Choosing Inswing Versus Outswing Door
At Price’s Guaranteed Doors, we’re your one-stop shop for all entry doors and security doors. We have a wide variety of materials and style options available, and our professionals can walk you through every element of your choice to make sure you get a door that fits both your home’s style and its practical needs.
One of the first big choices you’ll make when purchasing any new door for your home will revolve around which way the door swings. Both inswing and outswing doors are options you’ll have available, and depending on the area of the home and the contents of a given room or exterior space, you might choose one or the other. Even if your decision seems obvious, here are some basic tips to know about inswing and outswing doors.
Basic Swing SetupsFirst and foremost, let’s prepare you for how the process will go when you begin your search for a new door. When ordering any door, door swing will be one of the basic details that’s required during the order form process. Generally speaking, you’ll have four basic options available to you, with their typical ordering code in parentheses:
- Inswing left, push (IL): This is a door setup where the hinges are on the left of the door, and the door opens into the room or away from the individual who is entering the room. You push this door, and it swings to the left upon entry.
- Inswing right, push (IR): Where the hinges are on the right and door opens into the room, away from the opener. The door is pushed, and swings to the right upon entry.
- Inswing left, pull (OL): Hinges are on the left on this door, and the door opens toward you, or out of the room. The door is pulled instead of pushed, and swings to the left.
- Outswing right, pull (OR): Hinges are on the right of the door and the door open toward you, or out of the room. The door is pulled and swings to the right.
Now, the above are not the only building considerations you have to make when considering a new door style. In particular, your area is likely to fall under at least some structural guidelines that include door selection.
There are a few basic building codes that tend to be fairly consistent across the country when it comes to swing direction:
- Snow-prone areas: In any climate where large snow storms can take place, all entry and patio doors must swing inward so they won’t become trapped in a home if lots of snow builds up. There are several areas of Utah where this may become a need, but this tends to depend on average snowfall in your area. Contact our team for more information on this.
- Public doors: Doors in commercial buildings always swing outward, per the International Building Code. This is to maintain safety and order during an evacuation – an inswing door could cause panicking people to press up against it and be trapped inside. In fact, evacuation plans in such buildings will often include a specific piece for how the door is held open, as this is a vital area of any such plan.
- Hurricane-prone areas: Inswing doors can be pushed open more easily than outswing doors, so the latter are recommended for these areas. Whether they are required will depend on the specific municipality.
- Outswing doors are more protective of the home’s interior in heavy climates. Wind and water have more trouble infiltrating them due to the threshold design, plus basic physics.
- Inswing doors, on the flip side, are more susceptible to wind and water because of their design. They will require adjusting the sweep gasket more often, plus replacing worn weatherstripping, but this is actually a very limited cost in most climates.
- Outswing doors have a positive stop with a compression gasket, which creates a weather-tight seal using no friction. This makes the door easy to open.
- Inswing doors have a sweep gasket, but friction is necessary for a full seal. This can mean that some inswing doors open a bit more stiffly – but in today’s modern door world, these differences tend to be minimal for most door owners.
- Outswing doors are notably difficult to force open from outside, making them great for security areas. On the flip side, though, hinges are on the outside, meaning if security is a concern, you have to choose a style without removable pins.
- Inswing doors have their hinges on the inside, which means you don’t need to worry about them being pried off. However, they can be forced open a bit more easily – but this can be combated by installing heavy-duty strike plates and deadbolt locks.