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Elevator Frames

Some homes in coastal areas are raised to protect the home from possible flooding and storm surges. Elevators are commonplace in these homes for ease of transporting items up into the living space. A swinging door unit is installed into the rough opening in front of the elevator shaft for safety. This door swings into the living space or hallway.

Recently there was a code change involving these doors. ASME A17.1 Part 5.3 for Private Residence ensures there is not a space where a small child or pet could stand or become entrapped between the closed landing door and the elevator gate. The maximum distance permitted between the backside of the closed door at the elevator landing and the edge of the threshold at that floor landing is 3/4″. The maximum distance permitted between the backside of the closed door at the elevator landing and the elevator car gate is 4″.

To meet this code the door jambs can only be 2-1/4” in depth – a 1-3/4” door + 3/4” gap = 2-1/4” jamb depth. A typical jamb will need to be ripped back a larger frame to create this size. The smaller frame will sit back in the opening so an extension is needed on living side from edge of jamb to edge of drywall.

4-9/16″ Jamb / Old Code

2-1/4″ Jamb / New Code

In addition, these doors require additional field prep for a 2.5” x 8” box in which the locking mechanism sits. When the elevator is there, the door is unlocked, but when the elevator is not there, the door is locked. A traditional doorknob is not possible on the elevator side as it will not fit between the edge of the door and the elevator gate. A field applied ring pull with a profile less than 3/4” on the elevator side is possible. On the living side a dummy knob can be applied to the door face.

Reeb can craft a door frame with Primed, Pine, or Poplar frames only. At this time there are no rated frame options. A single rabbeted jamb will be ripped back to 2-1/4” in width for doors that are 3/0 or 3/6 in width and have a height of 6/8, 7/0, or 8/0. These doors will be a 1-3/4” interior door that is a solid core flush or molded or select stile and rail doors. No French, Sash, Exterior, or Hollow Core doors will be allowed to be configured.

Reeb’s shop will prep for hinges, a catch if desired, and will pre-hang the door unit. The shop will not prep for a bore or any other necessary prep. This work will need to be completed in the field. The door units will use a 4” ball bearing hinges in either radius and square. A catch, whether it be a standard magnetic, concealed magnetic, or roller, can be installed on the top or edge of the door. The unit will not have the possibility of a sill, brickmould, casing, or any additional hardware.

Many states have yet to adopt the new Safety Code so be sure to check all codes in your area for confirmation.

Updated on November 29, 2021

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