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There are myriad pros and cons of in swing doors. Pros include being able to break the door down if you are locked out of a room, the hallway is not blocked, and you won’t hit someone opening the door. Cons include easier to break down egress doors, can be blocked by a fallen person, and less space in the room.
|Odor and temperature control is better||Harder to move through when you are in a hurry or when there is an emergency|
|Easier to break through when locked out||Burglars can break the door down more easily due to the frame design|
|You are more likely to leave the door open, which is great for ventilation and, in some cases, security||It is hard to help someone who has fallen against an interior inward swinging door as they will block it|
|No interference with movement along the hallway||You lose floor and wall space in the room into which the door swings|
|You won’t hit someone passing in the hallway when exiting the room|
|Provides better privacy|
|Your door will definitely not open over stairs (safety issue and code violation)|
|You can install a screen or storm door over your front and back doors|
|For egress doors, the inward swing means the hinges aren’t exposed to the outside, which would be a security risk|
Pros of Inward Swinging Doors
Odor and Temperature Control Is Better
When you open a door into the room, it creates an inward flow of air. This helps to keep unpleasant odors inside the room when you exit, as opposed to letting the air and odors flow out with one swing of the door.
This bit of physics makes inward-opening doors ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, workshops, even kids’ playrooms if there are odors from glue or paint.
It also helps with controlling temperature in the same way, helping to maintain the internal environment of the room.
Easier to Break Through When Accidentally Locked Out
If you get locked out of a room or your child locks themselves into a room by accident, it would be easier for you to break through an inward swinging door.
All you need to do is make sure no one is near the door and then channel your favorite action hero, and your problems will be through.
The same reasoning technically applies if you are locked out of your house, although there are more likely to be other safety measures in place to prevent this and a locksmith is the way to go.
More Likely to Leave the Door Open
Some people wonder whether it is good to leave the bathroom door open or closed after a shower; maybe you are someone who doesn’t like the idea of an open bathroom door and is hoping to find another option.
However, it is recommended to leave the door open, as this can help reduce humidity in your bathroom, thereby preventing mold and mildew growth.
In fact, when it comes to it, it is generally better for house ventilation to leave internal doors open, at least from time to time.
On another note, you can put your mind at ease by leaving your kids’ room open. That way, you will know what’s going on while doing your jobs, and the kids can easily call for you.
No Hallway Interference
With inward swinging doors, you won’t be blocking the hallway while, for example, bringing things into or out of your room and thus keeping the door open for easy access.
This is especially important if you have doors in narrow corridors. The hallway will most likely look more bright and sleek if no doors interfere with it.
Plus, it makes leaving in a hurry much easier as you don’t have to dodge any doors or door handles on your way.
Less Likely to Hit Someone
If there’s no hallway interference, there are also no more worries about opening the door in someone’s way and accidentally hitting them.
If you live by yourself, you have less to worry about, but for anyone with housemates or even pets, this could be an important factor.
As long as the collision only causes you to spill or break something, it’s not that big of a deal. In the worst-case scenario, you could hurt someone, or you could get a door slammed in your face.
From experience, I have had many close calls. It is not uncommon to happen with external outward swinging doors.
So, we can all agree that the inward-opening has the upper hand in this case.
Provides Better Privacy
Most of us have, at least once, been in a situation where we were holding a public bathroom door with one hand, just because the lock was broken and the door kept opening.
Well, it is similar in your home. Whether you’re not locked in a bathroom or just need to shut a door quickly, it will always be easier and faster to push it with your weight than reaching for a handle and pulling towards you.
You can read more about the privacy aspect of inward swinging doors in my post on Should Bathroom Doors Swing In or Out.
Your Door Won’t Open Over Stairs
This one is similar to a door interfering with a hallway but it is even more impractical and much more dangerous. You don’t want to risk any stumble when standing on stairs!
So, if you don’t have a space for landing at the top of the stairs, it is best to keep your door opening inward. You never know, if the door got a bit stuck and you had to use a little force, you could easily lose your balance when they suddenly fly open.
Additionally, it can be very annoying having to open or close this kind of door because you often have to step on a stair to reach the handle, and no one wants to do that if they have another option.
You Can Install a Screen/Storm Door
With outward swinging doors, you are not able to install a storm door. However, with inward swinging doors, you can do it with ease, and the same goes for a screen door.
Therefore, if you live in an area predisposed to storms or hurricanes, where not having a storm door is a hazard, you already have a good enough reason to opt for inward swinging doors.
But other benefits are that the storm door can add extra insulation, protect your regular door from the elements, prolong its lifespan and make its maintenance that much easier.
If you live somewhere warmer with many mosquitos or generally in a place with many bugs and animals wandering around your house, the door needs to be compatible with your screen door.
You would be hitting yourself for getting an outdoor swinging door and not being able to enjoy the nice weather with opened doors to your garden without needing to worry about something getting in.
Egress Door Hinges Are Not Exposed to Outside
Another advantage the inward swinging doors have over the outdoor swinging ones is that the hinges are inside, not exposed to the outside.
This is great for safety because if someone tried to unscrew your door from the panel to break in, they wouldn’t be able to do it.
Although nowadays it is not as important because there are security hinges for those exposed to outside, it is still nice not having to invest the extra money and simply knowing your door hinges are safe.
At the same time, this does not mean you should feel as if your door were impenetrable and not have any other safety features in place. But we will talk more about that later in this article.
Take a Detour
Egress Door Swing Direction
Cons of Inward Swinging Doors
Harder to Move Through in a Hurry
For emergency exiting, the inward opening can be an inconvenient choice. While with outward swinging doors, you can simply kick them open or grab the handle and push, opening inward swinging doors takes a little longer.
And if the door gets stuck or something falls in front of it, it will cost you more energy and time to get through them. That is not ideal if you happen to be in a stressful situation and need to get out promptly.
Burglars Can Break Door Down More Easily
Just as it is easier for you to break through the door when they open inwards, it is also easier for burglars.
When you have an outward swinging, the door frame and the hinges (assuming security hinges are installed) act as a resisting force against the inward swing of the doors, and thus also potential breakdown attempts.
To better secure your inward swinging doors, some of the things you can do are using longer screws, reinforcing the hinges and door frame, or installing a deadbolt lock guard (amazon link).
To find out more about reinforcing your door, check out the video below. And don’t forget to install a good home security system.
Hard to Help Someone Who Has Fallen Against Door
In the unfortunate scenario of something blocking the door from behind, an inward swinging door puts you into a precarious position.
You often can’t unscrew the hinges because they’re on the inside, and breaking through with strength is often impossible or dangerous.
Moreover, it is inappropriate to force open the door if a person is fallen against it, as you could seriously harm them.
In this situation, your number one option is to call firefighters who are equipped and trained for these kinds of situations. Alternatively, you can try to get in through a window or any other accessible.
If you can slightly open the door, you could try to break them open with tools yourself, but keep in mind this can also be a dangerous option if a person is lying against the door and you are not too sure what you are doing. Best to leave it to professionals.
You Lose Floor and Wall Space in Room
You might not be bothered by this if you have a big enough room, but if the space is small and every inch counts, it is worth considering whether you are willing to sacrifice floor and wall space for an inward swinging door.
A natural reaction could be to opt for an outdoor swinging door, but sometimes even those are not a good fit. A good alternative is a pocket sliding door (amazon link).
I also lived in a flat where some small rooms had foldable doors, (amazon link) and they work pretty well if you don’t mind the weaker noise reduction.
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