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Front Door Options for Tiny Houses

Front Door Options for Tiny Houses

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 is 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 front 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!

Our Final Front Door

So the moral of the story is, you have a few different front door options. Keep searching!

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BuyMyDoors.com

  • Thank you to our sponsor: Buymydoors.com – the premiere online door store and much more
  • Thank You Deb Dutilh, for helping us find our front door!

 

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22 Comments

  1. Pohl
    July 31, 2014 / 4:29 am

    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!

  2. July 31, 2014 / 4:28 am

    Hello guys, I love your blog and I’m really thinking about building my own. Please keep posting, and be safe out there!

  3. July 29, 2014 / 8:02 pm

    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

  4. Megan Messmer
    July 29, 2014 / 5:59 pm

    THis is amaaaazing!!!!!!! You guys are amazing!!!

  5. Gudrun Buchhofer
    July 29, 2014 / 2:27 pm

    Can you please explain why the door should be solid wood?

    • July 29, 2014 / 8:07 pm

      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”.

      • Denis
        February 23, 2017 / 7:53 pm

        Should be? Well a solid door is harder to kick in than a hollow core door, but a metal door would be even harder if you had a metal frame as well. I kicked in my own solid core door, and the frame broke with NO damage to the door. I did repair it well enough that even I could not kick it in after. Personally I plan on a metal frame as well as a metal solid core door in my THOW.

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