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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you build in jurisdictions whose codes use the language of the 2009 IRC, here is the pertinant language (excerpt credit to a regular here, Mr Kent Whitten, a.k.a. The Duke, a.k.a. Framerman):

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.


So what do you do? Do you spend more money and get some steel-framed assembly, the door panel faced in steel, all carrying a one-hour or even 90-minute rating? If so, why?

Back to the code. This question does not pertain to you if your jurisdiction has overlaid a more stringent requirement on that opening than what the IRC is stipulating. It is only for those who build where the IRC language is used and has been adopted.

My state (NY) has the kind of "override" language that makes for a more expensive door, for example. The state residential building code here calls for a 3/4-hour fire rated assembly equipped with self-closing device.

But if you're in a place that uses the IRC language, why use more door?
 

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General Contractor
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You use "more door" for common sense. Garages have chemicals and fumes and running engines. So, beyond the basic fire protection, get a door that completely seals off any air flow between ANY PART of the house and the garage.

How often does it have to be preached and repeated here that the 'code' is but the bare minimum of safety and good sense. People seem to think, "How much poisoning of my family can I get away with?" or "How much can I risk their safety before the government steps in and makes me act responsibly?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We've unheated garages, so all doors between house and garage have weatherstripped jambs and heads, and sweeps or gaskets between bottom and threshold.

When I said "less door" I should have been more specific. If you are under 2009 IRC, you may use the same type wood frame and sill as you have on any other entry doors of the house, and you must use either a code-prescribed door, or any door carrying a 20-minute fire rating.

I've a feeling that a lot of contractors use a splitjamb steel frame and a steel door, when they don't have to.

Furthermore, for those interested in design and aesthetics, a steel door can ruin the looks of a good mudroom.
 

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The Duke
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To make things perfectly clear, all I did was copy what is out of the code book.

This does not mean I agree with what it says. To me, it makes no sense to have a 1 hour fire wall and a 20 minute door. I lean towards North with design but I have to question this codes logic.
 

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Furthermore, for those interested in design and aesthetics, a steel door can ruin the looks of a good mudroom.
I use B label doors for garage/house. Specifically ThermaTru wood frame. You can get a B label in other than steel. They usually have a solid gypsum core although I got one a couple weeks ago that was fiberglass 2 panel and the core where the locks were bored looked like balls of gypsum mixed with something else, that was a gray color. That door weighed a ton.
Years ago I had a code guy tell me that the wood frame was fine provided you did the following:
Hinges and lock plates had to be screwed into the studs
Space between jamb and stud had to be kept to a minimum (1/4") and use foam or fire caulk to close off that space.
Use spring loaded hinges.
Must be prehung unit with the aluminum sill attached at millwork shop.
That is how I order all my garage/house doors. If you compare a regular steel entry door to a steel fire door you will notice on the fire door the steel wraps around the edges whereas on a regular entry door there is a wood edge.
 

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Upnorth

Upnorth

If it's new construction you should be looking at The 2007 Codes of New York State Resential code of N.Y. sect 309.1 This code is for ALL N.Y.S. except N.Y.C

The 2007 code is on line go to N.Y.S. Code web site

good luck

al
 

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Pompass Ass
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To make things perfectly clear, all I did was copy what is out of the code book.

This does not mean I agree with what it says. To me, it makes no sense to have a 1 hour fire wall and a 20 minute door. I lean towards North with design but I have to question this codes logic.
In Florida on commercial projects where a 1 hour wall is required, we are only required to use a door rated for 20 minutes.

The explanation I got was that even a 20 minute door takes longer than 20 minutes to burn through.

It seems to me if you have a 1 hour rated wall, you should also have a 1 hour rated door as well.

The way they figure rated walls doesn't make sense anyway, 1 layer of 5/8" type x is 20 minutes, the stud is 20 minutes, how does the wall cavity between studs get the 1 hour rating? the way I see things it should be a 40 minute wall, adding rockwool will give another 20 minutes.
 

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Had a job once where the wrong doors were sent out, we thought.
We needed 1 hour fire rating labels on solid steel doors with metal frames.
The supplier showed up and charged us $15 per door to stick the one hour rating decals on the door.
Same door. Who'd a thunk... ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was involved in a few of those field-labeling things when I was in the door biz. At ThermaTru, we "self-labeled" some doors where distribution was into jurisdictions that accepted manufacturer labels, and we were under the Warnock Hersey inspection and labeling program for doors going into jurisdictions calling for labels by independent testing agencies.

Having witnessed many fire tests, it is amazing how little is left of a foam-filled door at the end of the test period. All that is required is that it stay within the opening, without peeling or warping away over prescribed limits.

As for 20-minute doors between house and garage, and the question of adequacy, the builder and property owner alway have the option to build more than what the code prescribes. I'll bet that the code-writing committees have not made an error in doing this, however. There is considerable discussion, over a long period of review cycles, that takes place to put these things in place.



Residential sprinklers will solve all of this, won't they?
 
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