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Question
At our church, the we would like to expand our quilting room.  The current door is set back from the hall so it does not extend into the hall which is six feet wide.  We would like to move the door three feet to give the women more room.  One carpenter says no another said the hallway is wide enough.  Which is correct? Is a pocket door acceptable?

Answer
Hi Jim -

I would have to see a floor plan to give you a better idea, but the issue is the encroachment of the door into the required corridor width.  There is an article here that explains encroachment:  http://idighardware.com/2012/10/door-swing-and-encroachment/.

If the occupant load of the quilting room is less than 50 people (here is an article about how to calculate that:  http://idighardware.com/2014/07/decoded-calculating-the-occupant-load/), the door may be able to swing into the room so it will not be an encroachment issue.  

You could use a pocket door if a) the door is not required to be fire rated, and b) the occupant load of the room is less than 10 people (the calculated load, not the number of quilters you typically have in the room).  

I hope this helps.  You could probably get an answer from your local building department.

- Lori

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Lori Greene

Expertise

I can help with code questions related to doors and hardware. I am familiar with the IBC, NFPA 80, NFPA 101, NFPA 105, ADAAG, and ICC/ANSI A117.1. My expertise is specific to door openings.

Experience

I have worked in the door and hardware industry since 1986. I have conducted countless presentations on code requirements for doors and hardware, and maintain a blog related to doors and hardware (www.ihatehardware.com).

Organizations
Door & Hardware Institute (DHI) Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) International Code Councel (ICC)

Publications
Doors & Hardware Magazine

Education/Credentials
Vermont Technical College, Associate Degree in Architecture and Building Engineering Technology - 1986

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