Minimum Hallway Width

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Old 08-26-05, 10:59 AM
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Minimum Hallway Width

Hi,
I just bought a house and am in the process of planning out some remodeling that I'd like to do. In the present house layout, access to the attached 2 car garage is via a "back door" from through either of two kids bedrooms, rather than directly off a hallway. Yes, I know that's a strange design. What kid wants their parents going through their bedroom in the morning to get to the car in the garage, or to do the laundry? Anyway, what I'm thinking of doing is making a new hallway 90 degrees from the existing hallway (which is in front of the bedrooms), by knocking out the 24" wide bedroom closets that are between the two bedrooms, and constructing a new, partition wall. Hopefully that makes sense. My basic question is:

What is the minimum hallway width I can get away with, both from a code point of view and from a desirability point of view? Obviously, I'd like to minimize the width as much as possible, as it "eats" into already tight bedroom space. But I also don't want an unacceptably narrow hallway. I'm assuming there must be a fire door (20 minute?) between the garage and the new hallway. Are there minimum fire door widths? This requirement may determine the width of my hallway.

Any help you can provide would be great. Thanks!!

james
 
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Old 08-26-05, 05:58 PM
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Minimum Hall Width

You did not say where you lived, and it makes a difference, since many time codes are different depending on where you live. You will indeed need to check with you permit department. Now in most areas it is 32" minimum. Fire door yes, 60 minute or 90 minute. It is 90 minute here. Also against code to enter a garage through a bedroom. Also, there must be either a 60 minute or 90 minute fire wall on the garage side that is aginst the house. Is this how the house was represented to you ? You definetly need to talk with your code people. Good Luck
 
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Old 08-26-05, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack the Contractor
You did not say where you lived, and it makes a difference, since many time codes are different depending on where you live. You will indeed need to check with you permit department. Now in most areas it is 32" minimum. Fire door yes, 60 minute or 90 minute. It is 90 minute here. Also against code to enter a garage through a bedroom. Also, there must be either a 60 minute or 90 minute fire wall on the garage side that is aginst the house. Is this how the house was represented to you ? You definetly need to talk with your code people. Good Luck
Thanks, Jack, for the quick reply. I live in Sunnyvale, CA (heart of Silicon Valley). I don't suppose you would happen to know the code requirements out here would you?

The inspection showed that there is a firewall between the garage and main house in the form of 5/8" drywall.
 
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Old 08-26-05, 09:52 PM
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Min Hallway

Good your firewall in the garage is good. Check with your Local code dept on the hallway width. Good Luck It is better you get the right answer from them. There may be some issues in your local area we are unaware of.
 
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Old 08-28-05, 07:14 AM
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The City of Sunnyvale has adopted the 2001 CBC as its operative building code, which is largely based upon the UBC.

Here is a link that is informative;
http://www.modestogov.com/cdd/pdf/bu...ntial-code.pdf

Pay praticular attention to corridor, egress for sleeping rooms, smoke detectors, minimum room sizes, light and ventilation as well as exiting assemblys.

Prior to removing the closets, verify that you are not removing any bearing walls so that you'll make provisions for that eventuality.

There are also minimum requirements for switching of lights and placement of recepticles.
 
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Old 08-28-05, 07:38 AM
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thebeave,

The current minimum Hallways Width, based on the IRC 2003, is 3 feet. R311.3.

The link below that Snoonyb provided is outdated but may be accurate where he resides. Although it provides some good info which appears current, confirmation with your local building department is highly recommended.

As Jack had suggested, call your local building authority for the MINIMUM requirements. I'm sure you'll find that 3 feet is their requirement.

Hope this helps!
 

Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 08-28-05 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 08-28-05, 03:03 PM
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Doug, California does not operate under the IRC, It may use it in some cases as a reference, only, while the UBC is the most relevant and persistent reference.
You may feel that it is out dated by virtue of the publishing date, but as you well know, the information is from public records and if the City of Sunnyvale has not made amendments or has not published them or held the meeting for those amendments as a function of a non-public meeting, they would not be published, however, if you visit Sunnyvale's web site, " The City of Sunnyvale has adopted the 2001 CBC as its operative building code, which is largely based upon the UBC",is current.
I could scan my codebooks and publish them, but then, that, would be hearsay.
So a simple search "2001 CBC sec. 1004.3.3.2" or "UBC 1004.3.3.2", as I said,
"Here is a link that is informative".
 
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Old 08-29-05, 07:04 PM
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thebeave,

we are on the cbc no relation some days to the ubc.

36" minimum clear on a hallway (inside of finished sheetrock).

2'-8" solid core rated door w/ self closer and smoke gasket.

any lumber yard or hardware store will have what you need.
the self closer can simply be "baumer" hinges.

You will need to install new closets to keep the bedrooms legal bedrooms
by definition.

I apologize for not getting to you sooner I was fishing in hawaii.

I hope this helps.

sincerely,

Brian Garrison
General Contractor/Professional Building Designer
 
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Old 08-29-05, 08:13 PM
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Wow...thanks you guys, for all your hard work and research for my questions. I am going to go ahead and make my hallway 36". That's wider than I hoped for, but its the best I can do at this point. The bedrooms will have closets too. Thanks again for all the help. I really appreciate it! I hope I didn't start any on-line fights.

