Secret doors come in all shapes and sizes. Some look like mirrors while others are disguised as functional fireplaces, everyday appliances or even vintage phone booths. The options are nearly limitless when it comes to designing and building a custom secret door or hidden passageway, particularly given our expertise in the field.
Even if you’re looking to add a secret door to your home that will easily blend in with common architectural features, such as a bookcase, there are a few questions you’ll need to ask yourself as you assess the space you’ve chosen for your door. Let’s explore a few tips that will help when choosing the perfect hidden door for you.
Size. It’s important to understand exactly how much space you’re working with before choosing the type of hidden door that will work best. By their very nature, being covert by design, secret doors rely on precision. You not only need to know exactly the size of the opening you have for a hidden door, but you also need to know the measurements of the space around it — allowing for clearance on the side and above as it opens. Hidden doors are often shoehorned into interesting, sometimes oddly-shaped spaces, so it’s not uncommon for the angles of surrounding walls to affect clearance, which when not measured properly, will negatively impact the performance of the door.
Swing. Which way do you want the door to open? And how? Should it slide, swing in or rotate? From jib doors, which are flush-mounted to the wall and open with a touch, to bookcases, mirrors or even staircases — options for the way a door opens are many. The swing that is selected will also depend on where a door is positioned in the home and the purpose for which the door is being used. Doors being used for security may require a certain swing over doors that are used for decoration or entertainment. At Creative Home Engineering, we’re often able to recommend a swing that will work best for a particular space if we’re able to review a floor plan. And many times that recommendation works better than the homeowner originally hoped.
Security. It’s important to consider the level of security that you will need from your door. Is the door going to be used to increase personal security? Will it be used to protect valuables or to secure items, such as firearms, that may be misused if they fall into the wrong hands? Our selection of secret doors, and the security features that can be integrated into them — from fingerprint and iris scanning devices to video monitors and bullet-proof panels — offer protection at every level.
Switches. Perhaps the most creative consideration of any secret door is its switch. Some switches may be as simple as a magnet, while others may require a code or may call for the use of a token, such as a classic bust or a book that will need to tip, in order for it to open. At Creative Home Engineering, we haven’t seen it all, but we’ve almost seen it all. If you have something special in mind, we’re happy to work with you to figure out a switch that is truly unique to you.
To get questions answered, particularly around measurements and other secret door specs, reach out to the experts at our shop. We’re happy to talk you through the process or arrange for an in-person measurement.
Creative Home Engineering, a Gilbert, Arizona-based company, is the global leader in designing and manufacturing secret doors. From swinging bookcases to sliding walls to rotating fireplaces and safe rooms, Creative Home Engineering has been an innovative leader in the field of hidden passageway design for more than 20 years. Learn more at www.hiddenpassageway.com.