1. ## Halway

Group,

Have been unable to find a code reference for allowable projection into a hallway that serves as the egress line of travel servicing sleeping rooms in a single family home. To the point; Can the discharge end of the hallway have an arched opening with a head height of 6 feet 4 inches and a width of 30 inches?

311.6 states that the minimum width of a hallway to be 3 feet, but does not address ceiling height or projections.

Logically (ha,ha,ha) one would think that the projection should be no less than than the required clear opening of the egress door 311.2 which is 32 inches wide and 78 inches high.

Any and all help will be appreciated

2. ## Re: Halway

Mark,

Besides the required exit/egress door, look in the code book to find the size of ANY other door in a single family house.
You'll be looking for a long time...

3. ## Re: Halway

While the width of doors other than the required egress is not addressed in the code, the minimum width of a hallway is addressed in the codes, so is the minimum headroom.

I do not have the code handy, nut as I recall, the minimum width is 36" finished wall to finished wall and the minimum headroom is either 7' or 6'8".

The question on width with the arch is answered first with a question:
a) Is the arch only at the end of the hall or is there another arch within the length of the hall?
b) If the arch is only at the end of the hall, that is not much different than having a door at the end of the hall. That leads to a discussion on whether that door needs to be 3' minimum to match the minimum width of the hall or whether that door can be 2' wide.
c) If the arch is within the length of the hall then the minimum with between the sides of the arch would need to be 3' minimum.

Regardless, the minimum headroom / door / opening height would be 6'8".

4. ## Re: Halway

Originally Posted by mark tyson
Group,

Have been unable to find a code reference for allowable projection into a hallway that serves as the egress line of travel servicing sleeping rooms in a single family home. To the point; Can the discharge end of the hallway have an arched opening with a head height of 6 feet 4 inches and a width of 30 inches?

311.6 states that the minimum width of a hallway to be 3 feet, but does not address ceiling height or projections.

Logically (ha,ha,ha) one would think that the projection should be no less than than the required clear opening of the egress door 311.2 which is 32 inches wide and 78 inches high.

Any and all help will be appreciated
NO it "may not" (if newer or recently modified), but obviously it "can".

Between the sleeping room doorway (the beginning of the means of egress - the "from" "portion of the dwelling" that you described) and the primary exit there must be a continuous path which is not encroached or obstructed to the required egress door which is no less than 36" wide and not less than 7 foot high, except the headroom in a stairway and the required (if applicable) handrail in same to the required egress door and the required egress door opening itself are the only allowed encroachment to that required headroom and continuous path to the outdoors (outdoors to a public street, alley, etc. is the end of the means of egress) - and that egress door opening must provide a minimum of 32" of clear width and 78" of headroom.

SECTION R311 MEANS OF EGRESS

R311.1 Means of egress. All dwellings shall be provided with a means of egress as provided in this section. The means of egress shall provide a continuous and unobstructed path of vertical and horizontal egress travel from all portions of the dwelling to the exterior of the dwelling at the required egress door without requiring travel through a garage.

R311.2 Egress door. At least one egress door shall be provided for each dwelling unit. The egress door shall be side-hinged, and shall provide a minimum clear width of 32 inches (813 mm) when measured between the face of the door and the stop, with the door open 90 degrees (1.57 rad). The minimum clear height of the door opening shall not be less than 78 inches (1981 mm) in height measured from the top of the threshold to the bottom of the stop. Other doors shall not be required to comply with these minimum dimensions. Egress doors shall be readily openable from inside the dwelling without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.

R311.6 Hallways. The minimum width of a hallway shall be not less than 3 feet (914 mm).

SECTION R305 CEILING HEIGHT

R305.1 Minimum height. Habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms, laundry rooms and portions of basements containing these spaces shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet (2134 mm).

Exceptions:

1. For rooms with sloped ceilings, at least 50 percent of the required floor area of the room must have a ceiling height of at least 7 feet (2134 mm) and no portion of the required floor area may have a ceiling height of less than 5 feet (1524 mm).
2. Bathrooms shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) at the center of the front clearance area for fixtures as shown in Figure R307.1. The ceiling height above fixtures shall be such that the fixture is capable of being used for its intended purpose. A shower or tub equipped with a showerhead shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) above a minimum area 30 inches (762 mm) by 30 inches (762 mm) at the showerhead.

