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Minimum height for entry doors?


jvstevens's Avatar
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08-12-15, 02:58 PM   #1  
Minimum height for entry doors?

I would like to add a door to my backyard from the master bedroom. However, the exterior wall is somewhat short in height, and at best, the rough opening for a new door would be only 76" high. Width is not an issue. Is this enough height for a door? It would certainly be tall enough for most people to go through, but I'm wondering about whether such a door would be in violation of any building code standards for min door height.

Thanks in advance.

 
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08-12-15, 03:19 PM   #2  
Depends what code you go by in your county or city. Here is a link to some info on that.

A door in an exterior load bearing wall will require a header.

 
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08-12-15, 05:24 PM   #3  
Thanks for the info. I'll see if I can find out what the requirements are for my city.

There is already a header in place. Currently, there are two 6' wide x 2' high windows in that wall located high up on the wall. I'll be removing one of the two windows and putting the door at one end of the opening. Not sure what I'll be doing with the remaining roughly 3' of space where the window was. Probably putting in a smaller window of some sort. So, there is a header already in place. Though, now that I think about it, I could put in a smaller header, now that the span is down to 3' from 6'. That will give me a couple of extra inches of height, if needed.

 
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08-12-15, 05:32 PM   #4  
That sounds like a good plan. Get some glass in your new door and eliminate the window. Just make sure your new header is sized correctly.

 
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08-12-15, 06:58 PM   #5  
Yeah, I like the idea of the door with glass in it. My other entry door to the backyard from the dining room is a three pane glass door. Maybe I'll try to find a matching one for the master bedroom.

The minimum header for a 32" door is 3.5" (i.e. a 4x4), correct?

 
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08-12-15, 07:17 PM   #6  
A 32" door will require a 34 1/2" opening. There is no way for us to say what size it needs to be because of all the structural things we can't see. 1 story or 2... the kind of roof that is on it, the width of the building (as measured from the wall the door will be in to the opposite load bearing wall, assuming your pitched roof is sitting on those walls) and the snow load in your area.

See Table R502.5(1) - for exterior walls. You may have been consulting R502.5(2) which is for interior walls. Also, a 4x4 is never acceptable as a header in a load bearing wall unless you are sure your inspector will allow it. I suspect you will need a minimum of a 4x6. Since your top plate is doubled, you should be able to remove the bottom top plate in order to go up one size on your header, if needed, provided you strap across the bottom top plate to reinforce it. 12" beyond header on each side.

 
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08-12-15, 07:59 PM   #7  
Standard door height is 80". You are 4" below that at RO. That would place your finished door height at about 75" if you are lucky.
It's your call, but I wouldn't alter the header in any way.
Are your dining room eaves higher than the bedroom? I'm guessing the bedroom roof drops down and that's why no door.
You want to be careful opening up walls in California and I would not expect this to be approved.


Brian
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08-12-15, 09:05 PM   #8  
Yes, the roof is slightly lower in the bedroom compared to the dining room, as the exterior wall has a slight "dog leg" (about 1') between the dining room and bedroom. Its a 1 story ranch style home, similar to the Eichler style homes of California. Open beam ceilings. Here in the SF Bay Area there is no snow...barely any rain even!

Probably best to just leave the header as is.

 
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08-12-15, 09:44 PM   #9  
It doesn't hurt to look into it. If they won't let you do it, that's one thing. But it shouldn't stop you from seeing if it's possible.

 
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08-13-15, 03:42 AM   #10  
Mobile home doors are typically 76" high so that might be something to check into.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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08-13-15, 05:12 AM   #11  
it shouldn't stop you from seeing if it's possible
Yeah, I didn't mean to shoot it down completely. It would be nice to have a door if it can pass code.


Brian
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