Pros and Cons of Outward Swinging Doors


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Out-swing doors are a security feature and a safety risk. They are easy to open if someone falls against them and easier to break out of but can injure people passing. They save space in the room but block hallways, so are more likely to be kept shut. You can’t install storm/screen doors. Poor odor control.

Pros of Outward Swinging DoorsCons of Outward Swinging Doors
They add an extra level of security as they are harder to break downThe fact that the door is harder to break down can be a health and safety risk
If a person falls against it, you will be able to open the door easilyHaving exposed hinges on these types of doors can be a security risk 
As the door does not occupy any of the room’s space, you’re saving valuable floor spaceThe outward swinging door will occupy hallway space
These doors are much easier to escape through if necessarySomeone can be easily hit by the unexpectedly opening door 
You won’t be able to install a storm door
These doors have a poor odor control
You’re less likely to leave these types of doors open, which affects ventilation and visibility (think, kids’ playroom)

Pros of Outward Swinging Doors

four positive points of having outward doors

Harder to Break Down: Security Feature

Outward swinging doors have the added bonus of being a security feature.

The construction of the door makes it very difficult to break down. The hinges act as a resisting force to the door swinging inward, as does the door frame itself, which has been designed to stop the door from swinging too far in.

For egress doors, this is a great deterrent to potential burglars. For interior doors, it also keeps you safer if you are barricading yourself away from a potential assailant.

Can Open Easily if Someone Falls Against It

Sometimes the unthinkable happens and someone slips, trips, or passes out and falls against an interior door. This is especially a concern in bathrooms (and showers) and kitchens.

When someone falls against the door, they become a heavy but delicate barrier to the room. If the door swings inward, then breaking it open is not an option if it is locked. Even if it is not locked, you may cause more damage or injury if you were to push it open against them, no matter how gentle you tried to be.

This is not an issue with an unlocked outward swinging door, you would just pull it open and immediately attend to the injured or ill person.

Saves Floor Space in the Room

I have come across my fair share of toilet rooms (the style that only has a toilet or toilet and basin) that have little floor space and inward swinging doors. The result is having to straddle the toilet while the door is closed—not ideal!

Now, this is an extreme example. Some rooms allow you to be comfortably inside and still close the inward swinging door. However, the rooms are still small enough that the door’s swing arc significantly reduces the available floor and wall space that could have been used for furniture, pot plants, storage, etc.

With an outward swinging door, the space you have in the room is the space that you can use. You also won’t cover any wall art hanging on the walls next to the door.

When it comes to exterior doors, the extra floor space as you enter means you can also now add an entry rug that won’t be getting caught under a door as you open it. Putting a rug as you enter the house is a great way to add some style to the entry hall and the functionality of cleaning dirty shoes.

Easier to Escape Through

If you get locked in a room with an outward swinging door, you can rest assured that you will be able to knock the door down from the inside. You will, of course, need a good amount of force and maybe some help from a make-shift battering ram. Nevertheless, you have the comforting knowledge that it can be done if need be.

Cons of Outward Swinging Doors

six negative points of having outward doors

Harder to Break Down: Safety Risk

Whether there is a fire behind a locked door, or the handle breaks and your child is stuck in their room, desperate times call for desperate measures and you might need to channel your inner Karate Kid and break down the door.

As we have discussed in the pros section, outward swinging doors are much harder to break down, so in an emergency such as this, you are not going to pat yourself on the back for your decision to hang outward swinging doors.

Hinges Exposed: Security Risk

Outward swinging doors have their hinges exposed on the outside of the room. This can pose a serious security risk as a simple screwdriver can be used to unfasten the hinges, remove the door from its frame and allow the perpetrator access into the room.

Don’t worry though, because you can simply install a security hinge to reduce this risk. These prevent exactly what I described above from happening by making it extremely difficult for someone to unscrew the door hinges. They’re super affordable too.

Hinge Outlet Stainless Steel Door Hinges - 4 Inch with 5/8 Inch Radius - Non-Removable Pin - 2 Pack
  • Stainless Steel Hinges
  • Security Hinges - Non-Removable Pin
  • Includes matching wood screws
  • Typical use: 1 5/8" - 1 3/4"

Can Block Hallways

Although you are saving floor and wall space inside the room, an outward swinging door can also take up space. If you have these kinds of doors in your hallway, having them open means you are blocking the hallway.

This can hinder the available space in the hallway to walk through it, which can also pose a risk during an emergency, or just when you need to leave the house in a rush.

My parent’s home had a door that opened into the hallway, and I cannot tell you how many shirts were ruined, and bruises were caused by that sticking-out door handle as I ran down the passageway.

People Can Be Hit by the Opening Door

When you have a door that swings inwards, you can simply open and shut it as you please. However, with an outward swinging door you do need to be mindful of who else might be in the house.

You can easily knock someone when you open the door, which could result in injury or concussion, depending on how hard you open it. You might even be injured if a housemate is barrelling down the hall and collides with the door with force. The door can then slam back into your face!

You Cannot Install a Storm Door

If you have an outward swinging door as an exterior door, you won’t be able to install a storm or screen door.

In the case of screen doors, this can be a bummer as you won’t be able to keep your door open during the summer without letting in all the bugs.

If you live in a climate that makes storm doors more of a must than a can, then you won’t be able to have an outward swinging door.

Storm doors also provided added security protection and are very effective in keeping out the elements. The extra layer protects your front door from any rain, hail, snow, and even sun. This will increase the lifespan of your door, which means you won’t have to repaint it, or even replace it regularly.

Another drawback is that you can’t easily watch your kids playing in the yard as you would by keeping the storm or screen door shut while having the main door open.

Poor Odor Control

Doors that swing outwards are really poor at keeping any odors inside the rooms. The door swings outwards, which allows for the air to also flow outwards.

This can be especially concerning when it comes to having outward swinging doors in your bathroom when you really do not want unpleasant odors escaping.

It can also be quite unpleasant if the door leads to a craft or kids playroom, where lots of glue or paint is often used. If your kitchen has this type of door, it can be nice to have the aromas of your meal wafting around the house. But if you’re a bad cook or just making some exotic dish with nose-turning scents, you might not want this.

Less Likely to Leave Interior Doors Open

As these doors take up space in the hallway, you will be less likely to leave them open.

If you do this and use this type of door for your bathroom, you run the risk of having moisture problems as you need the flow of air to let out humidity.

If it’s the door to your kids’ playroom, you would also want to keep it open so you can hear them in case of an emergency.

Having your doors constantly shut can also interfere with whole-house ventilation and the air pressure balance in the house.

Sources

https://www.hingeoutlet.com/blogs/news/96054977-advantages-of-security-door-hinges

http://myazrealty.com/2015/12/30/should-my-doors-swing-in-or-out/

http://www.stouffvilleglass.com/blog/11-benefits-of-storm-doors/

https://innovativebuildingmaterials.com/inswing-vs-outswing-patio-doors/

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