- 1 41 Brilliant Examples of Dutch Doors [Photos]
- 2 History of Double Hung Doors
- 3 Six Interesting Benefits of Half Doors
- 4 Popular Dutch Door Colors and Styles
- 5 Half Door Sizes and Configurations
- 6 Options – Shelf, Screen, Pet Door, Mail Slot
- 7 Exterior Dutch Doors in Fiberglass
- 8 Where can I buy Split Doors?
- 9 Important Considerations
- 10 Get Your FREE In-home Estimate Today!
- 11 More Entry Door Styles
Plan and design your perfect Dutch Door with expert advice, tips, size and configuration information and inspiration from Today’s Entry Doors.
Dutch Doors also known as Half Doors, Split Doors, Double-hung Doors and sometimes mistakenly as “Doors with Windows”; are split in half horizontally. Typically the top and bottom halves (leaves) swing open and shut independently. They can also be operated like traditional doors by locking the top and bottom sections together, so the door swings as one unit. Extremely versatile, they are used as both exterior and interior doors.
41 Brilliant Examples of Dutch Doors [Photos]
Click Photo to Enlarge
Dutch Doors are a very popular entry door style in here Orange County and throughout sunny, breezy Southern California. Used for front or back home entryways they are an attractive yet practical way to monitor kids, pets and neighborhood activity, while maintaining security and privacy.
History of Double Hung Doors
Exterior Half doors first appeared in the U.S. back in 17th century. Introduced by the Dutch settlers in New York and New Jersey, they quickly became popular among the early colonists.
Early America was a rural, farm based community –and barbed wire was not yet invented. This meant farm animals freely roamed around and made an occasional uninvited visit into the home. With Exterior half doors, people were able to safely keep little children indoors and the livestock and other curious critters outside, where they belong.
Another reason for its tremendous popularity was that – prior to the invention of the screen door by Hanna Hagar – there was no practical way of having adequate fresh air and sunlight coming into the kitchen without opening the door. The split door made it possible not only to bring in some fresh air and sunlight – but also act as a barrier against dust and dry leaves from blowing in.
Six Interesting Benefits of Half Doors
Today, half doors remain a popular choice for front or back home entryways–an attractive yet practical solution with many advantages;
- Monitor your kids, pets and neighborhood activity, while maintaining security and privacy.
- Act as an effective baby-gate in your nursery, or in older kids room/ play room, so Mom and Dad can quietly check on little ones without disturbing their play or sleep-it’s can even be installed in the parents’ bedroom.
- Improve indoor air quality by installing an exterior Split Door in your kitchen or pantry and let in the fresh breeze from outside.
- Extremely versatile that some folks install them in the laundry room, so air can easily flow in and out for better drying. It’s also ideal for a back, mud/ storage room, tool shed or side garage door.
- You can be friendly yet safe from strangers, by opening only the top part.
- Split type Doors can also be used in an office area where the door shelf/ counter top can act as a reception desk – customers can interact, but not walk-in.
Popular Dutch Door Colors and Styles
- The most popular color is Black.
- In many Orange County Oceanfront neighborhoods White and Blue are also popular
- The third most popular color is Red.
Some opt for split finishes – where you can have one color on the exterior and another color on the interior surface of the door. You are not limited to paint – if you prefer a particular wooden species, you can stain your door to accentuate the richness of the wooden skin.
Classic/ Traditional style doors are most in-demand, followed by Rustic, Craftsman/ Cottage, and Modern styled doors. You can have Half doors with glass inserts. This can be a half-light that covers the top leaf or even a nine-lite with 9 glass panels.
Half Door Sizes and Configurations
Most doors come in the standard size of 36 inches. However, even odd-sized entrances that are 42 inches wide (or wider) and 8-foot tall entrances can be ‘Split’. An expert installer can upgrade almost any entryway into a Dutch Door system.
Double Dutch Doors
If your entryway is 5 foot wide – you can install two 30 inch Double Hung Doors. Measured in inches, they are called 2 x 30″x80″. Measured in feet, they are known as 5′-0″ x 6′-8″ doors.
Another 5 foot wide entry configuration is to have a Single Door with two sidelights. Sidelights can be passive or active (operable) so they can be opened and even converted to act as another smaller door.
An interesting option is to have only one of your double doors ‘Dutched’ – the other door can be made inactive.
Above is an image of a Double Door with only one door ‘Dutched’.
Options – Shelf, Screen, Pet Door, Mail Slot
A popular addition is installing a retractable screen (hide-a screen). This gives you the added benefit of keeping out insects and no-see-ums, whilst keeping the top part of your door open. You’ll need to have an additional shelf to support the screen.
