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Old 01-04-2009, 11:26 PM   #1
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Considering Pocket Entry Door at top of stairs


My fiance and I are doing a lot of finishing of her house built in the '80s with much left unfinished. One area we're working on is the entryway at the top of the stairs from the garage. The kitchen entry is on the first floor level, but a floor up from the garage level (due to landscape sloping). We'd like to put a door at the top of the stairs that leads into a "mud room" type of space and the door to the kitchen and an extension (over the garage).

We're thinking about building in a pocket door at the top of the stairs. I still have to determine if the current "frame" is supporting anything, but I'd say probably not. It may have been built originally to support a room with a waterbed on the second floor of the house. There is probably enough room to the side of the stair entryway to build framing for a pocket door (considering 36" steel door). Is a pocket door at the top of a stairway common at all and... is it a possible problem with code? We don't want to open a can of worms at the town hall until we get more information.

Appreciate any feedback on experience or opinions.

Thanks,
Shawn

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Old 01-05-2009, 06:25 AM   #2
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Considering Pocket Entry Door at top of stairs


Even if it is a supporting wall, a proper header will take care of that. Ever seen a basement stair without a door at the top, that should answer that question. But I don't like doors to stairways that are used by sleepy people, personal opinion. IRC code says a door can not open over a stairway without a landing. Pocket door does not swing, so not sure how that would be handled. Check local code.

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Old 01-05-2009, 07:12 AM   #3
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Considering Pocket Entry Door at top of stairs


Code requires the door between living areas and a garage to be a steel door. You will not get this type of door for a pocket door.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:46 PM   #4
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Considering Pocket Entry Door at top of stairs


Is this a door that is going to be seperating the inside living space from the outside? If so i don't think a pocket door is going to give you a good seal for weather/bugs.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:38 PM   #5
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Considering Pocket Entry Door at top of stairs


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Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post
Is this a door that is going to be seperating the inside living space from the outside?
No. The stairway opens into an entry hallway between the kitchen (door) and an addition section with its own entrance. A door to the back yard also goes out on the other side of the hall. We want to finish this to create a mud room type of space.

Since its not 'really' living space, I suppose fire doors on the two entries (kitchen and extension) might satisfy code. Eventually, we'll finish the extension as an in-law apt.

We don't have room for a door to open in because it would interfere with the two entry doors. And, opening over the stairway just isn't acceptable (even if within code)... been there done that and its a real pain.

Thanks,
Shawn
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:19 PM   #6
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Considering Pocket Entry Door at top of stairs


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Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
Code requires the door between living areas and a garage to be a steel door. You will not get this type of door for a pocket door.

Code requires that the door from the garage to living space be fire rated, it does not necessarily need to be steel. As stated above you will not be able to find a fire rated pocket door.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:39 AM   #7
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Considering Pocket Entry Door at top of stairs


do you know of wood doors that are the required 2 hour fire rated with self closing hinges (also a requirement) But it seems this door is at a mud room so none of this applies.

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