How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

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When was a solid wood door first required between the garage and house?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

One of the ways to update the interior of an older home when remodeling it is to replace all the interior doors and hardware. When the work is done by a homeowner or inexperienced contractor, sometimes they overlook the requirement that the door separating the garage from the house must provide protection to the home interior from a fire that starts in the garage. This was traditionally prescribed by the building code as a solid-core wood door not less than 1-3/8” thick, and a hollow-core door is not acceptable.

    We always get asked “Is this some new code requirement?” when we bring up this safety standard. But it actually goes back quite a ways. The original UBC code (Uniform Building Code) included it in their first issued code book in 1927. Southern Standard Building Code, which dates back to 1940, required it for as far back as we can remember. And the multiple code groups that combined in 1972 to create the CABO code (Council of American Building Officials) also had the solid-wood door requirement.

    In 2000, the group reformed as the International Code Council (ICC) to publish the International Residential Code (IRC) and the sold-wood door requirement was still in place. Nowadays, there are a couple of alternatives to a solid-wood door allowed that provide a comparable level of fire separation. To learn about them, see our blog post What are the building code requirements for a door from the garage to the house?

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  To learn more about doors and windows, see these other blog posts:

What causes sweating (condensation) on the inside of windows in the winter? 

Is every exterior door of a house required to have a landing outside? 

 What are the small slots at the bottom of the outside of my window? 

Why does condensation form on the outside of some windows and not others in the morning? 

Why is the garage door track a white tube? 

Why is pressure washing double pane windows an expensive mistake? 

How many exit doors are required for a house?

 How many exit doors are required for a mobile/manufactured home? 

Are openable windows required to have window screens? Will windows with no screens pass a home inspection? 

Can a bedroom door open into the garage?

What is "low-E" window glass? 

What does ANSI 297.1 on glass mean?

Why is a double cylinder deadbolt lock on an exterior door a safety hazard?

How can I check my garage door to make sure it is safe?  

What is an egress window?

• When is safety glass required for windows at stairs and stair landings?

   Visit our SAFETY and DOORS AND WINDOWS pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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