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    Is man door reqd at attached garage for single family R-3?

    Is man door reqd at attached garage for single family R-3?

    New postby addtext on Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:42 pm

    I wanted to ask if there is any code requirement for single family
    home attached garages to have a door from the garage to the exterior?
    I would like to remove the man door (34" x 6'-8") in our garage and
    use the wall space for shelving. If so, then there would only be the
    garage door for getting outside or going thru the house to the front
    door. Does an attached garage require a man door to the exterior?
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    Re: Is man door reqd at attached garage for single family R-3?

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:43 pm

    addtext wrote:Does an attached garage require a man door to the exterior?


    No, the IRC (International Residential Code) does not require a person door from a garage. A garage is not considered "habitable space" and is used for "vehicle storage", which is its primary intended use, so the vehicle door which is provided for that purpose is all that is required.

    Another reason a person door is not required from the garage is that the garage is not allowed to be considered as an egress path, one may not be required to egress from the living area through the garage to the outdoors.

    However, before you close that door up, I recommend you check with your local building department to verify they do not have a local requirement for such a door (they should not require such a door for the reasons given, but it is best to verify that with them).

    Also, if you keep the door locked and simply discontinue using the existing door, then place your shelves in front of the door, no one from inside the garage will be able to access the door (thus the door being there is not a problem) and, because the door is locked, no one from outside will be able to access the garage through that door (thus the door being there is not a problem).

    This allows the door to remain, and when you go to sell, your buyer may want the door there.

    Additionally, removing the door and making the wall water tight and weather resistant will be a problem with many types of siding, as well as making the new siding match in with the existing siding so as to not "show the outline of the door".

    Personally, if I did not want the door, I would simply remove the lock and handle set and install a dead bolt from the inside with a blank cover over the outside, this eliminates the outside door knob and anyone trying to get in, yet, locks the door with the dead bolt lock. Then I would put the shelving in front of the door, keeping the removed lockset in a bag hanging from the dead bolt lock where you would be able to find it in 5 years and place the door back in service when needed or wanted by you or others.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
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    Re: Is man door reqd at attached garage for single family R-3?

    New postby Ken Amelin on Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:40 am

    Jerry,

    My MA code book, which is same as 2003 IRC states that a dwelling unt requires two means of egress and that the secondary means of egress may be through a garage provided the entry door to the the garage and exit door within the garage are a minimum of 32 inches wide and meet other requirements within code.

    You may have answered this person in error, if locking or removing the door does not provide two means of egress from the residence.
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    Re: Is man door reqd at attached garage for single family R-3?

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:40 pm

    Hi Ken,

    Ken Amelin wrote:My MA code book, which is same as 2003 IRC states that a dwelling unt requires two means of egress and that the secondary means of egress may be through a garage provided the entry door to the the garage and exit door within the garage are a minimum of 32 inches wide and meet other requirements within code.



    If your MA code book says that, then it is different than the 2003 IRC. No code that I am aware of allows egress through a garage as a garage is a separate and different occupancy type.

    Please post your MA code, here is the 2003 IRC code. (underlining and bold are mine)
    - R311.4 Doors.
    - - R311.4.1 Exit door required. Not less than one exit door conforming to this section shall be provided for each dwelling unit. The required exit door shall provide for direct access from the habitable portions of the dwelling to the exterior without requiring travel through a garage. Access to habitable levels not having an exit in accordance with this section shall be by a ramp in accordance with Section R311.6 or a stairway in accordance with Section R311.5.

    Note the "without requiring travel through a garage".
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
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    Re: Is man door reqd at attached garage for single family R-3?

    New postby Ken Amelin on Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:18 am

    Jerry,

    Here's the MA code section:

    5311.4 Doors

    5311.4.1 Exit Doors Required.
    "Egress from all dwelling units shall be by means of two exit doors, remote as possible from each other .........."

    5311.4.2 Exit Door Types and Sizes.

    The minimum nominal width of at least one of the exit doors required by 780 CMR 5311.4 shall not be less than 36 inches (914 mm) in width and the minimum height shall be 6 feet, eight inches (2032 mm). The 36 inch (914mm) exit door shall be side hinged. All other required exit doors and doors leading to or from enclosed stairways, or to interior vestibules shall not be less than 32 inches (813 mm) in nominal width or less than six feet, eight inches (2032 mm) in nominal height and may be of the sliding or hinged type. The 36 inch (914mm) required exit door shall provide for direct access from the habitable portions of the dwelling to the exterior without requiring travel through a garage. The 32 inch (813 mm) secondary exit door may provide egress through an attached garage, provided that the attached garage is also provided with a 32 inch (813 mm) exit door meeting the requirements of 780 CMR 5311. ........."
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    Re: Is man door reqd at attached garage for single family R-3?

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:01 pm

    Ken,

    Bold is my highlighting what is in the IRC and does not allow the secondary egress through a garage, followed by underlining the part which is *not* in the IRC and which contradicts the first part, almost like making an exception to the 'not allowed through a garage' part.

    Keep in mind, though, that the additional wording in the MA code makes the MA code *not* the same as the IRC. The IRC *does not* provide for that secondary exit to go through the garage.

    Ken Amelin wrote:Here's the MA code section:
    5311.4 Doors

    5311.4.1 Exit Doors Required.
    "Egress from all dwelling units shall be by means of two exit doors, remote as possible from each other .........."

    5311.4.2 Exit Door Types and Sizes.

    The minimum nominal width of at least one of the exit doors required by 780 CMR 5311.4 shall not be less than 36 inches (914 mm) in width and the minimum height shall be 6 feet, eight inches (2032 mm). The 36 inch (914mm) exit door shall be side hinged. All other required exit doors and doors leading to or from enclosed stairways, or to interior vestibules shall not be less than 32 inches (813 mm) in nominal width or less than six feet, eight inches (2032 mm) in nominal height and may be of the sliding or hinged type. The 36 inch (914mm) required exit door shall provide for direct access from the habitable portions of the dwelling to the exterior without requiring travel through a garage. The 32 inch (813 mm) secondary exit door may provide egress through an attached garage, provided that the attached garage is also provided with a 32 inch (813 mm) exit door meeting the requirements of 780 CMR 5311. ........."


    I find it strange that the MA code does allow (it says "may") for that secondary egress to go through the garage, not sure why it does, but it does, so I will no longer be able to say 'no code I know of allows for the secondary egress to be through an attached garage', the MA code does, as an exception to the 'not allowed through the garage' part.

    Thus, when referencing the IRC, the secondary exit *IS NOT* allowed to go through the garage ... and if you are in MA, the MA code - which is DIFFERENT than the IRC - *does* allow for that exception with the condition that the doors be 32 inches wide, etc. ... I am pointing out that it is 'different' in all caps to show you that the MA code is not the same as the IRC, meaning that you probably want to say that the MA 'is based on' the IRC, not that it is 'the same as the IRC', there may well be other differences too.

    The MA code is probably similar to the Florida code in that *it is based on* the ICC codes, but has differences as created and adopted by the powers that be in Florida.

    Thank you for posting the MA code section.
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