How Do You Determine an Exterior Door Swing? Determining exterior door swing is simple. Start by standing outside the door, on the exterior of the building. (Door swing is always determined by standing outside, looking in, even for interior doors. In that case, “outside” would be outside the room you’re entering). 

If the door opens into the interior of the building, it’s an inward swinging door. If it opens towards the exterior, it’s an outward swinging door. 

Left vs. Right Handed

Exterior door swing also has a second component. Besides determining whether the door opens inwards or outwards, you need to determine whether it’s left or right handed. The process is straightforward. First, open the door and stand with your back to the hinges. Is the doorknob closer to your left hand? Then it’s a left-handed door. If it’s closer to your right hand, then it’s right-handed.

The same process is used to determine exterior door swing for entrances with double doors. Stand with your back to the hinges of each door. The one with the doorknob closest to your left hand is left-handed. The other is right-handed. 

Exterior Door Swing in Residential vs. Commercial Buildings

Exterior door swing has a significant effect on the safety and security of your building. Because hinges are an obvious weak point, most residential buildings have inward swinging doors. This means the hinges are inside rather than outside the building, in order to prevent burglars from gaining access to them.

However, in commercial buildings, inward swinging doors are a potential safety risk. While residential buildings contain only a handful of people, commercial buildings can contain hundreds or even thousands. This can be a problem during an emergency. As people rush to the exit, there may not be enough room to pull the door open. In order to ensure everyone can exit quickly, exterior doors swing outwards in commercial buildings.

To protect against burglars, hinges on commercial exterior doors are either concealed or protected. This significantly increases their cost, another reason residential buildings prefer inward swinging doors.

Determining the Best Exterior Doors for Your Business

Vortex works with companies across multiple industries, helping them choose, install, and maintain their exterior doors. We create personalized solutions: doors that enhance the flow of goods and people through your business. Contact us today for a free quote!