R305.1.1 Basements. Portions of basements that do not contain habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms and laundry rooms shall have a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm).
<B>
Exception:</B> Beams, girders, ducts or other obstructions may project to within 6 feet 4 inches (1931 mm) of the finished floor.
If not newer or recent modification, the earlier may apply, or possibly the property maintenance code or life safety code, or fire code may. If HUD post 70ish, VA or the newer program (forgot what its called for the fannie/freddie foreclosed to be sold) it may additionally be required to be less encroached than what you described presently exists.

Seems we recently discussed a similar encroaching archway from a florida home quite recently...wonder if it might be the same home.

5. ## Re: Halway

Originally Posted by mark tyson
Can the discharge end of the hallway have an arched opening with a head height of 6 feet 4 inches and a width of 30 inches?

311.6 states that the minimum width of a hallway to be 3 feet, but does not address ceiling height or projections.
Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr.
NO it "may not" (if newer or recently modified), but obviously it "can".

Between the sleeping room doorway (the beginning of the means of egress - the "from" "portion of the dwelling" that you described) and the primary exit there must be a continuous path which is not encroached or obstructed to the required egress door which is no less than 36" wide ...
Mark,

Not only *can* the hall have an arch at the end which reduces the size at the end of the hall, but it *may* also have that arch which reduces the size of the hallway.

From the 2012 IRC:
- SECTION R311 MEANS OF EGRESS
- - R311.1 Means of egress.
- - - All dwellings shall be provided with a means of egress as provided in this section. The means of egress shall provide a continuous and unobstructed path of vertical and horizontal egress travel from all portions of the dwelling to the exterior of the dwelling at the required egress door without requiring travel through a garage.

There is nothing in R311.1 which prohibits a door closing off the hall from the living space to allow privacy down the hall for occupants of the bedrooms.

There is noting in R311.1 which prohibits an arch at the end of the hall to the living space.

Watson is taking "continuous and unobstructed path of vertical and horizontal egress travel" as the "vertical" term meaning "height" and the "horizontal" term as meaning "width".

The code is using the term "vertical" as meaning "vertical from the basement to the uppermost floor" (vertical up and down the structure), i.e., do not block off halls or doors, or lock doors, leading from the basement or upper floors to the floor with the *required* egress door.

The code is using the term "horizontal" to mean from all portions of the dwelling (which does *not* mean you start at the bedroom door, it *includes* the area within the bedrooms) and it means horizontally from all points on a given floor, i.e., do not block off that door at the end of the hall allowed above or block off doors, or lock doors, such as that door at the end of the hall allowed above which lead to the *required* egress door.

What is meant by do not lock doors is that you do not use locks which require a key to open or requires tools to open. Think of the lock at the egress door, that would be the most complex lock allowed - bedroom and bathroom privacy locksets are allowed.

The only items required to meet the 36" is the required egress door (and that is not 36" *clear*, that is just a 36" *door*) and any and all halls are required to meet that 36", in the case of a hall, the 36" is *clear* width.

If Watson or anyone else has backup to support Watson's claim that "vertical and horizontal" mean the height and width of the egress path, or that bedrooms are excluded, please provide such documentation.

6. ## Re: Halway

Any intermediate "door" or "doorway" WITHIN the Means of Egress (besides the prescribed exit) IS an obstruction. Any intermediate "encroachment" between the space within the dwelling unit and the exit MUST meet the "Means of Egress" requirements (and/or ITS exceptions).

Prescriptive construction incorporates fire-resistance.

The IRC as does the IPMC reference the IFC, the requirements and definitions for THE TERMS used within the IRC, which are NOT "defined" (i.e. appearing as "definitions" WITHIN) are FIRST referenced from the "other codes" in the I-series and the "other codes" referenced WITHIN the IRC (Such as NFPA 211, NFPA 70, etc.) and the "Standards" referenced within.

