Do You Want Your External Doors To Open Inward Or Outward?
Any professional door installation company worth their salt should be ready and willing to provide information on whether external door installation on your property would be better suited to inward or outward opening.
The fact is that most will be better suited to opening inward, but this should not stop you from considering an outward opening external door in certain circumstances.
This may not be something that first springs to mind for homeowners, but can make a significant difference in areas that are tight on space.
Let’s explain why:
The vast majority of external doors in the UK will open inward
While it is not something you will generally think about, the vast majority of external house doors will open inwards. This is certainly the case for front doors.
The reasons are mostly down to practicality in terms of:
Security – Reason #1:
The function of an exterior door is to secure your property. In this sense it is there to prevent intruders from gaining access to your home.
Down the years, if you had an outward opening exterior door this would require the hinges to be placed on the outside of your property and thus give thieves the opportunity to remove the hinges and the whole door in order to gain access.
However, it is now possible to purchase and have installed outward-opening doors that come with protected hinges. There is an increasing amount of different hinge types being introduced that are both secure and allow for the door to be opened outward.
If you are interested in such a set-up, please discuss the options with a professional, approved door installer.
As you will see in the section below, an example where outward opening doors do have their advantages relates to patio doors.
Security – Reason #2:
A second security factor in favour of inward closing doors relates to you being able to close the door on unwanted persons.
If the door opens outwards there is a chance that these intruders could already be within the arc of the door before you have a chance to slam it shut.
Security – Reason #3:
The final security benefit of an inward opening external door relates to additional security features.
Having your external door open inward makes it easier to equip with such additional security features as latches, bolts and chains.
If you choose to have an external door that opens outwards it means the door itself is more exposed to the vagaries of weather. Examples being:
- Wooden doors – Outward opening wooden doors are more exposed to rainwater.
- French patio doors – A sudden gust of wind can cause these to slam hard. This obviously increases the chances of damage to the door itself and the glass, not to mention an increase in your heart-rate due to the unexpected loud and sudden noise!
- Any make of door – If you are subject to heavy snowfall and have outward closing doors there is a possibility that snow piling up against the bottom of the door will mean you are unable to open it.
- External doors that open directly onto the street – This is not a good idea, because if your door is solid there is a possibility that you will injure anyone who happens to be within range as you open your door to leave the house.
Cases for outward opening exterior doors
While it is unlikely you will have one in your house, business premises and public buildings do have outward opening fire doors. These are far easier to ‘push’ through in the event of a rapid or paniced evacuation than having to pull a door in the standard manner.
The other valid reason relates to a patio. By having outward opening doors, you will be at liberty to make more use of the space inside your patio. If you do opt for outward opening patio doors then make sure that each of these doors has sturdy securing features.
Of course, a very nice, stylish way to overcome the ‘space’ and ‘securing’ challenges of outward opening patio doors is that you could always opt for sliding doors or a stunning, full-wall length concertina window feature!