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    Replace old door, garage to basement

    Replace old door, garage to basement

    New postby RobFox3 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:38 pm

    My attached garage (in Massachusetts; built in 1951) has a well with 4-steps down to an old wooden door in the concrete wall into the basement.
    (Garage also has a fire-rated steel entry door to the kitchen and and a man-door to the outside.)
    I want to replace that wooden door which has nice solid wood frame/brickmold that I'd prefer not to replace.
    1) is this door (connecting two non-habitable spaces) required to be fire-rated?
    2) if Yes would the wood frame/brickmold need to replaced also?

    Posts: 1
    Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:58 am

    Re: Replace old door, garage to basement

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:48 am

    Based on what I could find, the 2009 IRC is the base code and Massachusetts has amendments to it, some changing items, some deleting items, however, none affect the applicable code section:
    From the 2009 IRC: (bold and underlining are mine)
    - R302.5 Dwelling/garage opening/penetration protection. Openings and penetrations through the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be in accordance with Sections R302.5.1 through R302.5.3.
    - - R302.5.1 Opening protection. Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 13⁄8 inches (35 mm) in thickness, solid or honeycomb core steel doors not less than 13⁄8 inches (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors.

    From the amendments - note that R302 has no amendments: (underlining is mine)
    - - 51.00: continued
    - - - R301.2.2 Exception Delete the following text: ‘located in Seismic Design Category C’
    - - - R301.2.4 Delete the exception, only.
    - - - R301.2.4.1 Delete subsection.
    - - - R303.3 Add two sentences as follows:

    Based on the above that door would need to be one of these:
    - solid wood doors not less than 13⁄8 inches (35 mm) in thickness,
    - solid or honeycomb core steel doors not less than 13⁄8 inches (35 mm) thick, or
    - 20-minute fire-rated doors.

    Is the basement sealed off from the outside and insulated? If so, then that door is also serving as an 'exterior' door (separating the conditioned living space from the unconditioned garage space, that door should also have weatherstripping around it and a threshold to seal out air and temperature differences.

    If you went with the "or 20 minute fire-rated door" option, then the jambs would definitely require replacement as a rated door comes with matching rated jambs; however, if you chose one of the other two options then whether or not the jambs need to be replaced would depend on if the jambs allow for weatherstripping and a proper threshold or not.

    If the basement is not sealed off from the outside and is not insulated (the insulation is at the floor above the basement), then the door would not serve as an exterior door; however, you would still want the weatherstripping and threshold to help seal back carbon monoxide from the garage seeping down into the basement (to limit it as much as possible) because the basement door is leading 'down' from the garage and carbon monoxide will settle down into the recessed in front of that door.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan

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    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC.
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