The arch may NOT reduce the prescribed passage way clearance, nor the prescribed headroom clearance for the MEANS OF EGRESS for the OP's described HALLWAY serving as the means of egress system for the described bedrooms at the dimensions he described, between the bedrooms' outlet to the hallway and the primary exit door.

7. ## Re: Halway

Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr.
Any intermediate "door" or "doorway" WITHIN the Means of Egress (besides the prescribed exit) IS an obstruction. Any intermediate "encroachment" between the space within the dwelling unit and the exit MUST meet the "Means of Egress" requirements (and/or ITS exceptions).

Prescriptive construction incorporates fire-resistance.

The IRC as does the IPMC reference the IFC, the requirements and definitions for THE TERMS used within the IRC, which are NOT "defined" (i.e. appearing as "definitions" WITHIN) are FIRST referenced from the "other codes" in the I-series and the "other codes" referenced WITHIN the IRC (Such as NFPA 211, NFPA 70, etc.) and the "Standards" referenced within.

The arch may NOT reduce the prescribed passage way clearance, nor the prescribed headroom clearance for the MEANS OF EGRESS for the OP's described HALLWAY serving as the means of egress system for the described bedrooms at the dimensions he described, between the bedrooms' outlet to the hallway and the primary exit door.
While the IBC *specifically requires* a specified minimum width of egress and that such minimum width be maintained to the egress exit, the IRC has no such requirement. That is because the IRC does not hold a 1&2 Family Dwelling Unit or a Townhouse to the same standard as the IBC holds other buildings.

As such, the IRC *does not* *specifically require* the means of egress be maintained, in fact, the IRC *specifically allows* reductions and your so-called "obstruction" and "encroachment" into the egress by *specifically allowing* *all doors other than the required egress door* to NOT MEET the requirements for the required egress door.

8. ## Re: Halway

The IRC DOES specifically PRESCRIBE Minimum Ceiling Height, Headroom and Width for the MEANS of Egress HALLWAY described by the Original Poster, In the Original Post pertaining to his sleeping room question. It does so in 2009 edition in the entirety of Section R311 AND R305.

The sections and subsections I quoted SPELL out the opposite of what has been asserted by JP twice now.

9. ## Re: Halway

Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr.
The IRC DOES specifically PRESCRIBE Minimum Ceiling Height, Headroom and Width for the MEANS of Egress HALLWAY described by the Original Poster, In the Original Post pertaining to his sleeping room question. It does so in 2009 edition in the entirety of Section R311 AND R305.

The sections and subsections I quoted SPELL out the opposite of what has been asserted by JP twice now.
The IRC DOES NOT require those dimensions to be maintained throughout the egress path, as I have stated previously:
Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
As such, the IRC *does not* *specifically require* the means of egress be maintained, in fact, the IRC *specifically allows* reductions and your so-called "obstruction" and "encroachment" into the egress by *specifically allowing* *all doors other than the required egress door* to NOT MEET the requirements for the required egress door.
In fact, also as I have stated previously, the egress requirements INCLUDE the area within the bedrooms. The code also SPECIFICALLY ALLOWS bedroom doors and other doors which ARE NOT THE REQUIRED EGRESS DOOR, such as a door at closing off the end of a hallway if a door were present, to be LESS THAN 36 INCHES in width.

"THE" "HALL" is required to be 36" is width. At least you do agree with that.

"THE" CEILING HEIGHT" of the "HALL" is required to be at least 7 feet.

Doors ... at least THE REQUIRED EGRESS DOOR ... IS NOT required to maintain that 36 inch width of the hall, NOR is that REQUIRED EGRESS DOOR required to maintain the 7 foot minimum ceiling height, the REQUIRED EGRESS DOOR is required to have a minimum clear height of 78 inches from the top of the threshold to the bottom of the stop at the head jamb of the door ... AND ... (this is a quote from the IRC) "Other doors shall not be required to comply with these minimum dimensions.".

Thus THE CODE CLEARLY AND SPECIFICALLY *DOES NOT* require the 36 inch width and 7 foot height/headroom to be maintained.

