Door Ideas

post by jkaufman · 2019-10-25T12:40:01.627Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW · 8 comments

The front door to our apartment doesn't really have space to swing. When we first moved in it opened to the right, blocking part of the hallway and keeping you from carrying groceries straight through to the kitchen:

This was annoying, so after some discussion with housemates I turned it around:

In practice this is maybe better, maybe worse, still pretty annoying.

We've considered removing the door:

But this would let kid-noise carry more down to Julia's office, wouldn't work if we had a housemate with a small child or cat, and if at some point the people downstairs were not close friends it would be a little weird.

We could have the door open out instead:

But this would be too awkward to open, since the landing is so small that the door kind of needs to swing through you.

So, it currently still looks like:

One idea is I could cut it down the middle, and let it fold a second time:

This gets it out of the way when it's open, but at the cost of having a really very large swing.

Perhaps the door should open in the middle?

Very narrow for a double door, and it still sticks out a bit on the left. There's extra space on the right, though, so you could make it asymmetrical?

Or, even one door going in and one going out?

This would be a bit more work, but we could put a track on the ceiling that allowed the door to slide around a curve, opening outwards but with a much reduced sweep:

Predictions on what we'd end up liking best?

8 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by philh · 2019-10-28T15:42:28.744Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Opening in the centre is a bit more fiddly to open when you only have one free hand, since you need to push two things out of the way. Not such a problem if it's light enough to comfortably open just by walking through, with your shoulder or foot or something.

Closing them behind you is worse, since they're not even next to each other. Unless it self-closes, but then you may find yourself keeping it open with your body as you go through.

One in, one out is worse again, since you need to push one part and pull the other.

Maybe double hinge, opening towards the kitchen? Has a smaller swing than the other way. One thing I don't like about it is that if you push on the outer edge, you likely only open half the door; but again, that's less of a problem opening towards the kitchen (because the outer section is smaller).

Problem: You might find yourself accidently folding it too much, and banging the outer edge against the corner that it's meant to fold around.

comment by philh · 2019-10-28T17:22:30.958Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm not sure how feasible this is, but could you have a hinge on the middle of the door that's locked in place until something puts pressure on a point near the hinge? Then that pressure could be supplied by (something jutting out from?) the corner the door is meant to be bending around. It acts like a single solid door until it reaches full swing, and only then the annoying extra bit separates to fold around.

comment by clone of saturn · 2019-10-27T08:22:44.874Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Another option would be an accordion-style door with hinges in the middle, which folds into the little space next to the doorway.

comment by romeostevensit · 2019-10-25T18:37:42.436Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

symmetric, middle open inwards. More off the shelf options that way too meaning more likely to find something you really like.

comment by jkaufman · 2019-10-25T21:59:38.284Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Off the shelf isn't too important; I'm happy to make something

comment by kithpendragon · 2019-10-26T22:31:30.655Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Well, since you said you aren't worried about forced entry, what about a symmetrical split, self closing, double acting door (opens both ways)? You get the sound-blocking benefits, you can set up something to hold the door open if needed, and you can use the door from either direction with both hands full.

ETA: Or you could have a bifold door that opens by folding in the center (this solution uses a linear track on the ceiling). Looks like you might have enough room on the right.

comment by Jadael · 2019-10-25T13:30:44.188Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Opening in the center, away from you, for sure. Whether symmetric or asymmetric.

In your scenario of carrying in cargo (whether groceries or, say, a sleeping child), having both swing away is a clear advantage.

I think that does make the door significantly less secure against forced entry, but it there's already a secure outer door that's maybe less important?

comment by jkaufman · 2019-10-25T14:09:50.402Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, I'm not worried about forced entry; we leave this door unlocked and lock the building's exterior doors.