Clera Windows + Doors Blog

Inswing vs. Outswing Doors: What’s the Difference?

We usually don’t give much thought to inswing doors or outswing doors, until it’s time to replace a door, renovate a space, or design a house from scratch. Scenarios like these make us realize that small choices, such as whether the door swings out or in, can make a big impact. 

This guide tells you all about inswing and outswing doors, their differences, and factors to consider when choosing between them.

Let’s begin!

Close-up of hinges found in inswing doors

Inswing Doors, Outswing Doors, and Double Swinging Doors

The differences between these doors are not only found in their hinges and swing direction but also in the positioning of the doorstop. The doorstop is the strip added to the doorframe to keep the door from swinging in the wrong direction. 

Let’s take a closer look at the setups of these three doors: 

1. Inswing Doors

These are doors that swing inwards towards the room. The hinges of these doors face the inside of the room and are not visible from the other side when the door is closed.

The doorframe of inswing doors is placed on the outer side, preventing the door from being pulled open. 

2. Outswing Doors

These doors are the opposite of inswing doors. They swing outwards from the room and thus need to be pulled open. Their hinges face the outside of the room and are not visible from the inside when the door is closed. These are essentially the same hinges used in inswing doors, except they’re in another orientation. 

And of course, the doorstop on the frames of outswing doors are on the edge closest to the room, to prevent the door from being pushed in. 

3. Double Swinging Doors

Double swinging doors, also known as double-acting doors, can swing both inwards or outwards. These doors make use of a different kind of hinge altogether. They are often seen in restaurant kitchens, hospitals, and other commercial establishments. However, they can be used in the home as well.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Swing Direction

1. The Amount of Space In the Room or Hallway

Do you have limited space in certain rooms or in some areas of the hallway? If so, you can consider having the door swing away from the area of limited space. This will make the room or hallway feel more spacious.  

2. The Arrangement of Furniture, Decor, and Other Fixtures In the Room or  Hallway

If you have furniture, light fixtures, artwork, or any decor that are in the trajectory of your current door, you can consider having the door swing direction changed. 

This is a great way to prevent the bunching up of entryway rugs or to keep doors away from the patio furniture. Simply choose the most fitting door swing direction for you. 

3. The Need for Extra Ease of Entry or Exit

Do you regularly enter certain rooms while carrying a lot in your hands? Perhaps the laundry area or the kitchen? 

If your answer is yes, you can have the door swing in the direction of traffic so that the door can be easily opened even if you’re carrying a lot of items. Double-swinging doors are also good for high-traffic areas such as the ones mentioned. 

4. The Need For Added Security

For rooms that have plenty of valuables, you’d probably prefer a door that cannot be easily kicked in, in case of a burglary. The door for the job would be an outswing door. 

The doorstop on such doors will prevent the door from being kicked in, thereby assisting the door’s lock to keep the door shut. It is much harder to forcibly pull these doors open. 

5. Specific Considerations for Front Doors

Homeowners want the door to be welcoming, and this is the main reason why most front doors are inswing doors. However, as we’ve discussed above, outswing doors provide more security from forced entries. For better functionality, if you have a rug inside leading to your door an outswing door would not hit against it.   

6. Specific Considerations for Storage Space Doors

To maximize the space inside storage spaces or rooms, it may be better to opt for an outswing door. This way, you can arrange the items inside with more freedom. 

7. Specific Considerations for Bathroom Doors

If you want your bathroom door to not graze over bathroom puddles, it would be best to opt for an outswing door for this area of the home as well.

Bathroom with an outswing door

Changing Inswing Doors to Outswing Doors & Vice Versa

Though they have quite similar hinges, changing outswing doors into inswing doors is not an easy project. The same goes for the reverse. 

Aside from reorienting the hinge, it’s also a matter of making changes to the door frame so that the doorstop is on the fitting side. This also means one needs to move the strike plate and align the hardware accordingly. 

Changing to Double Swinging Doors

Changing to double swinging doors is not ideal for every door in the home. These doors do not lock the same way as other house doors do. Moreover, the changes are more extensive because these doors need new hardware (hinges, locks, etc.). Alterations to the door frame are needed as well in order to accommodate new hinges and locks. 

What About Left-Handed Doors, Right-Handed Doors, and Sliding Doors?

Inward swinging doors, outward swinging doors, and double-swinging doors are not your only options. Other parameters of door customization include left-handed or right-handed doors. If you have very specific needs in terms of how the door should open, it would be helpful to look into these options. 

Additionally, if you have space constraints in your home, you can also look into sliding doors or barn doors. These doors slide on a track and therefore, they do not need the same clearance as swinging doors do. 

Outfit Your Home With Clera Windows + Doors 

After deciding on whether you need inswing doors, outswing doors, or other types of doors for your home or property, it’s time to find the right doors for the job. Here at Clera Windows + Doors, our collection of customizable, high-quality doors is sure to have the perfect style for you. 

We have various designs of steel doors, fibreglass doors, sliding doors, and more – all of which are stylishly made and will serve you well for years. 

If you have questions for us or you’d like to take advantage of our FREE estimates, contact us today!

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