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Old 10-09-12, 03:50 PM   #1
bennelson
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Default DIY Dutch Door?

Anyone ever take a regular door and convert it to a dutch door?

We've got a 2-year old girl at home who just figured out how to escape her crib. We don't want her leaping out and getting hurt, so the other night, I converted the crib to a "toddler bed". Basically the crib minus the front - sort of a daybed look to it.

The trouble now is that she can now leave her room at anytime easily enough.

I don't like any of those "baby-gates". They never really work well, and just end up being a hastle.

So, I wondered about a "Dutch-Door". If I cut the door in half, we could use the bottom as a very solid and simple baby-gate, while leaving the top half open.

Besides cutting the door, I'd also have to add an extra hinge, some trim on the back bottom of the top door, and add a flat top plate to the cut of the bottom half. It would also need a bolt or latch to connect or disconnect the two halves.

It could look rather nice AND be very functional. I've just never done something like this before.

Has anyone else? Any suggestions?

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Old 10-09-12, 04:03 PM   #2
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if it's a solid door then it's straightforward. If it's a hollow interior door you'll need to insert a board on each side of the cut to stiffen things up again.
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Old 10-09-12, 04:07 PM   #3
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It's solid-core, but a four-panel style.

There's enough room between the upper and lower panels, yet above the knob to do a straight cut all the way across.
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Old 10-09-12, 05:41 PM   #4
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It should be easy enough then. The only thing I'll add is going from escaping the crib to defeating any child lock invented took both of mine about 5 months. Now the only defence is making it too high to reach...
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Old 10-09-12, 06:32 PM   #5
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I plan on spinning the knob around so that the locking side is on the OUTSIDE. With the top of the dutch door open, it should serve as an effictive baby gate. If I put the latch that combines both halves of the door on the inside, nobody of a decent height should fear getting locked inside.

I'm kinda making a home version of the child-locks found on the back doors of a car! The top of the dutch door would act like an open car window, allowing you to reach out and unlock from the outside if needed.
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Old 10-10-12, 12:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
It's solid-core, but a four-panel style.

There's enough room between the upper and lower panels, yet above the knob to do a straight cut all the way across.

Chances are if you make it a half door your child will drag over something to stand on and escape at will.
Maybe a 3/4 door with a 1/4 at the top ? or is that too much like prison.
Speaking of which, when me and my siblings were young my mother would drop us off at the bowling alley day care while she bowled. In that prison set up the door knob was moved near the top of the door preventing the hoard of unhappy children from escaping.
Kids hate to be locked as much as most adults, most but not my brother, the jail bird who did not mind bowling alley lock down as much as me..
Might be best if children do not get used to being locked behind doors, not that you want to do that, just saying we don't want our kids to get too settled with that situation
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Old 10-10-12, 09:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
I plan on spinning the knob around so that the locking side is on the OUTSIDE. With the top of the dutch door open, it should serve as an effictive baby gate. If I put the latch that combines both halves of the door on the inside, nobody of a decent height should fear getting locked inside.

I'm kinda making a home version of the child-locks found on the back doors of a car! The top of the dutch door would act like an open car window, allowing you to reach out and unlock from the outside if needed.
They also sell plastic door knob covers that 'slip' when you turn the knob and require you to squeeze harder than a toddler can squeeze to get them open. Also if you have a hulk baby, then you'd need them to have an adult sized hand too. This type of door knob 'child lock' is used in child care facilities(although I haven't seen this particular one) and they are successful.

Buy Safety 1st Grip n' Twist Door Knob Cover & More | drugstore.com
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Old 10-10-12, 09:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MN Renovator View Post
They also sell plastic door knob covers that 'slip' when you turn the knob and require you to squeeze harder than a toddler can squeeze to get them open. Also if you have a hulk baby, then you'd need them to have an adult sized hand too. This type of door knob 'child lock' is used in child care facilities(although I haven't seen this particular one) and they are successful.

Buy Safety 1st Grip n' Twist Door Knob Cover & More | drugstore.com
This is what we used to our basement door.

We didn't have much issues with the kids running around the house. We had a bungalow at the time so it wasn't a really big deal. On the kitchen cupboards we put these clips that would wrap around both cupboard handles so they couldn't get in. The drawers we couldn't do much for.

When both our kids were 2 we put them both into single beds with the side protectors so they wouldn't fall out. My oldest barely EVER left his room...solid sleeper. The other one would leave his room and come into our room. Never had a fear of them walking around the house other then to in our room (again we had a bungalow and the basement door had one of those slippy handles on them). Depends on how adventurous your kids are and how much trouble they'll get into.
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Old 10-10-12, 11:55 AM   #9
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The doors that I want the kids to stay inside don't have knobs, they are all those lever handles. We've tried those squeeze child locks on the knobs. Two hands, some coordination and a bit of strength is enough to turn them. My four year old opens them as quickly as I do and my 2.5 year old only takes 10 seconds or so.

For the cupboards I gave up and used a thick bungy cord wrapped betweed the handles and tied tight. My son then 2 years old at the time simply ripped the handles off of the cupboard. Anything important is now kept 5 feet or higher up.

My nephews were similar and their mom wanted to keep them in their room at night. In the end she removed the handle from the inside of the door. She kept a screw driver up high to turn the latch if she got locked in.
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Old 10-11-12, 10:09 PM   #10
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Hmmm. Lots of comments on "child-proofing" and none on building a Dutch Door.

I've always disliked all the various plastic knobs and other anti-child devices.

Since the little girl is now in a bed, instead of a crib, we just want her to stay in her room.

I spent the better part of today building a Dutch Door for the Little Girl's room. It's still not totally done, but it's there and functional. Hopefully, if she wakes up tonight, she'll stay in the room instead of coming and hunting us down like the last couple of nights.

That comment about the bowling alley was funny. My wife and her brother both spent lots of time at the bowling alley daycare when she was a kid!

I still need to add a bolt that connects the top and bottom halves, some sanding, another piece of trim on the front, and then paint the whole thing.
Here's a couple of photos.








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Last edited by bennelson; 10-11-12 at 10:13 PM.. Reason: added more photos
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