Don't buy a pre-hung door, especially if you are framing with 2 x 6 walls. The dimensions typically don't work for the code clearances and they are difficult to modify. Plan on building your own frame so that you can position the door stop where it will meet code.
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. 706-276-6673 or 770-891-4442 BlueMooseElevators.com
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.
Clearance between Elevator Hoistway Doors, Sills and Elevator Car Gates
Residential Elevator Door Clearances - 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 ½”.
Alignment of Residential Elevator Doors - Note that home elevator doors are rarely centered in the shaftway, so consult your dealer prior to framing in your door openings. Your installing dealer should be willing to come to the jobsite to lay out the doors for the contractor. Contractors tend to want to center everything, which doesn't always work so well with elevators. The elevator doors are typically offset away from the rails. Ideally your door will line up very nicely with the strike side wall of the cab so that you cannot see into the hoistway at all. If your hoistway door width is slightly larger than the cab width, the excess will be lined up behind the stacking accordion gate and will not look odd. 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.
Codes - 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.
Elevator Interlocks - 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, or hook, installed on the door no longer can make contact with the contacts inside 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. Your maintenance technician should check to make sure that your elevator will not run with the doors open and that attempting to open the doors mid-travel should not cause the elevator to stop between floors. 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.
Elevator Door heights - Elevator cabs often come in 6'8" or 7' heights, but you may have 8' doors on your main floor. It looks a little odd if you have a short door for your elevator among all the other taller doors on that level of your home. If you would like to install a hoistway door that is higher than the home elevator cab height, just use your typical 8' high door and install a decorative transom piece in the frame to fill in the gap so that you cannot see above the car into the shaft when you open the door.
Your elevator hoistway doors are what you will see the most unless you are riding in your home elevator. You may choose decorative carved panel doors, an arched door, leaded glass, side-sliding doors, or you can even blend the doors into the wall like the photo above. Choose home elevator doors that you will enjoy seeing every day, but most of all, make sure they are installed correctly for safety.