How to Create a Dutch Door | Ask This Old House

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Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva converts a regular door into a Dutch door.
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Time: 3 hours

Cost: $100

Skill Level: Moderate

Tools List for Creating a Dutch Door:
Pencil []
Safety glasses []
Chisel []
Utility knife []
Drill []
Track saw []
Palm sander []

Shopping List:
Hinges (with screws) []
Barrel latch []
Scrap cardboard []
Scrap wood for Filler []
Wood glue []
Wood screws []
80-100 grit sandpaper []

1. With the door still hung in the jamb, mark where the cut for Dutch door will be. Use that as a guide to mark for 2 additional hinges above and below the cut mark.
2. Mortise the door where the new hinges will go with a chisel. Scoring around the mark with a utility knife can help prevent the door from chipping or cracking.
3. Once the hinges can fit flush against the door, attach the hinges to the door using a drill and screws.
4. With the new hinges attached to the door, trace where the hinges will attach to the jamb. Mortise the jamb and attach the other side of the hinges the same as earlier.
5. Replace the old hinges with new ones so that all four hinges match. If the old hinges are thicker than the new ones, add a filler piece of scrap cardboard behind both hinges before installing.
6. Remove the door from the jamb.
7. Cut two pieces of scrap wood the width of the door and taper them on opposite sides.
8. Cut the door in half with the track saw to fit the tapered filler pieces.
9. Attach one filler piece to the bottom of the top half of the door using wood glue and screws.
10. Rehang the top half of the door, then the bottom. With the door in place, attach the second filler piece to the top of the bottom half of the door and adjust as necessary with a palm sander.
11. Install a barrel latch to the top and bottom halves of the door to lock the top half of the door.

Everything Tom used for this project, including the chisel, utility knife, hole saw, hinges, and latches can be found at home centers.

Tom used wood glue [] and polyurethane glue [], manufactured by Gorilla Glue (

The track saw Tom used is manufactured by Festool [] (

Expert assistance for this project was provided by Woodcraft (

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Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Create a Dutch Door | Ask This Old House

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