This instructable will show you how to build a "Dutch Door".
Why a Dutch Door? 

For starters, I've always thought Dutch Doors were just plain pretty cool! Not only that, but they are extremely functional to let air and light between rooms, while still preventing movement of people and animals. In our case, we had a toddler who liked to wander out of her room at night. Rather than adding a "baby-gate", which never works well, we decided to build a Dutch Door, and just close the bottom half of it. This is also great if you have pets that you need to keep in or out of on part of your house. And for children, the open top of the Dutch Door can also make a great Puppet Theater!

The basics of this project are adding a hinge, cutting the door, adding trim, and painting. It's really that easy.

Basically, it's a one-day project for the wood-working, and then however much time required for painting and letting wood putty dry.

In this case, I used a recycled, second-hand door and hardware that I already had, making this a very affordable project. I only needed to buy some paint and sandpaper!

Tools and materials are fairly basic. You will need a good crosscut saw and ideally, a router.

Safety Glasses, work gloves, hearing protection
cross-cut saw (Corded Circular Saw)
Hammer and punch (for removing hinge pins)
Drill Driver
Rotary Tool such as Dremel brand

A second door - hollow-core
an extra hinge
door knob (can be reused from existing door)
pull knob
door halves latch (safety bolt, etc.)
wood putty
1-1/8th" cedar length is width of door
Wood Glue
Brads, screws
Masking tape and Marker

I already had nearly all the materials on-hand. As a home-owner, I have a box of assorted knobs and door-hinges in the garage. By asking around, I was able to find a second-hand hollow-core door at no cost. I bought new some paint, sandpaper, and few other materials, which I spent about $20 on.

Step 1: Plan & Visualize

Let's plan out this project.

I like to bring things into the real world through temporary materials, like marking things with removable masking tape. I can write on the tape, make notes to myself, and actually see what the results may be.

This is a solid-core, interior, four-panel bedroom door. The door swings into the bedroom, so the hinges are on the inside of the room.

I put masking tape on various parts of the door so that I could indicate where the cut-line would be, where I would add the hinge, and other notes, like a reminder to spin the knob around so that it locks from the hall side.

I originally thought it would be a fairly simple project to just cut the original door. However, I also wanted to take this back to being a regular door in the future if I wanted to. I checked at the home-improvement store to see how much a door similar to mine would cost (in case I wanted to buy a replacement in the future.) I was surprised to see that four-panel doors are not the current popular style, so it would have cost extra time and money to buy one.

Instead, I thought it would be better to save the original door, and replace it with the one I would cut down to a Dutch Door, even if it was a different style. That's the approach I ended up taking.
What a great post, one of the best I have seen. I did this project sometime ago, but yours is much better; especially liked the horizontal trim to cover the split doors. We installed between the kitchen and formal dining room and when the top half is open, it gives a whole new look to the space. Thank you for your hard work and detailed post.
Building my own Dutch Door for the living room. My situation is a little different.<br>1) No door currently exists &amp; I'm building both top &amp; bottom doors rather than cut a regular door.<br>2) The door is temporary. It needs to be removable at times during the day but remounted easily when needed. Living room doubles as a 4th bedroom @ night &amp; little kid wrangler during the day.<br>Thanks for the ideas.
<p>First class Instructable. You answered every question I had without having to ask. </p>
looks nice . my brother and i made one for his daughters room ,she also roams the house at night .but y did you need a second door
This is awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time to document your process. It is just what I needed to make a dutch door for my rabittry from a recycled, solid core, exterior door. :)
P.S. Your magnetic door catch is brilliant. I can see a version of that coming in handy for lots of projects.
This is a pretty cool door! I think it would be fun to have one of these in my home! I have been starting to get involved in <a href="http://schulerservice.com/remodeling.html" rel="nofollow">home remodeling allentown</a> and what they can do to help me! Can you tell me where I might be able to find more ideas like this one? Thanks!
Nice project. <br>Actually &quot;dutch doors&quot; as you call them could be found in most farm houses in Europe. They were used at the entrance to the main room (which was essentially the kitchen). As you pointed out they let light and fresh air and blocked animals except an adventurous chicken, duck or pigeon !&hellip; <br>What I liked about them was that I could leave the door semi opened, lean on it's bottom end and watch the summer rain fall in the yard without getting wet : wonderful feeling of being safe and in the out as well !&hellip; <br>The farm is now a nice vacation house for my sister and the &quot;dutch door&quot; has been replaced a long, long time ago by a more conventional door. They are almost nowhere to be seen now. My daughter saw one for the first time in her life only last summer. When I was young a dutch door was so common that its image meant being in the country.
VERY well done! Thank you!
Great job!<br> I also <strike>like </strike>love dutch doors.. I use them at the side entrance of the house next to the kitchen, so when i need more air circulation i open the top part..&nbsp;<br> <br> Thanks for sharing bennelson!<br> <br> cheers..
Nicely done...magnetic door stop is a great idea. :)
Prevent animals? <br> <br>You have not met my cat! ;)
Well, I guess for your cat, you could close the top of the door, move the top latch to the hallway side, and add a combination lock.
Very neat,and very nice.

About This Instructable


257 favorites


Bio: Ordinary guy with no special skills, just trying to change the world one backyard invention at a time. See more at: http://300mpg.org/ On ... More »
More by bennelson: Wet & Underwater Product Photography TV Wall of Terror Deep-Fried Chicken Pot Pies
Add instructable to: