Interior Basement Door Dilema

cflahertyApril 11, 2011

We r renovating our kitchen and would ideally like to put a pocket door at the top of our basement stairs (where our kitchen is) but would require a microlamb b/c its a load bearing wall. I was thinking of a 6 panel door cut down the middle and opening like a french door (swinging in towards the kitchen not the steps). Does anyone know what is the name for this type of door so I may search for one?

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You want 2 single bi-fold doors mounted on regular hinges (3 panels each door). Or you can just get French Doors custom made to fit your opening (I'm assuming the size is too small for standard French Doors).

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 6:39AM
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We had a similar situation for our master bath. I wanted a double vanity but couldn't fit it if I had a 30" door swinging into the bathroom. I believe the carpenter fashioned french doors from two side lights to which he added a piece of wood to widen them a bit. The result is fantastic. We used a cremone bolt for the knob and closing mechanism.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 11:04AM
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I think you are talking about a Dutch door? We had one in our old house - the top could be opened independently from the bottom and vice versa.

Our basement also opens into the kitchen. We are getting a single panel door, and I am painting it with magnetic primer then chalkboard paint so it will hold magnets that don't stick to the SS fridge and it will be our little "message center".

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 11:12AM
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What is door like now? Is there no chance there is a pocket already there? (We had one forgotten one in a wall but couldn't salvage it.)

Could you add a pocket? That's what we did--we enlarged one wall the depth and width of the pocket and made the opening about 6-9 inches deep faced with a wide oak board. Solved a lot of problems with heat ducting in the wall and plaster on the back side that we didn't want to disturb.

We put in one pocket door to basement (not bearing wall) and one to dining room (bearing wall). We're so glad now that we don't have doors swinging in that area--it's all along a walkpath and the doors won't be opened that often anyway. If we could have pocketed a third door we would have (sigh).

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 1:08PM
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Our basement door opened right in to our kitchen with an outward swing. Our solution was the same as cheril27. I insisted on having doors with windows because I wanted to be able to see if anyone was behind the door prior to opening it, even if they were just 15" each. It was probably the best thing we did for our basement - it allows SO much light down there, which is not a benefit I had considered. HTH!!!

You can see our doors on the left side of the picture below. Sorry I don't have a better one.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 3:33PM
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Seriously? If I buy sidelights I can make doors? That is AWESOME! I never thought about that. I want glass doors to my bathroom and closet, but the openings are only 24" wide (because of the big swing issue and pockets didn't work out), but they don't come that small. Maybe I can do this now. Yippie!!!

Lagrant, love the marble, LOVE the pendants!!!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 3:26PM
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Lagrant and Cheri, you solution is clever and wonderful. Great idea, folks, if you don't intend the basement doors to be open most of the time!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 3:35PM
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lagrant...are you on the finished kitchens blog? I couldn't find you. I'd love the details of your gorgeous kitchen!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 8:52PM
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Lagrant, love the door! Would you please tell me where you purchased the doors? Will definitely do this instead of a micro lamb to put in a pocket door.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 9:23PM
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Thank you all for your ideas! I truely appreciate it! If anyone has an idea where we could purchase these doors please share. I live in NJ. Thx.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 9:31PM
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Lagrant, I love your basement door! I have an odd question -- how much of the basement stairway can you see with the door closed? Our unfinished basement is so dreary that I painted the steps bright purple and the walls polka-dotted. It definitely puts a smile on my face when I go to do laundry, but it doesn't exactly flow with the main floor decor. I love those french doors so much I'd be willing to lose the polka dots, but I can't bear the hassle of repainting the steps, so I'm wondering how much is visible when you're standing in front of the closed doors.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 10:19AM
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Sure, NOW I see this post! We just took the door completely off and finished the doorway to look as if there was never a door there. We just made the stairwell landing part of the kitchen.

Now I see this and want to whine, "Why didn't I think of that??" We could have even left one side open for the kitties, without intruding into the kitchen or walkways.

Fine. Whatevs. *goes off to pout*

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 4:57PM
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cflaherty and others...I'm so sorry - I was away and I didn't make it back to this post.

Let's see - I can't recall the manufacturer of the doors, but many companies carried them when I was looking - 5 lite interior french doors was my search. I think Masonite and Craftmaster come to mind. I would go to HD and ask. My contractor ordered them thru his supplier. They were wood and had to be painted. Good luck! I will remember to come back and check for additional questions.

Jenva - Depending on the time of day I can see very well down there or almost not at all. I would say that it depends on your house position and where you get most of your sunlight.

Stephct - I'm sorry, but no, it's not on the finished kitchens blog. I don't want to hijack this thread, but if you start a new one, I will reply with the details of my kitchen.

Hope this helps, everyone!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 4:22PM
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    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 3:36PM
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I like the design of your house and of the doors! It's neat and nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Basement Entry Systems

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 10:43AM
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