Building a Hangar Home

For the pilot, there must be nothing like walking out of your back door, into your hangar, and taking flight from your “garage”.  The popularity of this lifestyle is evidenced by the more than 600 fly-in, residential airparks located throughout the country (see,  

These hangar homes are unique structures with specific fire protection and life safety requirements.  The International Building Code (IBC) defines a residential aircraft hangar as, “an accessory building less than 2,000 square feet and 20 feet in building height constructed on a one- or two-family property where aircraft are stored.”*

Section 412.5 of the IBC outlines the requirements for residential aircraft hangars:

  • The living space and hangar space are required to be separated by a minimum of 1-hour fire-resistance rated assembly.
  • (2) Means of egress are required from the hangar area.
  • Hangar building systems (electricity, plumbing, HVAC, etc.) are to be independent from the living space/dwelling building systems.
  • Smoke alarms are required to be installed throughout the structure.  The hangar area is required to have a minimum of (1) smoke alarm.  The hangar and dwelling smoke alarms are to be interconnected.

*This definition is not intended to limit the size of a residential hangar. Hangars that exceed these height and area requirements can no longer be classified as a “residential aircraft hangar”, and must be protected and built in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 409.

Additional resources:
Hangar Home Design -
Article - Specifying Hangar Doors
Book - NFPA 409 - Resource Guide