Should doors open inwards or outwards?

Last Updated: 5 September 2022

There are differences in the ways that internal doors and external doors open. Therefore, determining which way a door should swing will depend on several factors, which are detailed below:

Inward opening doors vs outward opening doors

  Inward opening doors Outward opening doors
Suitable for public buildings

Should interior doors open in or out?

Interior doors tend to open inwards. This is because outward opening doors are likely to encroach upon a hallway or common area of some kind. Doors that open into these areas might also knock into those walking by. Here at Reddish Joinery, we manufacture made-to-measure internal doors in a range of styles and materials.

Should exterior doors open in or out?

Exterior doors tend to open inwards for security reasons. For the door to open outwards, the hinge mechanism would be located on the outside of the home. However, any hinges located outside pose a big risk to your home’s security. This is because any intruder with the right screwdriver to hand could simply remove the hinges and then the door, leaving your home totally exposed.

Wooden Internal Door

Weatherproof exterior doors

Another reason why exterior entry doors tend to open inwards is because of the weather. Outward-opening external doors are susceptible to being caught in the wind on a windy day and potentially banging into something. Outward opening wooden front doors can also be more susceptible to water damage, especially if they haven’t been treated properly in the first place. And if it were to snow, an outward opening door could end up working against you; blocking the entrance and trapping you inside.

When should exterior doors open outwards?

In certain cases, exterior doors will open outwards. For example, most exterior doors in public buildings are outward opening. This is for safety reasons.

If a large crowd of people attempt to escape from a building, they will all have to back up to open an inward opening door. This makes escaping more difficult and time-consuming, potentially compromising people’s safety. However, this is not an issue for most homes.

Black French Doors

Highways Act 1980 section 153

The only piece of UK legislation covering outward-opening doors is section 153 of the Highways Act of 1980. It concerns doors and gates that open straight out onto the highway.

It states that if you want to install an outward opening door onto the highway, you are required to get in touch with your local authority and the highway authority to check if it is OK. Failure to comply can eventually lead to a £200 fine so it’s worth taking this step if an outward-opening front door is what you’re after.

High performance doors from Reddish Joinery

Reddish Joinery is a specialist manufacturer and installer of bespoke uPVC windows and timber windows, doors, and conservatories. Interested in learning more about our products & services? Give us a call on 0161 969 7474 or contact us online.

Related Posts