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Dutch Doors

Simply put, a Dutch door is one that’s divided into two parts horizontally, so the bottom half can remain closed while the top half is open. When the connecting hardware is locked, the two halves act as one, posing as a solid door.
The name is a dead giveaway (though they’re sometimes called stable doors, half doors, and double-hung doors). Dutch doors were common in the Netherlands in the 17th century. They were devised for use as exterior doors on farmhouses to keep animals out and children in, while allowing air and light to come and go. Dutch settlers brought the style to the US, where it appeared on rural houses in New York and New Jersey. The style soon migrated to the cities, where they kept out vermin, street dirt, and debris. They also allowed residents to interact with deliverymen and the like without letting them inside the house.

The real beauty of a Dutch door lies not just in their stylish appearance, but in their flexible design as well. Homeowners love the convenience of being able to open the top half to enjoy the fresh air, while still keeping pets and children inside. Whether you are hoping to complete you home’s rustic farmhouse look, or trying to create something a little more modern, a Dutch door enhances the design of any entryway. Simpson can make Dutch doors in any size, any species, and in any design featuring an intermediate rail.

Most variations in Dutch doors are found in the choice of wood, the panel designs, and the height of the dividing break in the door. And, while the design DNA of Dutch doors is country, their appeal hasn’t escaped minimalist modern remakes.

Here’s a door with a split personality. Open and welcoming on the one hand, private and protective on the other. We’re talking, of course, about the Dutch door. A precursor to the screen door, it keeps unwanted visitors out while allowing sunlight and breezes to wander in. The Dutch door may be rooted in agricultural history, but it’s perfect for modern living. Find out if it deserves a spot on the front (or back) of your house (or even inside):

Dutch doors offer the flexibility of two styles in one, as you may choose different designs for the top and bottom. While the bottom half should be solid, many doors have a glass panel for the top half. Designs for both glass and solid panels vary widely: single or multiple-paned; clear or stained glass; flat, raised, or board-and-batten panel faces, and more.

Dutch doors offer the flexibility of two styles in one, as you may choose different designs for the top and bottom. While the bottom half should be solid, many doors have a glass panel for the top half. Designs for both glass and solid panels vary widely: single or multiple-paned; clear or stained glass; flat, raised, or board-and-batten panel faces, and more.


Do Dutch doors require special hardware?
Here’s the lowdown on hardware:
Hinges: Dutch doors require a minimum of four hinges, two for each door half (standard doors only need three). Standard door hinges will work if they meet the weight requirements. Period hardware is often used, such as sturdy Colonial-style strap hinges.
Knobs and Locks: The door knob and lock are installed on the lower half. For added security, a deadbolt can be placed on the top half.
Latch: This is the special piece of hardware you need to interlock the top and bottom leaves of the door. The bolt must be used when the door is closed, but you can leave it in place when the door is open for traditional door functionality.

Any tips for installing Dutch doors?

  • Consider whether to have a paned or solid top half. Do you want light to come in when the door is fully closed? Or do you want full privacy?
  • Remember the door swing. We’re not just talking about the standard door swing, but where your open top half will rest. Will it be in the way physically or visually? Is there ample space while it’s in open position?
  • Think about how you’ll hold the top half of the door open.
  • For an exterior door, you’ll need weatherstripping between the upper and lower leaves to keep wind and wet from sneaking in when the door is shut.
  • We recommend hiring a professional installer, especially for exterior doors where security and sealing out the weather elements is important. That said, if you’re an avid DIYer, there are many tutorials available. (This
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