How Do You Determine an Exterior Door Swing


Any door that opens from the outside of the home onto a porch, deck, or patio is considered an “exterior” door. Exterior doors have various names that describe where they open onto concerning the house, such as front, back, or side entry doors. Doors that open from inside the house onto porches, decks, or patios are called interior doors because walls protect them on both sides. These doors include French, sliding glass, and standard household doors.

How Do You Determine an Exterior Door Swing

Interior doors can also have different names that describe the location of the entryway. For example, in a home where all rooms face toward the front of the house, any door that opens to the outdoors is called a front entry door, regardless of whether it opens onto a porch or patio. In this article, I will be discussing “how do you determine an exterior door swing,” so let us get started.

Step-wise Guide on How Do You Determine an Exterior Door Swing:

Step 1:

The first thing you have to do is find out the hinge’s position. In most instances, at least two hinges will be present on both sides of the door, and they are located about 16 inches from its bottom edge. If there were more than one pair of hinges, they will need to be positioned a few feet apart so that the door could open relatively easily.

Step 2:

Next, the door will have to be opened about 90 degrees so that you could view its edge. It is vital to note where the bottom hinges are located about their top counterparts, as this information would help determine how it can be swung. Now, there is a need to place the chisel under the hinge and start hitting it on the top with a hammer. With the help of this action, you could easily remove the pin.

If both sets of hinge locations are on opposite sides, then it might indicate a left-hand swing. On the other hand, for those doors with an identical position for each pair of hinges, they might allow for either a right or left-hand swing, thus allowing the homeowner some room regarding preference and alternate use options. In any case, upon determining the correct location for the hinges, they can be installed. It is best to start with the top and bottom set of hinges, as well as the pair that is closest to the doorstop.

Step 3:

The hinge style determines whether it would allow a full opening (180 degrees) or if any restrictions would be placed.

The Hinge Style

Step 4:

When a door is installed, the hinges on one side will need to be positioned so that its top matches up with those of the opposite set.

Step 5:

Double doors should not have both pairs of hinges at the same height when viewed from either side. This is because the lower ones are better positioned higher than those present at the upper spots. This is important as doing so would allow for easier swinging and offer greater opening angles as well. The hinges of double doors should always be placed at the top and bottom parts of its doors. By doing so, it would offer greater support for its overall structure, allowing it to withstand more force when opened or closed.

When trying out different methods of swinging an exterior door to figure out how much it can open, you could also take into account how handrails or other fixtures may get in your way while opening and closing it throughout various seasons due to temperature changes; thus affecting your overall comfort and convenience. In terms of determining the right size, there are standards that must be met. x 80”. Of course, depending on the type of door and design you have, this may be different.

Step 6:

Before you finally decide on which way you want your door to swing, you have to think about how people will be using it most frequently as well as the layout of your particular home or building. For example, there are instances when a full opening may not be best for an exterior door, thus necessitating that certain restrictions and limitations would need to be placed to prevent any accidents from happening.

If there are hallways present near any doors and relatively narrow, then swinging it into one side might inadvertently cause a nuisance due to how close everyone would get while trying to pass through them. This could lead to disputes with neighbors and even relatives if they find themselves trapped inside at some point. A full opening would be ideal in this scenario as it could allow for better clearance and prevent collisions from taking place.

Step 7:

After the final decision is made regarding what type of swing to put on an exterior door, you will need to make sure that all hinges are properly tightened within their appropriate positions. This would ensure that the door opens up with relative ease while also keeping it where you had intended it to be positioned at any given time.

Precautions While Performing How Do You Determine an Exterior Door Swing:

Open the Exterior
  • Open the exterior door and ensure the door is clear of any items that will obstruct movement.
  • The hinge side should have at least 12″ of clearance from obstructions, cables, or wires.
  • The latch side should have 24″ of clearance from objects such as furniture or walls on either side of the door. Make note if you need to move anything to open the door fully for access with a wheelchair/scooter, which may require maneuvering space beyond these distances, but not less than 36″.
  • Make sure the area around the exterior door swing is kept clear and free of clutter so it won’t get in the way of someone using a wheelchair/scooter.     
  • When the exterior door swing is determined, note it in your plan as this measurement will be required during the design of your ramp.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Does This Affect Door component?

