thinking about doing a haunt now with walls.
Thanks again,
Nick
 

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Lady Of The Lake
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I'm doing my first garage haunt this year and I am not building actual walls. I have 5 different scenes I have a different back drop or scene setter for each scene to seperate them visually. I'm also going to put small dividers between each scene such as tree branches , long sheer curtains and corn stalks. I hope I'm explaining this clearly.
For example my witch scene has a plastic scene setter that looks like stones. I will set up my witch scene and place tree branches in pots on both sides so it creates a boxed in feeling.
Next to that
I will add my Forrest background set up my sleepy hollow scene and use corn stalks on both sides of the scene.
This method leaves the area open for walking through, doesn't upset fire marshals and is less time building. Of course I don't have lots of scares. My set up is more visual with little scares here and there. If you are going for scares this might not work as well for you.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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Are you building a home haunt? If so, check with your insurance agent as the sprinklers and fire marshal stuff doesn't apply if it's not a business
 

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aka Halloweenqueen
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We have been doing a garage haunt for years. We actually use two options, depending on that year's theme. We have made light weight panels using weed fabric and furring, see Tara's haunt wall tutorial. We use our haunt panels when we do 3D (like we did last year). When our theme uses little to no light we string heavy twine and cover with black plastic sheeting. We use eye hooks to string the twine. So cheap and easy to change the maze design each year.
 

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Are you building a home haunt? If so, check with your insurance agent as the sprinklers and fire marshal stuff doesn't apply if it's not a business
From my experience, codes are based on where you live, 4 or 5 years ago where I live, home haunts that weren't 'open air' were shut down if they didn't have sprinkler systems etc. I was home haunting at that time and couldn't use my garage. I just wouldn't want anyone to go to all that work and then get disappointed, it's easier to check with the state fire marshal, IMO. I know that would've broken my heart if I had been shut down.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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From my experience, codes are based on where you live, 4 or 5 years ago where I live, home haunts that weren't 'open air' were shut down if they didn't have sprinkler systems etc. I was home haunting at that time and couldn't use my garage. I just wouldn't want anyone to go to all that work and then get disappointed, it's easier to check with the state fire marshal, IMO. I know that would've broken my heart if I had been shut down.
never heard that for a home haunt...but like you said...different jurisdictions, different rules.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That is something I forgot to mention. Gores Manor is kept up all year long, set up they way you'll see it on Halloween. Halloween is will be open as well as the day before. But, that is it those are the only two days it will be open. I have also started building the walls already, and I figured out how to do it better thanks to youtube.
Nick
 
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never heard that for a home haunt...but like you said...different jurisdictions, different rules.
Yep different towns have different rules and even in the same town it can change from year to year depending on who is the fire marshal. I know more then a few haunters in the next state over. One pro in the big city has MANY hoops to jump through to get the ok. Another pro a county over from him has very few, says it's cause he has a younger marshal who is more flexible. Then a home haunter who has been running a charity haunt at the other end of the state who never had any issues till a new marshal came in 5 or so years ago and shut them down for a number of code violations. For 30 years they had assumed if it was their personal property and were NOT running it as a for profit business they were ok to do whatever they thought was safe. Nope they were told that as soon as they invited the public in the fire marshal had the say what was safe. Another home haunter had to jump through hoops to not only deal with the fire marshal but to get the city council to approve their haunt since they were "building" a temporary structure in front of the garage. Then of course I know a third that has to deal with housing development covenants too... Those covenants can rule over everything from what you can place in your yard, to what color you can paint your house, to how how much and what kind of grass you can have to how long you can have your Christmas display running, their rules can be down right scary. All that takes is one nasty neighbor to get you in a whole lot of trouble with the housing board.

You didn't say if you've done a garage haunt before, just that it would be empty of everything but the props. If you had a haunt in the space before then I will assume you know your local rules. An empty garage is a LARGE open space to fill with just some props. Without some "texture" it might feel like a showroom and not a haunt. I'd say unless you have ONE HUGE themed room I think you'll need some kind of wall to break up the space. The suggests already given are good ones. We've used a number. Cheap lengths of fabric, I look for yardage at the thrift stores and garage sales, even king sized bed sheets are great. Cheap black plastic, scene setters, weed block, I use office clips to hang it from twine or wire strung around the room. We've made 2x2 frames and stapled fabric, plastic, scene setters, weed block to them for walls, or even windows... a short string of Christmas lights behind a scene setters can make a lovely "window" to the spooky woods. I've even used bubble wrap in an alien scene... again a very cool effect with some strings s of colored LED's behind them. Old cyclone fence, pallets, old wood from decks and fences (watch for these for free from craigslist) we got lucky, an old haunt was getting rid of their plywood walls so have a number of those on hand. Hanging groups of pool noodles or pipe insulation from the ceiling.
 
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