Tiny House Doors – What I Wish I Knew + Design Ideas

tiny house doors

I did a lot right when I built my tiny house over a decade ago now, but there are a few things I’d change if I could go back, one of them being the door on my tiny house. Building a door for your tiny home is akin to building furniture and woodworking; Had I known that before, I’d have gone a different direction with my tiny house door.

NAVIGATION

The Basics Of Tiny House Doors

the basics of tiny house doors

A door is made up of rails that form what looks like almost a picture frame, and within it you’ll float panels. All that comes together to make the door, which is then seated into the door casing or door frame. You’ll then add your door hardware like locks, hinges, thresholds, and sweeps.

anatomy of a door diagram

tiny house door design ideas

Tiny House Door Dimensions

Tiny House Door Dimensions

One thing you’ll quickly learn about building a tiny house is that normal building materials are scaled to a big house size, so if you use them on your tiny home, they’ll look weird and out of proportion. That means there will be a lot of things in your build that you either have to build from scratch or get creative with when finding a solution.

One of the great things about tiny houses is that you can design it for your needs and preferences, and the door on your tiny home is no different. I designed the doorway on my tiny home to be 30 inches wide because, when I measured my shoulders, they were 27 inches across.

I also designed the door to be 3 inches taller than I was (73 inches tall) so I could walk through it without any trouble, but I didn’t want to make it any bigger than it needed to be. That was really important because it kept the scale of my front door smaller than normal.

tiny house dimensions

Tiny House Door Height: 80 Inches

tiny house door height

The standard door height for a tiny house is 80 inches. This size accommodates most people and is also required by building codes in most places. You may want to consider scaling this down depending on the size of your tiny home and the design you choose. In some designs it will look great, while in others it may look too big and mess with the proportions.

Tiny House Door Width: 36 Inches

tiny house door width

width rulerThe standard door width for a tiny house is 36 inches. This makes for a really spacious entryway and again, is required by code. One thing to consider is if you have any big items: a couch, shower stall, mattress, and appliances will need to be able to fit through your tiny house door after you’re done building. You may need to build some of these in place because they can’t fit after the fact.

Tiny House Door Thickness: 2 Inches

Tiny House Door Thickness

depth rulerThe average tiny house door is about 2 inches thick. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, and code doesn’t come into play here much, but security and standard door casings will push you into a 2 inch-thick door for your tiny house most likely.

Tiny House Door Rough Opening Width: 38 Inches

Tiny House Door Rough Opening Width

width rulerThe average tiny house door rough opening is 38 inches wide. The rough opening is the part of your wall framing that you complete before you install your door frame, which holds your door. This is one thing that I think first time builders can forget: your rough opening isn’t sized for the door, but rather for the door frame (which, again, holds the door itself).

Tiny House Door Rough Opening Height: 82.5 Inches

Tiny House Door Rough Opening Height

tiny house door rough opening heightThe typical height for a rough opening for a tiny house door is 82.5 inches. This accounts for the door frame and that threshold.

Door Rough Opening Chart

Door Rough Opening Chart

Here is a chart to help you size your door’s rough opening.

Door Size Rough Opening
24″ x 80″ 26″ x 82-1/2″
28″ x 80″ 30″ x 82-1/2″
30″ x 80″ 32″ x 82-1/2″
32″ x 80″ 34″ x 82-1/2″
34″ x 80″ 36″ x 82-1/2″
36″ x 80″ 38″ x 82-1/2″
how to build a tiny house

How To Build A Tiny House Door

How To Build A Tiny House Door

Like I mentioned, doors are complicated to build. As a first-time builder of anything, I didn’t realize what an art form building a door really is. I was just learning the ins and outs of woodworking, and by the time I got to building my door, I had only just begun to get comfortable with my table saw. I was nowhere near ready to build a door and, if I’m honest, I still wouldn’t be ready today.

Tiny house doors are tricky because they need to be incredibly precise. There is a lot of joinery involved, it has to be very straight, you have to do a lot of work to keep the pieces of wood from twisting and warping, and it needs to seal really well against the door frame.

tiny house building checklist cta

Tiny House Door Assembly Diagram

Tiny House Door Assembly Diagram

Here is a diagram of all the parts that go into building a door for your tiny house.

tiny house door assembly diagram

Tiny House Door Jamb Diagram

Tiny House Door Jamb Diagram

To get a better idea of how the door sits in the door frame and the frame is mounted into the rough opening of your wall framing, here is a door jamb diagram.

tiny house door jamb diagram

Tiny House Door Threshold Diagram

Tiny House Door Threshold Diagram

Here is a detail I wish I knew when I built my tiny house. The threshold is the bottom of the door frame where it seals to the wall and deals with any water that may come into contact with the door and drip down.

tiny house door threshold diagram

Tiny House Door Tips

Tiny House Door Tips

As I said, there are a few things that I wish I had done differently with my tiny house door when I built it. While I spent a lot of time planning out my build, there was still a lot I had to change on the fly and lessons I learned the hard way. As they say, hind sight is 20/20.