When it comes to choosing the right door for your home, you must choose one which will provide the best protection and security. Many homeowners choose to install exterior doors that swing outwards because they have been conditioned to do so by years of seeing this from their own homes or those around them.

The problem with swinging outward is that heavy winds may send these doors slamming into a wall, potentially causing damage to both the frame and components on both sides.

In addition, these types of doors tend to be extremely heavy. While they offer good protection for your home, there are several issues with using them in an everyday setting that goes beyond just aesthetics or ease-of-use considerations.

For example, to solve this problem, wood composite entry doors are made with a sturdier frame that will withstand an outward opening door pressure. These materials, which can be used for steel and aluminum frames, possess a higher resistance to impact than wood alone.

What Does This Mean For Homeowners?

While it tends to be more difficult to find them in some parts of the country, many energy-efficient composite exterior doors on the market today don’t swing outwards but rather outwards. Though they may cost more than traditional interior doors at first glance, composite exterior doors have several advantages over their wooden counterparts that make them highly desirable when choosing an exterior door, whether you’re building or renovating your home. Here’s how these products stack up.

What Colors to Repaint Doors and Walls?

Planning a successful color scheme for a home’s exterior requires you to consider all of the components. Unfortunately, many homeowners overlook the doors and make their paint choice without considering how they will look with existing door colors. If you will repaint your exterior and decide that you also want to change the door color, here is some advice for choosing a coordinating color.

If you are painting a new house or making major changes to the color of an existing one, try these recommended combos:

  • Choose a dark-colored door when painting walls yellow. Green and maroon work well together, as do red/blue blends such as denim blue and deep turquoise. 
  • When using warm peach tones on walls, don’t choose red for the door. Instead, use a pale tinted blue or green color like those of the aqua family.
  • If you paint your house a combination of yellow and reds, blues look best on the door with this scheme. The same holds for orange and maroon colors—select light-colored doors ” ” dark ones.
Select Light-colored Doors

New Home:

Use lighter colored doors to create contrast when painting new homes in warm earth tones such as umber brown or burnt ochre. Don’t choose black or charcoal gray doors because they will absorb too much of the color from these walls creating an unattractive match.

Make Your Door Color Pop:

Often, homeowners seek out colorful glass storm door inserts and bright brass hardware because it is more interesting than a plain old door. A great way to make the house really pop is to paint the exterior door and trim color more vibrant than you otherwise would have. Pick an off-white or cream-colored door with dark red, maroon, navy, or forest green trim for instant drama!

Replacing an Existing Door: 

When replacing an existing exterior door, the easiest way to determine what swing to install is by considering this question: will the new door be in the same location as the old one?

Why does it matter? Because how a swinging door operates depends greatly on where that door is installed, and the whole exterior of your house can affect whether or not what type of door swing you should use. If your replacement door will be almost identical to its predecessor, then choosing that same type of operating hardware for it ensures everything will work together seamlessly.

Whole Exterior of Your House Can Affect

However, if you have no choice but to move a doorway around – perhaps because you are building an addition onto your house – then things get complicated very quickly. That’s because there are three basics swinging doors (hinged, sliding, and folding), each of which has its own unique advantages.

Swing for Permanence: If you are building a new room onto your house because the garage is getting too full or the kids need more space to play in, then the chances are that door will be gone when those extra rooms get repurposed at some point in the future. In other words, it’s not really a permanent thing – it’s just something you built into your home so you could better utilize existing square footage. For this purpose, we recommend using a hinged swinging door.

Utilize Existing Square Footage


I hope you have obtained all the necessary information on how do you determine an exterior door swing from this article. Thank you and have a nice day!

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