What is A Suicide Door?
Officially known as a rear-hinged door, a suicide door is is hinged at the back rather than the front. They can be installed into the doorframes of your home or business.
Another name for the rear-hinged door is the reverse-hinged door. Their macabre moniker is a result of the design’s tendency to badly injure people as they exit or enter the offside of a vehicle, when that door is hit by a passing vehicle.
Why Choose A Suicide Door?
The National Association of Home Builders in the United States released a recent study that showed the average total square footage of homes sold is dropping. Many homeowners are beginning to prefer less expensive, more low-maintenance options for their housing.
It goes without saying that the lower the square footage of your home, the less clutter in your home. Decluttering is a goal for most homeowners. Objects you don’t really need take up not just physical space but psychological space as well. The more items in your home, the more dusting, cleaning, and organizing you’re obliged to take on. Who needs that?
The cost of heating, air conditioning, and air purifying your space is higher for big homes compared to smaller ones. With an oversized home you are paying for temperature control and air purification in rooms that you seldom use, such as a formal dining room or unused guest room.
From an environmental conservation perspective, choosing a home without extra rooms and using solutions such as pull-out couches and in-kitchen seating is the more green-friendly option. Also, consider the increase in property tax that comes with the added square footage.
Cleaning a large home is also a colossal task. Chores such as vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, glass cleaning, dusting, laundering rugs and curtains, sanitizing extra bathrooms, and garage cleaning can add up to hours of your life wasted on maintaining little-used spaces.
Instead, a simplified, pared-down lifestyle focused on rewarding activities rather than possession-gathering is something many are seeking. It’s beneficial for our well-being to limit all the space and stuff that weighs us down.
Solutions for Smart Use of Space
One solution for maximising the space in a small home is to install enough windows to provide ample, natural light. A well-lit room feels more spacious and inviting, no matter the size. Consider installing as many windows as your local fire codes and other coding regulations allow.
Installing a suicide door is a clever way to improve the use of space in your home. Changing the direction in which your door swings can really help you use every square foot available. For example, a 32-inch door will take up about 13 square feet of floor space as it opens and closes.
By modifying the door swing direction, you can control where it’s best to situate that wasted bit of square footage by determining whether swinging from the left or the right of your doorway is more convenient. Instead of taking up valuable space, the spot where the door used to swing can house a small desk, table, or chest of drawers.
Step-by-Step Guide to Suicide Door Hinge Installation
First, remove the existing door, its hinges, and its strike plate from the doorjamb. If the door swing alteration is so that it swings from the opposite side but still into the same room, changing the door stop moulding is unnecessary.
Next, hand-chisel or machine-router the recesses for the new hinge and strike plate into the opposite jamb. Be careful not to make the recesses too deep or too wide, as they can always be easily expanded but it’s difficult to correct a recess that is too large.
Then, using wood putty or filler, repair the old hinge locations. Try to achieve a smooth finish by applying the putty or filler with precision and finesse.
Prime and paint the door jamb, and then rehang the door.
Change the location of the doorstop bumper, which prevents the door from hitting the wall and leaving marks.
Finally, patch and paint the old hole to remove any traces.
An Alternative Method
If you want to change the door configuration so that it swings into the opposite room, you can actually uninstall the entire door jamb and flip it around in reverse for reinstallation:
First, remove the hinge pins and the door itself, leaving the hardware as is.
Next, the casing needs to be pried off. Saving it can be beneficial, but don’t fret if it breaks into pieces because this often happens. Be ready to buy a new casing if needed.
Then remove the doorjamb by prying, or by using a reciprocating saw and metal-cutting blade to cut through and along the nails that hold the door-jamb into place.
Reverse the door jamb and reinstall it.
Options for Door Hinge Materials
Due to the constant wear and tear that door hinges need to withstand, a durable and reliable door hinge material must be chosen. Stainless steel is often a great option because it doesn’t corrode or rust and it has a very high durability rating. Stainless steel is strong enough to bear the weight of a heavy door such as one made from oak or walnut.
If you live near an ocean or a salt lake, rust resistance is an important issue, because hinges can degrade very quickly due to the salt content within the air. This can cause unsightly stains and difficulty of movement.
However, stainless steel doesn’t take well to coating materials, which means that special finishes will not adhere to a stainless steel hinge. Due to this unfortunate characteristic, stainless steel is more common in hidden hinges such as suicide door hinges, whereas brass, bronze, and bronze-plated hinges are more common for other doors.
Whichever way you’re leaning, it’s important to consult with an expert to help determine the right materials and the right installation method for you, so that you can begin using your space-saving door with comfort and peace of mind.
For more information, please call Contact NorthTech Windows and Doors at 587-408-3181 or contact us here.