By the way are all the building codes available to browse on-line for free? If so, what's the URL? I've looked briefly but didn't find anything.

James
 
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Old 08-31-05, 10:11 AM
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"By the way are all the building codes available to browse on-line for free? If so, what's the URL? I've looked briefly but didn't find anything."

What you can find and access is, however, if you do not have ADOBE ACROBAT READER, which is a free download, you will have limited access.
Any file, such as the following, which has PDF in its text will require it.
Its an immense tool, try it.

Here is a link that is informative;
http://www.modestogov.com/cdd/pdf/b...ential-code.pdf

You will also find direct references to the UBC form the CBC, from which it is adopted.
This is in part due to the "adoption" process, in that a praticular municipality/ jurisdiction may elect to ammend protions of a code to fit specific condition not addressed within that code, to fit their application.

Ergo, the existing code still applies, and the adoption process is continued into the future.

There is also the public library.
 
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Old 08-31-05, 09:19 PM
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thebeave,

one more heads up. Make sure the rooms you are leaving as bedrooms are at least 7x10 clear not including the closet. You must also have fire egress through a window. So you will have to find a spot in the room to place the closets that all these items get met.

good luck.

Brian Garrison
 
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Old 09-01-05, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Garrison
thebeave,

one more heads up. Make sure the rooms you are leaving as bedrooms are at least 7x10 clear not including the closet. You must also have fire egress through a window. So you will have to find a spot in the room to place the closets that all these items get met.

good luck.

Brian Garrison
Thanks. Both bedrooms will be bigger than 7x10 (not including the closet) after the hallway addition. My current plans for the bedroom closets are to take up a bit of space at the end of the garage to accomodate the 2 new bedroom closets. That is, the two doorways that currently provide exit from the bedrooms into the garage will be fitted with closet doors and a new end wall will be constructed in the garage. This will shorten the length of the garage by the depth of the closets (about 2' or so?). This new back wall of the closets will be constructed as a firewall, of course, with a solid core firedoor in between the two closets for entrance into the new hallway. Which brings up two questions that I might as well ask while I'm here:

1) is there a minimum closet depth required by the building codes (CBC, if you happen to know the Calif codes)?

2) Is there a minimum garage length required by the building codes?

Almost forgot. Both bedrooms have windows to the outside for egress. One has a 4'x4' window that has a sill about 34" from the floor. The other bedroom has a 6'x3' window with a sill that is about 46" above the floor. I take it the first window is OK, but the second one needs modification (increase size of change location) to bring it under 44"? Or would a kindly inspector let me slide on the 2" difference?
 
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Old 09-02-05, 02:58 PM
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thebeave,

I always design my closets to be 2' deep minimum as this way the clothes do not get hurt. with regards to the window. You are not changing the fact that the bedrooms are existing nor are you changing the existing windows (fire egress). You can always ask/argue (your choice) that the current codes are not applicable as the windows were to code at the time of construction. With regards to the minimum depth of a garage. You wil need to call the building department/planning department. For example here we are required two off street parking (1) covered (1) uncovered and they must be 20' in depth and can not include the driveway which is part of the setback and considered a pull out apron from the parking. So by taking two feet of your garage you may be incroaching minimum depth requirements which would be required to meet current codes as you are altering it.

let me know if you have any other questions. And I am familiar with calif. code as I am over in santa rosa 1-2 hours away from y'all :-)

Brian Garrison
General Contractor/Professional Building Designer
 
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Old 09-02-05, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Garrison
thebeave,

I always design my closets to be 2' deep minimum as this way the clothes do not get hurt. with regards to the window. You are not changing the fact that the bedrooms are existing nor are you changing the existing windows (fire egress). You can always ask/argue (your choice) that the current codes are not applicable as the windows were to code at the time of construction. With regards to the minimum depth of a garage. You wil need to call the building department/planning department. For example here we are required two off street parking (1) covered (1) uncovered and they must be 20' in depth and can not include the driveway which is part of the setback and considered a pull out apron from the parking. So by taking two feet of your garage you may be incroaching minimum depth requirements which would be required to meet current codes as you are altering it.

let me know if you have any other questions. And I am familiar with calif. code as I am over in santa rosa 1-2 hours away from y'all :-)

Brian Garrison
General Contractor/Professional Building Designer
Thanks Brian. I will heed your advice, and appreciate your input. I actually grew up just 60 miles north of you in Ukiah (parents still live there). We used to go to Santa Rosa on occassion if we were in the mood for some "big city action". Now, its 25 years later and I'm surrounded by big cities!!
 
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Old 09-03-05, 10:17 AM
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thebeave,

my wife is from ukiah. only way she could survive my redneck ways combined w/ construction site mentality. Live and learn. besides ukiah is now on its way to becoming "big city life" I have to go to clearlake to be with my own kind nowadays. Just kidding I still have all my teeth. I was bass fishing there 4 weeks ago and it was crazy. 40-50 4-10lb bass a day. A bad day fishing is still better than the best day working. I was in Kuaii last week and landed a 250 lb galapogos shark.



Brian Garrison
 
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Old 09-03-05, 10:23 AM
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