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Side Door
cigany
January 29, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We are adding a deck to the side of our house and have two door options. One is to put in a sliding glass door, which will open up the room but give us a view of the neighbor's house. The other option is to put a cool exterior door, opening out to save space, on the far left corner. This won't open up the room, but we won't have the view of the neighbor's house, and we will still have space on the wall for a china cabinet that we desperately need. Any thoughts?
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cigany
I'm open to other ideas too, but these options would work with the small space we have inside.
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 2:00PM
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kimdee24
I'd say if the view with the sliding door is not desirable, and it wouldn't add to the value of the room, I would go with the smaller door and the space you need for storage.
1 Like   January 29, 2013 at 2:14PM
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Erin
I think we need some more details? Would the door be on the same wall as the picture? The windows will remain?
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 2:17PM
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cigany
The windows would remain. The door has to go on the wall where the picture is. I'd center the door if it's a slider, or put it all the way to the left if it's a single door. The cabinet and picture behind the table will be moved elsewhere.
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 2:19PM
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
Do the slider and landscape/wall of the view of the neighbors.
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 2:19PM
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cigany
Also, I was thinking big antique armoire for storage if we go with the single door.
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 2:20PM
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mpoulsom
or plant some cypress along the neighbor's side of the yard and one day you will see green and not them! :) I love light, so I would probably go for more glass and wait for the trees to grow!
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 2:20PM
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mpoulsom
temporarily you could put tall plants on the deck until the trees in yard grow!
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Erin
I think an exterior door on the left would just look odd. It would never look like it was 'meant' to be there. I think french doors in the middle. Sliders need to be pretty big so you can walk through comfortably. With french doors you could get them smaller overall to take up less wall space. And i think it would look nice with 2 tall skinny china cabinets on either side of the doors instead of one large cabinet. I think the light and opening of the room will far outweigh the idea of not wanting to look at the neighbors house. You could always get obscure glass or if you some kind of drapery. Or even the curtains that are mounted on the door.
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 2:38PM
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Chris
If you used a pair of narrow French doors, you wouldn't need so wide an opening and would have room for built-ins (or narrow armoires!) on either side. The doors/built ins could be proportioned so that the doors open flat against the built-ins.
You could window film the doors or go for decorative clear glass if you're really concerned about the uglies.
Depending on how much yard and deck there are, you have multiple options for screening off the neighbors: a narrow hedge as mpoulsom suggests, or a lattice/trellis with a vine, or planting boxes on the outside edging of the deck. There are lots of cute boxes/pots made to fit right on the railing itself, too, which would give your plantings a boost of several feet before they are even planted. The plantings won't have to be terribly high to shelter seated diners from a view of the neighbors.

My first (and so far only) really ambitious stained glass project were a pair of panels to fill the 3 by 7' center window in a big bay. My house and the bay were built about 20 years before the neighboring house was literally crammed in next door. At he narrowest point, there are about 8' between the houses --but I have a light filled and lovely dining room anyway.
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 2:48PM
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cigany
I love the idea of French doors bc they look nice and are narrow. My concern is that we have a very small dining area inside and am not sure we would have room for the doors to swing open comfortably. We have 24" between the wall and the chair. The cabinet that's there now is 16" deep and I think anything deeper would look cramped.

We could buy French doors that open out, but we have little kids and cats so I'd really like a screen to keep them in and bugs out. Has anyone tried retractable screens? Are they flimsy (would they hold up to kids and cats)? Is the casing ugly, as it would have to be mounted inside the house? Do they slide easily (I'm picturing carrying food out, with a small child on my leg, and a cat escaping because I need two hands and some patience to close the screens or two French doors).

Thank you!
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Chris
Two 16" French doors would give you a 32" opening.... and the full length would bring in lots of light. Howe wide are the other doors into the room?
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 3:25PM
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cigany
Wow, I didn't realize I could get doors that narrow. Would you mount two retractable screens outside with that? I guess one would work too?

Can French doors be mounted so they lay flat against the wall when open, even with moulding?

There are no other doors really. This is the eat in kitchen, which is attached to the living room by a large opening, nearly the size of the dining area. On the same wall to the right, in the living room, there is a large fireplace if that helps...
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 3:37PM
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PRO
Twisted Minds Custom Designs
You can also buy doors that have blinds enclosed in the glass that can be operated like traditional venetian blinds except you never have to worry above dusting, kids, or pets wrecking them.
1 Like   January 29, 2013 at 3:44PM
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cobox5
I have the retractable screen doors on a french door and on a single door out to a very large deck. I thought they were VERY expensive (over 1000 dollars) but I wanted a clean look that wasn't in the way in the winter and didn't need any swing room. They met all these needs but....people find them very difficult to open and close (except me). Children, on the other hand, just walk right into them and they pop open. I would never spend the money on these, again. The idea is right but the end product is lacking. The screens are 4 years old.
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 3:52PM
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cigany
Is there any alternative for screens with French doors? Has anyone else had this or another experience with retractable screens?

My husband wants to have the doors open out with no screens. I just think it would stink to give up the breeze and be cut off from people outside when I'm inside, just bc we are trying to keep critters in.
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 3:59PM
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PRO
Teresa M. Morgan
Sliding door have come a long. Choose a double sliding door that open from center with both sides pushing to side. Add a pergola to help conceal the neighbors house if its a two story house. Have fun and keep the window too!
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 4:09PM
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kimdee24
I have a similar space problem, where that I wouldn't have room for doors that swing in, or out really. I have a three wide sliding glass door, where only the center panel operates. This window lets in so much light and I just love it!
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 4:11PM
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carolannr
Really don't think you would like the option of the traffic going to the middle of that wall in a room that size. What about the two narrow french door option with only one opening close to the corner? The other could be stationery. The screen door could remain on the outside and with that door opening in the corner into the room. you would still have room for an armoire - possibly permanent builtins to balance the look of the off center doors? Making the whole wall into a one pc option into the room only as deep as those builtins, Would keep the traffic pattern out of the middle of the room which is important for the transfer of food out to the new deck for dinner, too.
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 4:24PM
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cigany
Thank you all so much for your input!
0 Likes   January 29, 2013 at 5:33PM
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ecktmj
I have a similar situation...I have french doors and I frosted the glass....I get lots of light....I can open them when moving about the patio area when entertaining...otherwise they look great...lots of light....no view of ugly wall when closed. Hope this helps.
0 Likes   January 30, 2013 at 12:03AM
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cigany
Did you buy the glass already frosted or did you treat it yourself? Would you be able to post a picture?
0 Likes   January 30, 2013 at 5:16AM
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Patricia Torney
I would opt for a slider that has blinds between two panes of glass. You can adjust them to let in as much light or as little light. They also can be pulled up and there is clear glass. They have beautiful tall fiberglass planters you can put on your deck to make a natural border between your neighbors house and your deck. Add some tall plan things which will make the view out your slider seem like a garden.
1 Like   January 30, 2013 at 6:21AM
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cigany
We are going with a sliding door. Does anyone have a 5' wide door? Does the open door space feel too narrow?
0 Likes   April 14, 2013 at 5:27PM
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Judy M
Several people have mentioned this but I think you should consider a slider with the blinds in between or that door will be a big black hole at night with a view right into your dining room for the neighbors.

I have Pella with the blinds inbetween and the screen even retracts closed (perfect for when you have your hands full.)
0 Likes   April 14, 2013 at 5:42PM
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