We have a laundry room that's tight in space and with inconvenient entrance that I would like to redesign. As shown in picture, our laundry room is in first floor and its sitting in the entrance into the house from Garage. It's about 5ft x 8 ft and has doors on the opposite end. Both the doors open inside into laundry room and when both are open they overlap and blocks access to shelf and area behind. Its super inconvenient and to use the area properly, we have to lock ourselves inside.

Now to the question, I am looking for ideas to redesign the entrance to laundry room. here are some ideas that I came up with already and not super ecstatic about any of them. So I want to see if folks in this forum have other any ideas.

Ideas that I came up with

  1. Re-orient the entrance so the door opens into the dinette. Wife not liking the idea of door opening into the house.

  2. Convert the door into a barn order. Like this better than previous option but might look weird.

Any other ideas, measurements are in the diagram.

Laundry room

  • 4
    Remember, the door between the garage and house (including the laundry room) requires a Fire door. The door has to be a min 1 3/8” thick , solid core and latch...no barn door. I’d try a pocket door on the dinette side.
    – Lee Sam
    Mar 8, 2021 at 17:38
  • What is a "barn order?" Do you mean a "barn door," an external slider on the garage wall? Mar 8, 2021 at 20:26
  • 1
    I meant barn door, sorry for the typo. Yes, external slider on dinette wall.
    – Siva
    Mar 9, 2021 at 0:09
  • 1
    Do you really need a door between the laundry and the dinette? Mar 9, 2021 at 0:15
  • @ThreePhaseEel That may be the only house access into the garage. Mar 9, 2021 at 0:52

2 Answers 2


I would change the door to the garage to open out into the garage. Having noted that "public and commercial buildings" require doors to open outwards for egress, I prefer that direction for doors in my house, despite it being "unusual" for homes, for some reason.

Change the other door as well, if you like - a pocket door takes more work, but looks less odd than a "barn door" inside a house, IMHO. But odd is in the eye of whoever actually cares about what it looks like. As can be seen by my choice of house door opening direction.

  • Thanks for the ideas. I really like the pocket door idea, looks like it’s bit involved but it’s a perfect solution for my problem. I’ll start with that and if needed I’ll switch garage door also.
    – Siva
    Mar 9, 2021 at 14:20
  • Yeah, but barn doors are all the rage these days - I even stayed at a hotel last summer with a barn door for the bathroom! I don't get it, but, trendy...
    – FreeMan
    Mar 9, 2021 at 14:41
  • I believe the code requiring outward-opening doors is related to the expected occupancy (not "residential" vs. "commercial", except that occupancy tends to be correlated); it exists to prevent people becoming trapped (from being unable to open the door) in case of a stampede. Note however that the main reason for inward-opening doors is that it puts the hinges on the "secure" side; otherwise it is trivial for someone that wants in to just remove the door hinges. Obviously, there are ways around this, but it's something you don't want to forget about on a door that should be lockable.
    – Matthew
    Mar 9, 2021 at 15:14
  • Hinges which cannot be removed without the door being open are actually pretty standard on outward opening doors - all those commercial occupancies where they are required that ALSO have security concerns ensure that. In any case, if a thief wants in badly enough, they will get in somehow, regardless of which direction your door opens.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 9, 2021 at 15:54

Change the door from the dinette to the laundry to the door you want

While the IRC house-garage separation requirements require something 1⅜" thick minimum, solid-core, and latching (the last one is where most residential sliding doors fail), those requirements only apply to the door between the laundry and the garage. Given that you want to keep a door between the laundry and the dinette, I'd make that the sliding or barn-style door, while keeping the swinging door between the garage and the laundry room.

  • Thanks for the idea. If pocket door turns out to be too much work I might go with barn door.
    – Siva
    Mar 9, 2021 at 14:22

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