Front Door

How can you get a snazzy front door for your tiny house?? The majority of tiny house plans call for custom doorways. This is due to proportionality: tiny house = tiny door. The major hurdle being that custom doors are difficult to build and expensive to order.

Is there any way around this? Of course there is! Try one of these two options:

1). DESIGN YOUR HOUSE TO HAVE A STANDARD DOOR

If you are in the early stages of considering a tiny house, you can modify your design to have a standard door or even large french doors!  Check out Vina’s tiny house:

Vina's Tiny House
Vina’s Tiny House doorway. Photo Credit: www.solhausdesign.com

Pros: Easy traffic flow. Available at your local hardware store, garage sales, salvage yards, and sometimes even for free on the side of the road. Can add an open air aesthetic to your home.

Cons: Your door will not be in proportion to your house.You’ll need to design the layout of your home around the doorway. It will also take up valuable real estate inside your home and/or on your porch. Note: Vina built a large detached porch and her doors swing out. Most residential doors swing in, but you can always bend the rules!

2). TRIM DOWN A STANDARD DOOR

If having a proportional door is important to you, but you lack the proper carpentry skills and finances, this might be the way to go. 

Mini Motives Tiny House
Macy’s Tiny House w/ a Proportional Entry Door. Photo credit: www.minimotives.com

Pros: Proportional door that can swing in or out without taking up much space inside your home/on your porch.

Cons: You will have a tiny doorway, which means you can NOT move large furniture items in and out. So think ahead! Finding a door that can be trimmed isn’t always easy. If you want glass in your door, count on it being even more complicated. You will probably choose a door without any patterns. And finally, the process to trim can be difficult.

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No matter what you do, make sure your front door is: 

1). Solid wood

2). 1 & 3/4″ thickness (exterior standard thickness)

3). Any glass is tempered

I’ve heard of some tiny housers using interior doors for their entry door. This is definitely an appealing option as interior doors can come in a variety of smaller sizes. But, if you’re planning on traveling with your home, I wouldn’t recommend it. Most interior doors are hallow and flimsy. This would not suffice in bad weather conditions or for security purposes. here-s-johnny-oBuild Tip: If you plan on traveling with your tiny home, we suggest getting a deadbolt with a key lock on BOTH sides. This will make it more difficult for someone to break in. 

————————— But what door did we choose???—————————

Guillaume and I wanted a door with glass, like Brittany‘s door below, in order to maximize the amount of natural light in our home. We also wanted a proportional door (a tiny door), that would swing in and fit the door opening in the Tumbleweed Cypress plans.

brittany's fencl
Brittany’s Fencl w/ a glass front door

The majority of narrow glass doors we found were not suitable for life on the road. After many hours of searching, we finally sought out the help of a local door salesman. So who is this mysterious door guru, you ask? We made friends with Benny from www.buymydoors.com.

After describing our tiny home and our dream entry door, Benny bent over backwards to help us. He searched his substantial door warehouse and his incoming shipments for weeks – sending us photos and dimensions until we found our door!

Tiny House Door
Our future door!

Our future door: Solid Mahogany with 8-lite windows, and originally 24″ x 80″ (a standard size)

Next we needed to trim down our door to fit our our rough opening size: 24 1/4″ x 77 3/4″ (before door jamb). Carpenter Don trimmed, sanded, and applied a beautiful pecan finish to make our door really shine!

The Final Product:

So the moral of the story is, you have options. Keep searching. And make friends with a door guru!

-Jenna

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BuyMyDoors.com

Thank you to our sponsor: Buymydoors.com – the premiere online door store and much more

and Thank You Deb Dutilh, for helping us find our door!

 

19 thoughts on “Front Door”

  1. FRONT DOOR!! If you ever plan to grow older (or to sell your Tiny House to an Elder) aim for a front door that’s 36″ to accommodate a walker or wheel chair… I sure never planned for this, but ended up falling and fracturing my hip and cervical spine. Who knew?!

  2. Hi you two. I’ve watched some of your videos.. Guillaume you’re a trip! I’m getting ready to build my Tiny House w/ the help of a carpenter. I’ve been wanting to do this since 2009. I live in Ocean City Md and I’ve never actually been in one. I would like to find someone local so I can visit their THOW’s. I can’t find any within 5 hours of Md or De 🙁 Also, I’m looking for salvaged materials, i got my first piece of my tiny house today! 3 brand new Thermo-Pane 57″ high windows for $100 total on CL. I’m soooo excited. I was gonna buy french doors until reading this article.

  3. I hope you guys are enjoying your tiny house as much as I have been reading about it, am planning on starting to prep my trailer next month and can’t wait 🙂

  4. Hello! I love your blog and I’m following it closely. Please keep on posting! As I’m planning on building my own Tiny House, your insight is much appreciated. Have fun out there!

  5. Reblogged this on TinyHouse43.com and commented:
    We, too, are starting our quest to decide on the right door for our house. We keep being drawn back to the door of Howl’s Moving Castle from the Hayao Miyazaki film of the same name, but we also looove the idea of a 60/40 Dutch door (bottom slightly larger than the top) that we could open up to let air and light in and still have a closed bottom to keep the rugrat confined. Once we narrow the ideas down I’ll make a post with images for better reference points, but for now enjoy the helpful post from Tiny House Giant Journey on how to select your optimal tiny front door! -Meg

    1. Well, “should” might be a little drastic. From our experience, solid wood doors tend to be higher quality than hollow ones, especially for exterior front doors. Also, they are somewhat easier to trim since no matter how much you cut, it’s always solid wood. Lastly, and this one is a little more subjective, it’s the opening of your house, the entrance, what welcomes visitors and it’s nice for it to “make a statement”.

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