From the building inspector. Codes can vary from town to town, but they
usually follow a universal code as a minimum. I don't know of any doors that
meet the one hour rating that are not metal, but they may exist.
As Edwin points out, it varies from place to place. In my neck of the woods,
between a garage and living quarters have to be fire rated (not sure of time,
but every one
seems to be steel) with an acoustic seal around it (for fumes) and closed by a
cylinder thingy (someone will chime in with the name, I'm sure). That ensures
door won't be accidently left open a crack, which would reduce the fire rating
The price difference between a hollow core and a steel, fireproof door with auto
should be considered an insurance payment. Check with your insurance broker,
upgrade might even get you a discount.
Since you are doing it, you can replace with
anything you want. You didn't get a construction
permit did you (I suspect that some silly
jurisdictions would want you to)?
Anyway, you probably don't need a steel door, a
solid core is acceptable in some areas. If this
is a door from the garage into the house, I would
not use a hollow core, even if it were legal. My
solid core is very heavy but they aren't that
In my city, it used to be you just had to have a "solid door" (this was
a long time ago). A few years ago, I discovered that it also had to be
fire rated. However, I called Home Depot and they said they had solid
wood slab doors that were fire rated. Really, the price is not that
much more. Even if you didn't care about code, a solid wood slab (not
rated) is not very much more at all (geesh, what are we talking about,
$30 more) At LEAST do that!
And, as the other poster pointed out, we now have the code where they
have to have the spring hinges. I've never heard it has to be metal.
I wouldn't even cosider a hollow door. Another thing to think about is
security--someone could just put their foot through one of those hollow
doors. I would want to have a deadbolt on anything going outside, which
would be kinda silly on a hollow door.
One thing that bugs me about this whole thing is just how tough it is to get
an accurate ruling on what I HAVE to do. I understand what you all think I
SHOULD do and I'm not doubting you I understand your reasons. But for some
reason I am having a difficult time finding the legal answer. I did fire
off a question to my county inspectors, seeing how I don't live in city
limits, and I'm sure I'll hear back from them in about 20 years. When and
IF I hear a response from them I'll know the best way to approach new
construction and DIY projects. But wouldn't you think more people would
obey codes and regulations if it was simple to find those codes and
Since you replied so strongly to my post I thought I'd post a follow on.
After writing to the county about the possibility of having to obtain a
permit and what the specifics are on the door requirements - their answer
was short, terse, and unambiguous - "No code requirement, no permit
That doesn't mean I don't understand where you are coming from and I'm not
disregarding your suggestion.
I have to replace all the interior doors in my house as they all have deep
scratches in them and the laminate front is falling apart, so I count this
as a lesson in how to hang a door.
For the windows, take off the interior molding. You should then be able
to see and accurately measure the existing frame, and know how big a
replacement frame will fit. You are likely to find the opening is
larger than the existing frame, with shims to fit it. If you get a
bigger replacement that will fit in the opening, you will have to cut a
bigger opening in the siding, and that's more work than most people want
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