Choosing the Right Room for Your Hidden Door

Woman drawing a living room floor plan sketch

Choosing the Right Room for Your Hidden Door

Deciding where to place a custom secret door to a hidden room in your house can be a fun experience. You can draw inspiration from countless photos on the internet and fascinating examples from pop culture and imagine how to recreate them at home.

Floor Plan — The No. 1 Hidden Door Determiner

Everything starts and ends with your floor plan. It’s the map of your house, allowing you to see which area makes the best candidate for a safe room. In most cases, the floor plan itself will necessitate where the room needs to be, given that the room will usually take advantage of an existing space. Beyond that, the security of the location may factor into your decision. Consider these criteria:

  • It should be near where you sleep or will be most often. The room should be near you when you’re at home, so you can immediately go there whenever the need arises — like when riding out a tornado or preventing burglars from crossing your path. The less time you take to get in there, the better.
  • It should be windowless and lack alternative entry methods. The safest hidden room has one entry point only known by you — and maybe your circle of trust. A single entrance limits access and helps obscure your whereabouts for as long as needed. Any additional passage to your hideaway increases its chances of being discovered, jeopardizing its utility.
  • It helps to be somewhere that gets little traffic. The high-security door serving as a hidden room barrier must be inconspicuous to keep its existence a secret. While our hidden doors can work anywhere due to their expert camouflage, distance from high-traffic areas can be a form of defense in itself.

You can decide on the placement of your door only when you find the most suitable home area for a hiding place — not the other way around. Creative Home Engineering offers expert advice and ideas to design your custom piece to suit your unique needs.

How to Approach the Hidden Room

You can take two routes to make a secret room within an existing room — convert or subdivide.

Converting an unused space into a turnkey panic room is straightforward. You remove its current door and trim and replace it with a custom secret door matching its opening’s dimensions. The best contenders usually have less square footage than your main home areas as it’s easier to erase any evidence of their existence in the eyes of the uninitiated.

Subdividing a room to make a hiding spot generally involves a larger space that can be divided  without affecting functionality and appearance. You introduce a new wall to split the room in two, rendering the sectioned-off side the hideout.

Unlike floor plans featuring more bedrooms, bathrooms and storage space, an open concept layout optimizes a floor for socialization because fewer interior walls block the view and separate communal areas. In a case like this, subdividing is a perfect approach, and it’s even less likely for someone to suspect a hidden room is nearby. It’s important to note that Creative Home Engineering cannot add additional square footage onto your house that doesn’t already exist.

Why Nailing Room-Door Combinations Matters

Any secret door’s primary security feature is secrecy. Forced entry protection is also important, but should be in addition to fantastic camouflage. 

The point of having a secret room is to prevent people from knowing you’re in the house or to be undiscoverable when somebody wants to find and harm you. Keeping a low profile when sharing an enclosed environment with them is best.

We always give clients the option to determine what sort of forced entry protection they want, anything from a basic latch holding it in place to full blast door protection, capable of withstanding high-caliber bullets. 

You can’t put a price on safety, but spending too much on forced entry protection while giving camouflage less attention than it deserves is impractical. You only drive up fabrication costs without meaningfully making your safe room safer.

The design of an effective custom secret door can’t be just anything. It shouldn’t strike anyone as a typical interior door — unless it’s precisely what you aim for. The perfect piece is contextually relevant to its adjacent surroundings and doesn’t appear out of place to hide in plain sight.

That’s why a bookcase hidden door blocking a covert chamber in the living room works. The same goes for a closet mirror hidden door concealing the passage to a stealthy compartment. Dining room cabinetry obstructing the doorway to an unseen nook previously part of the pantry is another winning example.

Find the Perfect Room Behind Your Secret Door With Creative Home Engineering

Creative Home Engineering has been building custom doors to hidden passageways since 2003. Let us accompany you on a virtual walkthrough of your home to help you identify the best candidates for your secret room. Our stellar carpentry skills will assure you that your custom door will blend in with your space to avoid drawing attention. Get in touch with us today to talk about your project and get the ball rolling.