Consider Buying Instead Of Building

Consider Buying Instead Of Building

I think that building a door is certainly possible, but it is also very difficult. When you buy doors, they are very expensive—even off the shelf standard doors will run you around $400 and up. That said, I think that buying a door made by a company that does so every day using advanced materials is a huge advantage.

Realize You’re Not Saving A Lot Of Money With DIY Doors

Realize You’re Not Saving A Lot Of Money With DIY Doors

My door all in cost me about $400 for the materials, plus $120 for the double pane bare window I bought to put in it. I also put in about 30 hours of labor to assemble it. If I had instead spent 30 hours working and used that money to buy a nice custom door, I’d end up thousands of dollars ahead and have a much higher quality door.

how much does a tiny house cost

Buy A Stock Door Where Possible

Consider Buying Instead Of Building

Stock doors are mass produced and you can usually find a good value between quality and price. To give you a rough idea of costs, a stock door can run around $500 while a custom door starts at around $900 and is easy to get into the $1,500 range.

Don’t Forget Your Interior Doors For A Tiny House

Don’t Forget Your Interior Doors For A Tiny House

One thing that stands out to me when I walk through other homes after gaining so much experience building is the quality of interior doors. Like anything, it can be a really easy thing to overlook, but there is just something very pleasing about good interior doors.

People fawn over granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and other obvious upgrades, but a house with nice solid interior doors screams high quality more than most things. The reason for this is that it’s a subtle detail that penny pinchers and showy people skip over as unimportant. When you talk with a homebuilder that’s passionate about their craft, they always make sure the seemingly little details are done right too.

tiny house kitchen ideas
tiny house bathrooms

Tiny House Door Ideas – Design Photos

tiny house door ideas and photos

There are many great ideas out there when it comes to your tiny house door design. The choices you make in your tiny home around your door can set the tone because it’s the focal point of the outside of your house. There are a lot of subtle design choices that go into a door and, like I said before, they really are the labor of talented craftsman—art pieces in their own right.

Tiny House Front Door Photos

Tiny House Front Door Photos

The entryway to your tiny house sets the tone for your entire design. One great way to draw the eye in is with a bright color, like a tiny house with a red front door.

design and build collection

glass fornt door on tiny home
tiny house solid wood front door
tiny house standard front door
tiny home modern front door
tiny home red front door
tiny home wood entry door
split entry door on tiny home
wood door on tiny house
reclaimed front door on tiny home
five panel door on tiny house
tiny house unique entry door
aframe front door
solid wood entry door on tiny house
entry door on tiny house
front door on tiny house
tiny home entry door
tiny house entry door
tiny house entrance door
tiny house entrance door
tiny house front door
glass front door on tiny house
tiny home front door
tiny home glass front door
design and build a tiny house book

Tiny Houses With French Doors – Double Doors

Tiny Houses With French Doors

Having French doors on the front of your tiny house is a great way to let in a lot of light and open the space up even more.

french doors on container home
french doors on small house
tiny house with glass french doors
tiny house with modern french doors
rustic tiny house french doors
open french doors on tiny house
french entry doors on tiny house
french doors on tiny house
frenc h doors on tiny home kitchen
contemporary tiny house french doors
tiny house french doors design
french entry doors on modern tiny house
french doors on tiny home
tiny house glass french doors

Tiny Houses With Glass Garage Doors

Tiny Houses With Glass Garage Doors

Tiny houses with glass garage doors that open up are very popular these days and for good reason. Living tiny also means extending your inside space outside to a deck or patio.

One thing to realize with these doors is that they’re pretty much impossible to air seal, which will dramatically reduce the efficiency of your tiny home. While most brands go to a lot of effort to seal these well with rubber strips, flaps, and gaskets, they still aren’t very air tight. That means heating and cooling your tiny house will be much harder.

glass garage door on tiny house
glass garage door on tiny home
glass garage door on tiny home bedroom
glass garage door on small house
glass garage door on tiny home
tiny home with garage door wall
tiny house with garage door wall
tiny home with garage door wall
garage door on tiny house
tiny home with garage door

tiny house windows

Tiny House Barn Doors

Tiny House Barn Doors

Barn doors are all the rage right now and for good reason: they can be used to add a door where a swinging door wouldn’t be possible because of the small space. Barn door rails and roller hardware is becoming a bit more affordable—there are even some great DIY options too.

tiny house with barn doors
tiny home with interior barn door
barn door in tiny home
barn door in tiny home kitchen
barn door i n tiny house kitchen
tiny home with accent barn door
tiny house barn door design
tiny house with barn door as ladder
tiny house barn door style
barn door in tiny house kitchen

Tiny House Pocket Doors

Tiny House Pocket Doors

Pocket doors are my favorite option for small spaces. They require planning and you can’t put them in walls where plumbing or electrical are needed, but they’re well worth it. I like these much better than barn doors, personally. Just make sure you buy a really high-quality pocket door hardware kit and good frame.

pocket door in tiny home
tiny house pocket door

tiny house building checklist cta

Your Turn!

  • What are you going to do for your tiny house doors?
1 Comment
  1. One can often find really good used doors at very low prices…just takes some poking around to find. Well worth the work of refinishing if one finds a really great old door.

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