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by • January 3, 2013 • Finish Carpentry, Cabinets, Trim, & Paint, Hardware & Hidden DoorsComments (19)16897

Hidden Doors, Secret Rooms, and the Hardware that makes it possible!

I’ve been blogging now for about 5 years and it’s funny to look at the statistics of what videos or blog posts get the most hits.  By far my #1 most watched is the Hidden Door video I took 3 years ago which is approaching 250,000 views!  Who exactly is watching and why I wonder?
  Anyhow, I love doing these hidden doors.  The Sugatsune hardware I’m using is so sweet.  Here’s a few pictures of some recent ones I’ve done.  This is a Powder Room tucked under the stairs on a 1940’s house we remodeled with Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects.

Modern Powder Room design by Austin Architect Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Modern Powder Room design by Austin Architect Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

The doors that open out into the room all utilize this Airplane hardware that Eric Rauser who works with me found. He tracked down this Industrial Touch Latch hardware from St Louis Designs in Austin TX who makes hardware for Lear Jet cabins!  The cheap ones you find in most cabinet hardware catalogs don’t have enough muscle to throw a heavy door out.  This one produces 12 pounds of force to push out a solid/heavy door.   

St Louis Designs Industrial Touch Latch (Magnetic)

Here’s a 1935 house where we re-used the ship-lap sheathing for an interior paneling and hid the door to the hall bathroom in the horizontal ship-lap. Hugh Jefferson Randolph was the Architect on this one too. 

Close up of the Sugatsune three way adjustable hinges I use most often for these hidden doors. 

 Finally, we worked with FAB Architecture on this remodel below.  What you are seeing is an Oak paneled basement wall with two hidden doors.  The door on the right is to a secret media room.  You can see the vertical outline of another door to the left which hides a mechanical closet for a wine conditioning HVAC unit. 

This hardware isn’t cheap but all good hardware is well worth the price paid.  The expensive part is paying a fine craftsman & Builder who can actually pull this all off and make it flawless.  Fun stuff!
Best,
Matt Risinger
Risinger Homes in Austin TX
Risinger Homes is a custom builder and whole house remodeling contractor that specializes in Architect driven and fine craftsmanship work. We utilize an in-house carpentry staff and the latest building science research to build dramatically more efficient, healthy and durable homes.
Be sure to check out my video blog on YouTube

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  • That integrated door is just gorgeous. Who would’ve thought to research aircraft-grade hardware? Does a three-way adjustable hinge mean the door can swing both ways?

  • Amy, Thanks for commenting. These hinges are open in only. The three way adjustment allows us to minutely adjust the door up/down/right/left/in/out all after the hinge has been installed. That adjustment is really nice when a 1/16″ mis-alighment will show. It’s also critical for pier/beam houses that experience some movement over time. They can be adjusted in the future to look perfect again if they go out of alignment. Best, Matt

  • I love these doors. I am in the process of building the most wheelchair accessible home for myself. I think the fact they have no visible hinges or door handles are ideal for someone like me in a wheelchair because it increases the space for mobility. Do you know what the the Tectus Energy hinges are shown in this brochure http://www.index-d.com/c/m/Library/Index-d_Tectus-Energy_Brochure.pdf? Check out my blog at http://www.independentaccessibleliving.com.

    • Thanks for commenting Zach. I’ve seen those Tectus hinges and they look very nice! I’m not sure how they compare in terms of price to the Sugatsune’s. I checked out your blog, nice job. Best, Matt

    • Matt, do you know what the wiring does?

    • If you are referring to the wires on the floor, those are extension cords running through the hallway. The photos of the raw wood door are of a house in the construction phase before we completed the work. Matt

    • No, I was referring to the Tectus Energy hinges?

    • Oops, I’m not sure what that’s for? MR

  • Thou shall not covet another man’s door hardware…..thou shall not covet another man’s door hardware…. thou shall not…. oh Lord please forgive me!!! LOL. LOVE THIS!!!!

    • Too funny Ryan! I see you are also a hardware snob like myself. Thanks for commenting buddy. Best, Matt

  • Hello,

    I recently read the blog post on Jan 3rd concerning the hidden or concealed doors. It was quite a godsend as my wife and I have recently completed renovations on our NYC apartment. Part of the renovations involved building a concealed door in the dining room which leads to the master bedroom. Sparing you the gory details of a completely incompetent general contractor, this part of the project was NOT completed as the contractor’s solution was horrendous.

    I agree with the statement in the blog about finding the right fine craftsman & builder who can pull it off. I’m in NYC and was curious if Risinger Homes would be available to complete this job? If not I’m curious if you could recommend a fine craftsman in the area that could.

    Thank you ever so much.

    Tom Brown

  • Hello,

    I recently read the blog post on Jan 3rd concerning the hidden or concealed doors. It was quite a godsend as my wife and I have recently completed renovations on our NYC apartment. Part of the renovations involved building a concealed door in the dining room which leads to the master bedroom. Sparing you the gory details of a completely incompetent general contractor, this part of the project was NOT completed as the contractor’s solution was horrendous.

    I agree with the statement in the blog about finding the right fine craftsman & builder who can pull it off. I’m in NYC and was curious if Risinger Homes would be available to complete this hidden door job? If not I’m curious if you could recommend a fine craftsman in the area that could.

    Thank you ever so much.

    Tom Brown

    • Tom, I don’t know anyone to recommend in New York, but I’d love to talk to you and see if it’s cost effective for us to come do that project for you. Give me a call at the office or email me. My contact info is here:
      http://risingerhomes.com/index.php?/remodels/contact/
      Best,
      Matt

  • Some companies offer to esteemed clients a wide range of qualitative hinged doors and Double swing doors which are with superb functionalities and are highly durable when used in construction.

  • Hey Matt…love the blog. Do you know of a similar hinge that swings out, or can I mount these to work?

    • Bobby, these hinges will work with in or out swinging doors. There are less expensive hinges (Soss) but I really like the adjustability of these Sugatsune hinges. The price is justified for that amount of control. Best, Matt

  • Matt,

    I am looking into building something like this for under my stairways, so I can have more storage space in my townhome. My wall is plain, and I’d like to keep it that way. (no lines, no crowning, etc). What could you recommend? Or just hide the mandatory line behind the sofa that is in front of that wall?

  • John

    On the oak-paneled, in- swing doors, what are you using as a stop to prevent the door from swinging out into the hallway?