Watson, you are barking up the wrong tree - the squirrel went up the tree to your left. If you want to discuss code then AT LEAST READ IT THROUGH FIRST.

From the 2012 IRC:
- SECTION R311 MEANS OF EGRESS
- - R311.1 Means of egress.
- - - All dwellings shall be provided with a means of egress as provided in this section. The means of egress shall provide a continuous and unobstructed path of vertical and horizontal egress travel from all portions of the dwelling to the exterior of the dwelling at the required egress door without requiring travel through a garage.
- - R311.2 Egress door.
- - - At least one egress door shall be provided for each dwelling unit. The egress door shall be side-hinged, and shall provide a minimum clear width of 32 inches (813 mm) when measured between the face of the door and the stop, with the door open 90 degrees (1.57 rad). The minimum clear height of the door opening shall not be less than 78 inches (1981 mm) in height measured from the top of the threshold to the bottom of the stop. Other doors shall not be required to comply with these minimum dimensions. Egress doors shall be readily openable from inside the dwelling without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.
- - R311.4 Vertical egress.
- - - Egress from habitable levels including habitable attics and basements not provided with an egress door in accordance with Section R311.2 shall be by a ramp in accordance with Section R311.8 or a stairway in accordance with Section R311.7.

First you try to claim that "vertical egress" is the ceiling height and that "horizontal egress" is the width ... sigh ... when that is not what those terms are referring to.

Now you are trying to claim that the 36 inch width and 7 foot height is required to be maintained ... sigh ... read the code, Watson, read the code. The code *specifically* allows reductions in those width and height dimensions.

10. ## Re: Halway

Peck,

You can stomp your feet, cut-and-paste yourself silly, and pile on the b.s. and as is your custom pile on the personal attacks and belittling remarks. It doesn't change the requirement that there be NO obstructions (unobstructed means NOT obstructed), and the path must be CONTINUOUS from ALL PORTIONS of the dwelling TO the REQUIRED EGRESS DOOR

That means NO intervening DOORS, obstructions, of any kind EXCEPT what is expressly prescribed. That means the "arch" between the sleeping rooms the OP described and the EGRESS DOOR must be 36" wide and provide the PRESCRIBED HEADROOM for the REQUIRED UNOBSTRUCTED, CONTINUOUS MEANS OF EGRESS PATH (7' high, 36" wide, unless otherwise excepted - such as stairways, rampways, etc.).

As it must be from every "portion" of the dwelling, habital or occupied. In this case from the doorway of the sleeping room TO the egress door (UNOBSTRUCTED CONTINUOUS PATH! The sleeping room door itself is NOT addressed - but there may be NO intermediate obstruction between that opening from that HABITAL space AND the dang egress door (primary exit).

2009 IRC:

SECTION R311 MEANS OF EGRESS

R311.1 Means of egress. All dwellings shall be provided with a means of egress as provided in this section. The means of egress shall provide a continuous and unobstructed path of vertical and horizontal egress travel from all portions of the dwelling to the exterior of the dwelling at the required egress door without requiring travel through a garage.

R311.2 Egress door. At least one egress door shall be provided for each dwelling unit. The egress door shall be side-hinged, and shall provide a minimum clear width of 32 inches (813 mm) when measured between the face of the door and the stop, with the door open 90 degrees (1.57 rad). The minimum clear height of the door opening shall not be less than 78 inches (1981 mm) in height measured from the top of the threshold to the bottom of the stop. Other doors (*) shall not be required to comply with these minimum dimensions. Egress doors shall be readily openable from inside the dwelling without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.

(*) that's NOT a permission to have intermediate doors - that's addressing other exit doors AND specifically NOT addressing the door demarking the space within the dwelling where emptying TO the "means of egress".

Perhaps you need to refamiliarize yourself with the MEANING of the words: Unobstructed and Continuous!

The prescriptions in the IRC are there for a REASON. Its also why those faux "spanish/mediteranian style" gate-doors and arches, and "romanesque" faux pillars go bye-bye when properties are rented, sold, financed under government insured programs, unless additional egress doors are installed cocomittant with means of egress unobstructed continuous pathways.

Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 11-04-2012 at 03:31 PM.

11. ## Re: Halway

Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr.
Peck,

You can stomp your feet, cut-and-paste yourself silly, and pile on the b.s. and as is your custom pile on the personal attacks and belittling remarks.
Watson,

You can copy and paste, make big bold letters, and use your silly colored crayons to make them red, and blue, and whatever other colors you want to ... none of that will erase or change the fact that you have no idea what you are talking about with this section of the codes.

For the sake of the others on this board ... I will leave this thread for you to rant and rave and use large type for you to use your silly colorful crayons to make whatever color you want - that will not change the fact that you are totally whacked out on this thread.

12. ## Re: Halway

Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
First you try to claim that "vertical egress" is the ceiling height and that "horizontal egress" is the width ... sigh ... when that is not what those terms are referring to.
No sheeat. You're just making sheeat up now. Never said such a thing. That's you inventing again.

The 30" wide 6'4" high archway is not allowed under current codes, plain and simple. The hallway must not encroach upon the required 36" wide 7' high required means of egress path.

Doorways, doors, cabinets, coat hooks, stored junk - in the means of egress path are all encrochments on the required egress pathway, and are not allowed. Its a property maintenance and fire code issue which effects occupancy status and safety. It (encroachments) can also void indenification (insurance coverage).

13. ## Re: Halway

Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
Mark,

Not only *can* the hall have an arch at the end which reduces the size at the end of the hall, but it *may* also have that arch which reduces the size of the hallway.

From the 2012 IRC:
- SECTION R311 MEANS OF EGRESS
- - R311.1 Means of egress.
- - - All dwellings shall be provided with a means of egress as provided in this section. The means of egress shall provide a continuous and unobstructed path of vertical and horizontal egress travel from all portions of the dwelling to the exterior of the dwelling at the required egress door without requiring travel through a garage.

There is nothing in R311.1 which prohibits a door closing off the hall from the living space to allow privacy down the hall for occupants of the bedrooms.

There is noting in R311.1 which prohibits an arch at the end of the hall to the living space.

Watson is taking "continuous and unobstructed path of vertical and horizontal egress travel" as the "vertical" term meaning "height" and the "horizontal" term as meaning "width".

The code is using the term "vertical" as meaning "vertical from the basement to the uppermost floor" (vertical up and down the structure), i.e., do not block off halls or doors, or lock doors, leading from the basement or upper floors to the floor with the *required* egress door.

The code is using the term "horizontal" to mean from all portions of the dwelling (which does *not* mean you start at the bedroom door, it *includes* the area within the bedrooms) and it means horizontally from all points on a given floor, i.e., do not block off that door at the end of the hall allowed above or block off doors, or lock doors, such as that door at the end of the hall allowed above which lead to the *required* egress door.

What is meant by do not lock doors is that you do not use locks which require a key to open or requires tools to open. Think of the lock at the egress door, that would be the most complex lock allowed - bedroom and bathroom privacy locksets are allowed.

The only items required to meet the 36" is the required egress door (and that is not 36" *clear*, that is just a 36" *door*) and any and all halls are required to meet that 36", in the case of a hall, the 36" is *clear* width.

If Watson or anyone else has backup to support Watson's claim that "vertical and horizontal" mean the height and width of the egress path, or that bedrooms are excluded, please provide such documentation.
Peck doesn't have a CLUE what I have said, and he "creates" FICTION. He speaks for NOone but himself. As this discussion clearly indicates he also makes sheeat up, and embelishes and rewrites what others have said.

You asked for the references, I actually provided them. That Peck can't actually comprehend is his own problem.

The means of egress must be to a door which affords clear width when open to 32" wide NOT 36"! The HALLway and the means of egress travel path must afford 36" of width.

No one but Peck thinks the horizontal and/or vertical PATH of travel referenced in 311 is refering to anythiing other than the directional PATH of travel! (cripes, the guy is off his rocker -- and his meds -- if he thinks anyone OTHER than HIMSELF would think such a thing!). The IRC provides the required width and height of that pathway, as I cited and quoted.

The devil is in the details.

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