If you have a pet, you can install a doggie door to the bottom part of the Door. We have also installed split doors with mail slots.
Exterior Dutch Doors in Fiberglass
Fiberglass entry doors from Today’s Entry Doors can beautify your Orange County home for many years–without the maintenance worries of wood. You can find Dutch doors in Delightful, Durable fiberglass, which provide:
- The same richness, texture and beauty as wood
- Adorn your home for years without fading, splitting or cracking
- Energy-insulate your entryway five times more efficiently than wood
Take a moment now to preview some of the exterior doors we’ve installed right here in Orange County, including a distinctive array of entry door hardware and doors with sidelights.
Ever seen a Dutch door in a magazine or movie and thought
“That’s cool! I want one of those!”?
If so, you’re not alone.
Contact Today’s Entry Doors to
transform your entryway with a distinctive look and style.
Where can I buy Split Doors?
Today’s Entry Doors, we sell with installation Doors from three world-class manufacturers, Jeld-Wen, Therma-Tru, and Plastpro.
Jeld-Wen manufactures premium quality doors, with a wide choice. If you are looking for moderate to high-end doors, we recommend Therma-Tru and Plastpro as a ‘value for money’ option.
Most residential doors come as ‘in-swing’, where the door swings into the house. We recommend in-swing doors as they are relatively safe from strong winds and easier to install.
It is possible to install out-swing doors; however, they can be hazardous, especially due to Southern California’s Santa Ana winds. Out swing doors may fly-out of your hands during a strong gust and could pose a threat. A door closer or chain with a ring can be installed to stop the door from banging. However, they usually do not add to the aesthetics of your door. In our experience, out swing Dutch Doors are an oddity in SoCal. We have installed a few out swing doors – with the caveat of the homeowner taking into consideration strong wind and personal safety.
You will also need to consider the walkway so that the swing does not hinder free movement.
Hardware – Latch and Deadbolt
The lockset comes in two parts; the latch (handle with thumb lever or knob) for the bottom leaf and the deadbolt for the top leaf. In a standard sectional lockset, the latch holds and locks the door and typically does not require a key. The key is required for the deadbolt which provides added security. As the two leaves act as independent doors, we recommend both the latch and deadbolt are secured with separate keys.
Placement of Latch
Almost any custom styled Split door can be crafted with wood. However, with fiberglass, only pre-existing doors that have a flat spot in the middle (intermediate rail) can be ‘split’. Because of this, the handle latch with thumb lever of the bottom leaf in a fiberglass Half Door is placed 3” to 4” lower than a standard size door. The standard placement of the door handle/ thumb lever is 36” off the floor. In a Fiberglass Dutch Door, it can be 32” to 33” off the floor.
Slide Bolt (Dutch Bolt) and Hinges
The Slide Bolt (also known as Dutch Door Bolt) locks the top and bottom leaves together so they act as a single door. The slight looseness in the Slide Bolt may cause the two leaves to rattle. There needs to be additional weatherstripping installed on rabbeted edge of top leaf to eliminate the slide bolt rattle.
Half Doors require 4 hinges, 2 for each leaf. Standard doors typically have 3 hinges.
Security and Energy Efficiency
The security of a Dutch Door depends on the type of ‘cut’ that splits the leaves. Energy Efficiency depends on the weather seal around the door system and between the two leaves.
A door can be split in a couple of ways. The most common technique is the straight cut. The other is the rabbet cut method.
Many DIY experts recommend the Straight Cut method. It is a flat, horizontal cut and extremely easy to do. Simply take a full-sized door and cut it horizontally, and Viola! You have a Dutch Door. Although uncomplicated, this is a poor and insecure way to split your Door. We do not recommend it.
The other method is the Rabbet Cut with no Weatherstripping. The horizontal cuts in both leaves are of inverse ‘L’ shapes. The Rabbets create a secure fit between both leaves. Many professional installers follow this method. Although very secure, it’s not energy efficient.
We prefer to go a step further and recommend the Rabbet Cut with Weatherstripping. This is the same as the Rabbet Cut, but with built in weatherstripping. A thin strip of weatherstripping (Q-Lon strip) is inserted along the cut of the bottom leaf. This method is not only more secure but also weather proof. The Q-Lon along with the rest of the weatherstripping system around the frame and threshold not only acts as a weather shield but is also extremely energy efficient.
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If you found this article interesting, you may also like our handy 5-step guide to help you choose a new front entry door for your home.
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