Building Codes and Inspections/codes on doors


I would like to know if you have to have a back door in a resident?  We are converting a 3-car garage into a Mother-in-law suite.  Also do we have to have a special permit since the building was already here when we bought the property?

Appreciate your help

You'll probably need building permits and zoning approval from the municipality where the building is located.  The local Building Official needs to be consulted, as many times building a second dwelling unit on the same parcel can create a zoning violation.

With regard to the door, A second door may not be required. Generally one exit is required, which the front 3/0 x 6/8 door meets.  The second means of egress is required from the sleeping room via a door or egress window that has to meet certain size and operational criteria. As an example, dwelling units in apartment buildings and some town home complexes only have the one door.

The local Building Official will guide you; avoid a situation where you build first and create legal problems.

Building Codes and Inspections

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Keith Fuller


I'm an ICC Certified Master Code Professional fielding general building code questions. My experience has been heavy in fire related issues.


I've been employed since 1985 as an inspector and plan reviewer, and am a municipal Assistant Building Official and Deputy fire Marshal. I've had fire service experience since 1972, having served as a three time Fire Chief and Fire Marshal in years past. The increasing workload, mandatory certifications, and continuing education requirements in recent years have caused me to concentrate my efforts on code related issues. I hold national fire service certifications as well.

ICC Master Code Professional

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