Stupid Question – Why do exterior house doors open inwards?

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  • Stupid Question – Why do exterior house doors open inwards?
  • james
    Member

    Apart from houses that open straight onto the street, why do exterior house doors always open inwards, and not outwards?

    If they opened outward, you’d have more space by the door on the inside, and can reach in and/or throw/place stuff inside more around the door. If you’ve space outside the door that’s not the street then why favour the outside to the in.
    Reaching in to put stuff you’re loading/unloading from the car without constantly taking shoes off, reaching in for a key you forgot, or other similar situations it might be useful
    If its raining, you’re not opening a wet door into the house to drip onto the floor

    Or is it just that it would probably look daft, because everyone elses opens inwards, is it to make it quicker to run in when its raining*, or rude to ask a guest to step back while you open the door toward them before coming in
    *EDIT, is it that opening a door into the rain would mean the inside of the door gets wet, then you’re closing a wet door inside the house?
    Also if heavily snowed in, you can at least open the door?

    And again, I realise this is a stupid question, just don’t exactly know why

    jambourgie
    Member

    So you don’t smack your visitor in the chops?

    Chew
    Member

    Easier for the rescue services to smash in if theres a fire etc…
    Also its easier to waterproof the door due to the gaps being covered from the outside

    So you can get out if there is an obstacle close to the door.

    Premier Icon davosaurusrex
    Subscriber

    They don’t always. We had a new back door fitted last year, opens outwards as it catches the worst of the weather so the wind pushes it onto the seal rather than off it. Also frees up more space in the kitchen as you say. Has a stay to hold it open when required and stopping the wind taking it off it’s hinges.

    Markie
    Member

    Plus points that are by no means definitive…

    You can leave your door open in the rain without it getting soaked and then soaking everything when you shut it.

    If it’s windy, the wind is less likely to catch an open door and slam it back against its own hinges (accepting that doors that open either way will get slammed shirt by the wind!).

    If it snows heavily you can still open your door and get out of the house?

    Ummm…

    JEngledow
    Member

    Depending on the door design it can be more secure as the hinges are not on the outside.

    Premier Icon righog
    Subscriber

    I have a Finnish house and all the doors open outwards, not sure if this has any benefits in Finland ? The only thing I have noticed is that they can be a pain when it’s windy but you soon get into the habit of latching them back.

    LeeW
    Member

    Our front opens inwards but the back and patio doors open outward. If I remember correctly all the houses I’ve been to in Sweden are the same.

    UK house and only the front door and side garage door open inwards. All the others open outwards.

    james
    Member

    Forgot about patio doors, they nearly always open outward?
    But they’re only intended to be used when its not windy rainy or snowy?

    sharkbait
    Member

    3 sets of patio doors and they all open outwards.

    Premier Icon JoeG
    Subscriber

    In the US, inward opening exterior doors are the norm I’d say. I think that it is because an inward opening exterior door allows a storm/screen door to be installed as well. Main door opens inward, screen/storm door opens outward.

    marcus7
    Member

    Which way do your windows open…? 😉

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Don’t Patio doors slide?

    stuey
    Member

    Our front door opens out 😛

    External doors to living rooms, dinning, rooms etc, open outwards to free up more space for furniture. External doors to the front and side/kitchens open inwards because furniture space isn’t usually such an issue.

    IMO external doors opening inwards are far better, they are less susceptible to water ingress, the hinges are not exposed and less likely to corrode, also no need for hinge bolts, and no need for restrictors as they are not caught by the wind. And in the case of a front door only a small amount needs to be opened to see who is at the door and speak to them. They are however easier to kick in.

    Main reason would be security. The lock throw is hidden by the rebate so is harder to cut or pry open.

    Premier Icon chickenman
    Subscriber

    You are not allowed to open a door immediately onto steps (as you would exiting an outward opening door as this is clearly dangerous. A Yale wouldn’t work and the bolt on a mortice lock would be exposed to attack. All the above re weather sealing.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    External doors to living rooms, dinning, rooms etc, open outwards to free up more space for furniture. External doors to the front and side/kitchens open inwards because furniture space isn’t usually such an issue.

    None of mine do and the only one that open outward is the kitchen door.

    Sorry Drac I forgot to add the word “usually”.

    Premier Icon pictonroad
    Subscriber

    Creates a clear threshold that magical creatures cannot cross without being invited.

    rene59
    Member

    If they opened outwards it would be too easy to put some obstacle in place to stop you opening the door from the inside.

    Imagine the fun for the local kids!

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Sorry Drac I forgot to add the word “usually”.

    Most I go into at work open into the rooms too, you notice these things for getting patients out of for finding a sharp exit.

    Creates a clear threshold that magical creatures cannot cross without being invited.

    Jehova’s Witnesses?

    Premier Icon slackman99
    Subscriber

    Just to play devils advocate on the weathering, general consensus is that open out doors are more weather proof as the rebate is on the inside.

    However, as above, security is generally better on an open in

    Premier Icon paladin
    Subscriber

    If my front door opened outwards, folk walking past on the pavement would get clobbered

    footflaps
    Member

    Whilst I agree that an inward opening door can’t be blocked by an obstacle outside, all fire doors open outwards….

    Most I go into at work open into the rooms too, you notice these things for getting patients out of for finding a sharp exit.

    Yes most internal doors open into rooms, the usual exceptions are cupboards, WCs and bathrooms. External doors to back rooms however tend to open outwards. You notice these things when you spent your career hanging doors 🙂

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Oh! External.

    Damn Dylsexia I missed the bloody word External. 😳

    Haze
    Member

    I once had an architect spec an inward opening fire door…

    Premier Icon rt60
    Subscriber

    Mine and the neighbours open outward, causes no end of confusion when people are stood there waiting for the door to open then Have to take a quick step back. Never really thought it was that unusual, just not the norm.

    All doors in Sweden open outward. Somehow people don’t get smacked in the puss. From a weather point of view most front doors would have a small porch or “door mini roof”/ canopy to deal with the weather.

    Premier Icon slackman99
    Subscriber

    Fire exits open outwards as that’s the direction of travel, I.e. you want to get out of the burning building. If you had to stop grab a handle and back up to open the door you might get crushed by all the people behind trying to get out. The panic bar let’s you hit the bar and the door opens in one movement so you can keep in running!

    All doors in Sweden open outward. Somehow people don’t get smacked in the puss.

    Is that because they stand well back expecting the door to open outwards ?

    The architect currently depleting my stock of red wine has suggested that it is historic because it protects the hinge pins and the locks from being tampered with from without. Seems logical.

    Never mind exterior house doors, why the hell do toilet cubicle doors open into the cubicle!? Such a confined space means you end up doing some sort of weird acrobatics around the loo when using one.

    Except in Europe, where they sensibly open outwards. Bravo, Europeans, I love you for that.

    I’ve honestly never seen an outward opening door ever, even on the back end.

    Except on ships, for obvious weather related reasons.

Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)

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