Installing a Home Elevator Shaft Door

Insider Tip:

Don't buy a pre-hung door, especially if you are framing with 2 x 6 walls. The dimensions typically don't work and they are difficult to modify. Plan on building your own frame so that you can position the stop.

Your swinging elevator shaft doors should match the other doors in your home in size, color and design, unless they are meant to be a focal point.

In the Atlanta and Chattanooga areas, call
Blue Moose Elevators
for superior service and reliability.

Your accordion elevator car gate travels up and down with the elevator. Note on the lower right corner of this picture how the gate stack extends past the wall of the cab.

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  • Clearance between Elevator Hoistway Doors, Sills and Elevator Car Gates

    The clearance between the inside hoistway face of the swinging hoistway door and the closed elevator car gate shall not exceed 5. Note that this dimension is not the same as measuring to the cab sill or the cab wall. The gate is set back from the edge of the cab when it is closed.

    The distance between the inside hoistway face of the hoistway door and the edge of the sill shall not exceed 3.

    The running clearance between the elevator car and the door sill shall be between 1 1 .

    Note that home elevator doors are never in the center of the shaftway, so consult your dealer prior to framing in your door openings. They are typically offset away from the rails. Ideally your door will line up with the strike side wall of the cab. If your width is slightly larger than the cab width, the excess will be lined up with the stacking gate and will not look odd. (Note that if you have chosen an elevator without a gate pocket, there will not be a gate stack to hide your excess door width. See the picture in the lower right corner of this page to see how most car gates will extend past the side of the cab.

    These elevator door and gate clearances are dictated by the U.S. national code and are in effect for safety reasons. If the clearances are any greater, a child could theoretically stand on the sill with the door closed while the car moves away from the landing, endangering the child. If your elevator is an older installation and does not meet these clearances, you should consider having guards installed on your doors to eliminate this gap.
    The elevator dealer will install interlocks that keep the doors closed unless the car is at that landing. Be sure to meet any requirements for the interlock, such as reinforcing the upper corner of the door and leaving room for the interlock on the side of the jamb. If the door warps and the keeper installed on the door no longer can make contact with the contactsinside the lock, it will cause your elevator to stop running. We have also seen some cheap interlocks where the doors actually could be opened when the car was not there. Remember that cheapest is not the best option when choosing an elevator.
    Do not plan on installing door trim or moulding on the inside of your elevator shaft. There is typically not enough room. If the elevator car gate has see-through vision panels in it, use j-mold or other low profile finish materials to dress up the hoistway or request that there be no vision panels in the gate.
    If you would like to install a hoistway door that is higher than the cab height, just install a decorative transom piece in the frame to fill in the gap so that you cannot see above the car into the shaft.