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  1. #1

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    New Darkroom build

    I am at the stage of planning my new dark room. I will be dividing up my garage to give me a 8x10ft space. I plan to stud partition, insulate then dry line. with plenty of power. It is a standard UK garage and the question I have is. I plan to only have 1 entry into the space. (the current internal garage door. Access to the rest of the garage will be through the main up and over door) Do I need to build a second door as an escape route ?

    Andy

  2. #2

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    Second door would be convinient in those cold and rainy days. Plus it allows to transport your 13x18 Durst enlarger into the darkroom by much easier route. I'd build the second door.

  3. #3
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Andy:

    I don't know if there are any building code requirements in your area that might influence the question, but all of the single darkrooms I have ever been in or worked in (including commercial and school darkrooms) have only had one door.

    I have worked in a group darkroom that had two entrances, but that was a lot larger than 8x10 feet.

    If you have just 8x10 feet available, then you probably don't want to lose the wall/counter/sink space that a second opening will require.

    If possible, you should make sure that your entry opening is reasonably wide, because as werra points out, sometimes you want to be able to move larger items in and out.

    Hope this helps.

    Matt

  4. #4

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    New Darkrrom

    Hi,

    I finished my last (current) darkrrom about 3 years ago. I also thought hard about the same issue you mention, and concluded that one door was a better solution for me in most respects.

    You're doing well to carefully plan the details of darkrrom building. It took me about a year to plan mine, and It's now a wonderful place to spend time in. Mine is about 9 by 10 feet and it feels just right.

    If you need any further info don't hesitate to ask me. I can send you a bibliography of the sources of help I found as well as pictures of my setup if you wish. Why not learn from my mistakes

    Good luck and have fun!

    Louie

  5. #5

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    You seem to have grasped the problem. To be honest, I hadn't give it a thought until I tripped over a building recommendation while reading up on garage conversions. It basically says you should never have to go through another room as the only means of exit, if this is the case there should be a window. But if I put the second door in, I lose the counter space. It crossed my mind to have a emergency break panel above the counter, in the stud partition. Make a square within the studs that is not insulated, and maybe weaken the plasterboard that covers it. Mark it on the inside so I know where it is and leave a hammer/axe in the cupboard near by. If the place was burning i could be through the wall within a minute.. In this nanny state we now live in, have I succumbed and become overly cautious?...

  6. #6

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    Thanks Louie appreciated, As things progress, I may well take you up on your kind offer

  7. #7

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    Started at the weekend on the stud partition, decided to go with the single door to maximise work space.

  8. #8

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    I like the idea of a second exit. Since I live in California there is always a chance of an earthquake distorting the door frame and jamming the door. I have a blacked-out window that I can open, even if the frame distorts. UK earthquakes are rare and minor by comparison 8-)
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  9. #9

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    Jun 2007
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    Andy,
    In Scotland our Building Regulations are different from those in England but not that much different. It is normal that you would be allowed to go from a room (darkroom) to room (another intermediate room or space) to a place of safety (external or fire protected space).
    The issue that should be addressed is that if you were escaping through what is still a functional garage this may be considered as a place of high risk.
    Speak to your Local Council Building Standards office who will give you chapter and verse.
    Regards

    Harry

    Andy,
    Apologies , I just re-read your original post.
    If the internal door connects to a circulation space in your house this should be OK.
    If it connects into another habitable room from which there is no exit to the external or a protected route then discuss with Building Standards
    Office
    H

  10. #10
    david b's Avatar
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    I built my darkroom in my two car garage.

    I did it perpendicular and the space is 9'x14' with a 9 foot stainless sink on one side, and 14' counter top on the other side.

    Then I removed the overhead garage door and put of a wall of frosted glass to make a studio. There was already a door to the outside.

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