DIY Dutch Door Tutorial with Schlage Smart Lock Install

Jen of House of Wood’s Jen Woodhouse has made it easier and more affordable to enjoy a fresh breeze without opening the windows. Follow a step-by-step guide on how to give your traditional front door a curb by turning it into a Smart Lock Dutch Door.

Hey neighbor! Jen Woodhouse here and I am very happy to share my DIY Dutch Door with the new Schlage Encode Smart Door Lock! Isn’t this Dutch door the most inviting thing ever? I want to wear an apron and bake cakes all day so I can cool them down on the ledge! I mean, I don’t even have an apron, but now I have to get one! And guess what … this DIY Dutch Door is not a tough project, it’s surprisingly easy to do! Read on to see how I did it.

What is a Dutch door?

A Dutch door is sometimes referred to as a half door or stable door. Basically, it is a door that is divided horizontally so that each part works independently. It can also be locked to work like a traditional door. Dutch doors have been around since September 17thth Century and was primarily used to let in the fresh air and sunlight, while the farm animals, which usually lounged around, were kept out of the house. It is such a charming old world architectural detail. I love to see my kids play in the yard and have my neighbors drop by to say hello – I just love it so much!

Buy against DIY

We recently built my freestanding workshop and I knew I wanted a Dutch door for it; However, pre-made Dutch doors bought in the store are ridiculously expensive. The ones I found online were around $ 1,500. No thanks. I bought a solid wood exterior door from The Home Depot for just over $ 200 – another reason I love DIY!

A hollow core door does not work so well on this project because if you cut it in half you will have to fill that cavity somehow. It is still possible, but not ideal, especially for an outside door. So if you can, try using a solid door.

Standard doors usually have a total of 3 hinges. So if you are converting an existing door to a Dutch door, you will need to add another hinge so that both the top and bottom of the door are well supported. Each part should have a total of 2 hinges.

My door had no hardware at all. It was a completely empty panel, so I added all four hinges, as well as the doorknob and a barrel bolt. I used a router to route a mortise mortise lock. I shared a video of it in my Instagram stories and saved it in my highlights called “Dutch Door” so you can watch it if you want. And I would be happy if you follow me on Instagram if you are not already! I usually share behind-the-scenes insights into upcoming projects and content.

Determine the hardware placement

I wanted a keyless Smart Lock for this door, so I was thrilled to work with Schlage and try the new Encode Smart Door Lock. The first thing I had to do was find the best placement for all of the hardware. Since it is an outside door, I attached a locking mechanism to both parts of the door to increase security. I decided to put the Schlage Smart Lock latch on the top and a lockable doorknob on the bottom. Once I figured out where the hardware was going, I was able to determine where to cut the door in half.

Cut the door in half

I put the door down so I could measure, mark my line and make the cut. Then I used a circular saw with a general purpose saw blade to make the cut and clamped a straight edge as my guide. Cutting my beautiful, brand new door was by far the most stressful and challenging part of this project.

I also wanted to add an edge, so I had to make an extra cut. The edge is ¾ inches thick, so I measured and made a second cut to make room for the edge. The edge is a 1 × 4 board that is cut to the width of the door. Then I cut a curve at each end with a jigsaw. I also had to carve out a space so that the edge would fit in the door jamb.

Okay … the hard part is done! Everyone can breathe calmly now.

Cut holes for the door locks

Now it’s time to prepare the door for hardware. If you are using an existing door, the door knob is of course already installed, making your work even easier! I used a door saw installation hole saw kit to cut the holes for the door knob. This template was super easy to use – the instructions were very clear. You simply clamp the template, place the hole saw on the drill and drill the holes with the guide. With this template the guesswork was taken out of this part.

Attach the bar

Next we put the door back on the hinges so we can install the latch and doorknob. But first we attach the edge. I applied wood glue to the door, put the edge on it, and then drilled the pilot holes. I attached the edge with glue and screws and made sure the screw heads were countersunk so I could hide them with a wooden spatula.

Install the Schlage Smart Lock

Now we can install the locks. I inserted the bar, drew the outline and carved out a recess for the bar with a chisel so that it was flush with the edge. Then I unscrewed the bolt.

Now we need to find out where the latch meets the door jamb so we can prepare the jamb to accept the latch. Here’s a clever little trick: apply some glue to the latch, close the door, and turn the lock. The adhesive creates a “stamp” on the door jamb that tells you exactly where to drill the hole in the jamb! Pretty smart, isn’t it?

Then I drilled the hole in the door jamb and placed the striker. I traced the outline so that I could chisel out a recess so that the locking plate was also flush.

The Schlage Smart Lock comes with a few longer, extra screws for extra security that I love. I screwed the striker to the door jamb and tested the latch. I had to make a few minor adjustments until everything fit exactly. Then I just followed the instructions to install and program the Smart Lock – it was pretty easy and the functions are really cool.

Okay, I’m going to the bottom hardware … I did the same thing here: inserted the latch, levered the door and the door jamb out, and then screwed the door knob.

Finally, we have to add a last piece of hardware. This Dutch door latch bolt holds the top and bottom of the door securely. I found out the placement and then simply screwed it on! Super easy. Finally, we added some weather protection to the door jamb and called it done!

Suggest Encode Smart Lock functions

The Schlage Camelot Encode smart door lock with alarm is a keyless bolt with integrated WLAN and secure encryption, with which I can manage my Smart Lock remotely via the Schlage Home app on my smartphone. I can easily lock and unlock my Dutch door using the app and the touchscreen. I can also program and store up to 100 access codes and schedule them to work on the days / times I choose.

The Smart Lock also records a history of each operation so I can quickly see who came and went at a specific time or day. There is also a built-in alarm on the lock that sounds in the event of a security breach.

This smart lock makes my life so much easier because I don’t have to fiddle with keys! I can rest assured that my workshop is well protected.

And that’s it! The hardest thing was to cut the door in half, right ?! I am very happy about my DIY Dutch Door. If I do it myself, I saved over a thousand dollars and I could really adapt the door to my room. I love the extra flexibility and functionality of my workshop!

Well then. Who wants cake?