May 16 , 2023
Which Way Should A Door Swing?
When building or renovating a house, one of the most important decisions to make is the direction in which your entrance door should swing. Should it swing inwards or outwards?
The choice may seem simple, but it has implications for both the aesthetics and the functionality of your space. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of inswing and outswing doors, as well as building codes to consider.
What Is An Inswing Door?
An inswing door is a door that opens into a room or building. This means that the door swings inward towards the interior of the building. Inswing doors are common in residential and commercial buildings alike. They’re often used in situations where the exterior of the building has a covered porch or overhang, which provides protection from the elements.
1. Snow Buildup Is Not A Problem
Inswing doors offer a solution to the challenges faced by outswing doors in snowy climates. With an inswing door, you won't have to worry about snow buildup outside, making it difficult to open the door and get into your home during winter.
2. Convenient To Close
You don't have to step out of your house to close an inswing door. This feature is especially useful when you have your hands full or the weather is bad, and you want to keep the inside of your home cozy and warm.
3. Easy-To-Use Security Latch
Inswing doors come with a security latch that is located on the interior side of the door, making it easy to manage and operate. This feature is particularly beneficial for those who may have limited mobility, such as older adults.
4. Perfect For Security Devices
Inswing doors can easily accommodate security devices such as deadbolts and security cameras, providing an extra layer of security for your home.
5. Hidden Hinges For Better Durability
The hinges on inswing doors are not exposed to the outside, making them less susceptible to damage or wear and tear caused by exposure to the elements. This feature ensures the door will last for years to come.
6. Easy Access For Wheelchair Users
Inswing doors are a great choice for people who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids, as they provide better accessibility without the need to navigate around an outward-swinging door.
7. No Interference With Visitors
Inswing doors open inward, so they don't swing out into visitors who are waiting for you to answer the door. This makes for a more welcoming and safe entryway to your home.
8. Simple To Remove Door
You can remove an inswing door for any reason without unscrewing the hinges - just remove the pins. This feature ensures that the door can be quickly and easily removed if needed without causing any damage.
1. Improper Installation Risks
Inswing doors can pose safety risks if not installed properly. The door can cause tripping or falling hazards in narrow spaces and potentially trap people inside during emergencies.
2. Furniture Placement Challenges
Inswing doors may be difficult to navigate in tight spaces or with large furniture. The door requires enough room to swing open, which can limit furniture placement options.
3. Susceptibility To Wind
Inswing doors can be vulnerable to strong winds, which may cause the door to slam shut or blow open.
4. Adequate Indoor Space Required
Inswing doors need sufficient indoor space for the door to open inward, which can be challenging for buildings with limited space.
5. Accessibility Concerns
Inswing doors may be less accessible for people with mobility limitations. Opening the door requires physical effort, which can be challenging for people with limited upper body strength.
What Is An Outswing Door?
An outswing door is a door that opens to the outside of a room or building. This means that the door swings outward, away from the interior of the building. Outswing doors are less common than inswing doors, but they’re often used in commercial buildings, such as retail stores and restaurants.
1. Spacious and Versatile
Outswing doors offer more interior space and versatility as they do not require extra space inside the house to swing open. This means that you can have more freedom to arrange your furniture and decor without worrying about door clearance.
2. Extra Strong and Secure
Outswing doors have the doorstop on the outside of the house, providing an additional layer of strength and security. This makes it more difficult for intruders to force the door open, giving you peace of mind.
3. Enhanced Insulation
Outswing doors are designed to be pushed tighter against the weatherstripping by wind and rough weather, creating a more secure seal that improves insulation. This can help reduce drafts and energy costs in your home.
4. Highly Secure
Outswing doors are known for their high level of security. Their design makes it challenging for intruders to break in, making them ideal for areas that require extra security measures.
5. Weather Resistant
Outswing doors are resistant to harsh weather conditions such as strong winds and rain. The door swings outward, which prevents winds and rain from blowing the door open. The positive stop with a compression gasket creates a weather-tight seal without friction, making it easy to open and close the door.
1. Hinge Visibility
Hinge visibility is a potential security issue with outswing doors. However, in Ontario, the Building Code requires the use of closed hinges that either conceal or eliminate removable pins to address this concern.
2. Few Security Devices
There are fewer security device options available for outswing doors compared to inswing doors, and they may appear more obtrusive.
3. Difficult Removing
When it comes to removing the door, you will need to unscrew the hinges rather than just removing the pins.
4. Problem In Snow
Heavy snow buildup outside the door may make it difficult to open. For people who use wheelchairs, outswing doors can be challenging to use.
5. It can be uncomfortable to push an outswing door out toward people who are waiting for you to answer the door.
6. Prone To Harsh Weather
Outswing doors are more susceptible to being blown open or shut by high winds, which can also make it harder to open or close the door.
7. Storm Door Limitation
Installing a storm door with an outward-opening door is not possible. However, you may be able to use retractable screens if you find a secure way to keep the outswing door open.
Building Codes To Consider
When choosing between an inswing and an outswing door, it’s important to consider building codes. In some cases, local building codes may require one type of door over the other. For example, in areas with high wind speeds, building codes may require outswing doors to prevent the wind from catching the door and causing damage.
In addition, building codes may also dictate the direction in which the door should swing based on the layout of the building. For example, in a building with a narrow hallway, an inswing door may not be allowed because it would create a safety hazard.
Choosing the right door swing for your building is an important decision that requires careful consideration.
Both inswing and outswing doors have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice will depend on a variety of factors, including the layout of the building, local building codes, and personal preference. By understanding the pros and cons of both, you can make an informed choice for yourself.