25 February 2022

A "mother-in-law" door (Newfoundland)

I have occasionally seen similar doors, usually assuming that a deck or porch is pending completion.  In Newfoundland, where these are common, one might view the door as an adaptation to deep snow.  But the reason is even more prosaic: "After Newfoundland officially joined Canada in 1949, fire regulations demanded that buildings have two exits, but most existing homes did not. So people carved a second door into their homes."

Photo cropped for size from the original, which is in an Instagram account devoted to these doors.


  1. I see this often in manufactured houses, especially double wides. Usually when they are placed on a hillside and the driveway is on the upper side. It's kind of jarring to the the eye.

  2. I grew up in Eastern Massachusetts where this was a fairly common sight. As I got a bit older I learned that - there at least - it was a tax dodge. The local property tax code held that a house was not fully taxable until it was finished and the house was not finished until the 'threshold' was complete. I had friends that came and went through side doors their entire childhoods...


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