Garage Self Close door question

Hello, All

Thanks for help me a lot.
I did inspection 2023 new house, 2003 old house and 2014 old house in past two weeks.

Not of them have self close garage door between the garage to living room.

What is going on? I had been teached from InterNICHI said all door need fire rate 20 mins and SELF CLOSE for sure. I also did 15 years construction business in NJ/NY, all garage door need fire rate and self close door.

Is that Orlando different?

Thanks a lot

It might not have been included in the local building codes. Does not matter. Garage to living area doors should be self-closing. I call it out as a maintenance item (i.e. a minor issue), because it is an easy fix.

Additional note: What is the sense of having a garage-to-living area firewall as well as fire-rated door (which I hope we all agree upon), if you do not do anything to ensure that the door is actually closed? If fire starts in the garage, where statistically most do, an unlatched door is no match for the air pressure that will be generated by the heat. Smoke and CO will pour through negating the reason for having a firewall in the first place.


That requirement has been added and then subtracted from the Florida Building Code several times.

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I never ran into self closing garage doors here , but this is ohio,not florida…

Some areas around here (SW Ohio) had them years ago, but most removed the requirement because of people locking themselves out of their houses and children getting their fingers smashed, at least that what a local building inspector told me.


I don’t ever mention them in my report if they are not present. I may mention to my clients that some jurisdiction may require them, but in my area they are not required and I have yet to one installed.


I’ve run into them a few times. If I had one in my house, I’d take the stupid thing off.

I’m glad they are not longer required in Florida.

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Same here, Jim. But MI not FL.

This is an instance of local AHJs that don’t follow the IRC. Unless there has been a recent change, Florida not only does not require closers, Florida does not allow closers.

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From the 2020 Florida Building Code : R302.5.1Opening protection.

Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 13/8 inches (35 mm) in thickness, solid or honeycombcore steel doors not less than 13/8 inches (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors.
No self closer is specified.


So the what we learn from InterNACHI is incorrect?

Apparently, yes…


wait a min, look what I find out in 2020 code

2020 code? Which code? the reference I provided was from the 2020 Florida building code.(Residential).

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Are we looking a same code? Just want to confirm, see the link


No, its seems we are looking at different codes. One is for residential (the ref. I provided) and one is for commercial (the one you provided).
Here is a list of all codes used in the city of Orlando:

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The link I send to you which it is 2020 Florida Building Code, Building, 7th Edition.
I do not see it is only for Commercial building. The beginning write is “the private garage”

The private garage shall be separated from the dwelling unit and its attic area by means of gypsum board, not less than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) in thickness, applied to the garage side. Garages beneath habitable rooms shall be separated from all habitable rooms above by not less than a 5/8-inch (15.9 mm) Type X gypsum board or equivalent and 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board applied to structures supporting the separation from habitable rooms above the garage. Door openings between a private garage and the dwelling unit shall be equipped with either solid wood doors or solid or honeycomb core steel doors not less than 13/8 inches (34.9 mm) in thickness, or doors in compliance with a fire protection rating of not less than 20 minutes. Doors shall be self-closing and self-latching.

From the 2020 Florida Building Code (Building)


These regulations shall be known as the Florida Building Code, hereinafter referred to as “this code.”


The provisions of this code shall apply to the construction, alteration, relocation, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings or structures.


  1. 1.Detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress, and their accessory structures not more than three stories above grade plane in height, shall comply with the Florida Building Code, Residential.
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Do you still recommend them here @kleonard ? I’m in the same market and have gone back and forth on whether to mention it or not.

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What is with all the code arguing??? We’re home inspectors not AHJs. Self-closing garage to house doors is a VERY regional thing and there is no general standard. It’s really nothing that belongs in an HI report IMO.