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-   -   Code Question --- Door to Basement Req'd? (http://www.houserepairtalk.com/f10/code-question-door-basement-reqd-12635/)

Curmudgeon10 11-27-2011 01:18 PM

Code Question --- Door to Basement Req'd?
 
I have four cased openings in a congested area between the garage entry and the kitchen: two on one side, right next to each other (opening to dining room without door, and opening to basement, with door), and two exactly opposite those (opening to utility room with door, and closet with door). This is a circus when we have family over. Doors need to be closed so others can open and people can pass, etc.

So the question is --- what requirement, if any is there that I maintain a door to the basement staircase? The basement is a walkout, fully furnished media room, bedroom, bath, and shop and has a nine foot ceiling. Within the basement, the utilities (gas furnace and hot water) are in their own separate walled and doored space.

I hope I can do away with the basement door, because if I can't my wife wants me to install bi fold doors, which I hate.

paul52446m 11-28-2011 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Curmudgeon10 (Post 64377)
I have four cased openings in a congested area between the garage entry and the kitchen: two on one side, right next to each other (opening to dining room without door, and opening to basement, with door), and two exactly opposite those (opening to utility room with door, and closet with door). This is a circus when we have family over. Doors need to be closed so others can open and people can pass, etc.

So the question is --- what requirement, if any is there that I maintain a door to the basement staircase? The basement is a walkout, fully furnished media room, bedroom, bath, and shop and has a nine foot ceiling. Within the basement, the utilities (gas furnace and hot water) are in their own separate walled and doored space.

I hope I can do away with the basement door, because if I can't my wife wants me to install bi fold doors, which I hate.

I don't know the code for this, but its your house. Are you going to call the inspector over? I guess the only thing i would be concerned about is small kids falling down the stairs. Could the basement door be changed so it swings in , not out? Or would't that help. Paul

nealtw 11-28-2011 02:15 PM

I don't think it is code to have a door but it might be hard to control airflow with out a door somewhere. I grew up in house with the door that swung out over the stairs, not a good idea.
Can the utility door swing in? If you go bifold, you could look at hinging them like french doors.

Curmudgeon10 11-29-2011 08:08 AM

Thanks
 
That's a good idea --- french type doors. I am resisting still because right hand swinging unit will be limited by the handrail, and being realistic about the care (lack of) my grandkids (who are almost adults) take when visiting, fratricide is going to occur to that door, the handrail, or both.

If there is no code issue, as you seem to indicate, I'm going to remove the door and see what the impact might be, if any, on HVAC. The door is usually only closed when huge explosions and gunfire issue from the PS3 and media equipment or when the dog's movements need to be restricted due to trades people in the house, etc.

Curmudgeon10 11-29-2011 08:11 AM

Small Kids
 
For Paul, I used that argument on the wife and she correctly pointed out that the staircase to the second floor with handrail and balusters has no door at the top.

I think a subsequent buyer, if equipped with little kids, could just put up a kid's gate at the top of each staircase and not have all the door interference problems I have.

nealtw 11-29-2011 08:21 AM

With a few people in a tight area an open staircase may be dangerous, You may need a gramma or grampa gate.

joecaption 11-29-2011 09:00 AM

Why not call your local code officer?

Curmudgeon10 11-30-2011 08:54 AM

Because I live in a county where you cannot do that. You must travel to the county building, have an appointment, and then (based on history) wait as if you are in a doctor's office for someone to show up and talk to you. That's why I like this forum!


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