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Inswing vs. Outswing Doors

Your exterior doors are a fundamental feature of your home. The front entry door allows guests to come and go, and the patio door connects the indoors with the backyard, allowing you to make the most of your property. If you want to install a new hinged patio door or replace your front entry door, you have an important decision to make: will you install an inswing or outswing door?

Space Considerations

Depending on the layout of your entryway or back patio, it may be obvious whether to install an inswing or outswing door just by evaluating the space you have available. For instance, perhaps your patio door leads outside from the kitchen and you have a table positioned directly in front of it. An outswing door is beneficial in this situation.

On the other hand, perhaps space constraints exist on the exterior. If you prefer to keep potted plants or a patio table right outside the entrance, an inswing door accommodates this better.

Door Swing Codes

  • Public doors swing outward: Have you ever noticed that doors in commercial buildings always swing outward? This is required by the International Building Code to prevent a horde of people from pressing up against the door in an evacuation, which would make it impossible to open and thus trap people inside.
  • Doors in hurricane-prone areas swing outward: High winds from a hurricane are more likely to push an inswing door open, but this isn’t possible with an outswing door.
  • Doors in snow-prone areas swing inward: In climates where it can snow several feet in a single storm, entry and patio doors should swing inward. This way, you won’t become trapped inside your home if a huge snow drift presses up against the door.

Ease of Operation

  • Inswing doors feature a sweep gasket at the threshold to keep air and water out. Friction is necessary to help this gasket seal tightly. An unfortunate side effect is that inswing doors operate stiffly.
  • Outswing doors feature a positive stop and compression gasket. This creates a weather-tight seal without friction, so the door is easy to open.

Protection from Water and Air Infiltration

  • Inswing doors are more vulnerable to wind and rain leaks because of the threshold design. To prevent this problem, adjust the sweep gasket as necessary and replace weatherstripping when it wears out.
  • Outswing doors aren’t as susceptible to wind-driven rain and water infiltration thanks to their threshold design. Plus, since the door pushes against the frame when the wind blows, it can resist hurricane-force winds more effectively.


  • Inswing doors have hinges located on the interior, which is a good security feature. Unfortunately, they can be forced open more easily because of the direction they swing. To counteract this, be sure to install heavy-duty strike plates and deadbolt locks.
  • Outswing doors are very difficult to force open from the exterior, a big security plus. However, the hinges are located on the outside, so you’ll need to choose a style that doesn’t have removable pins to eliminate this potential home security threat.

Looking for Inswing or Outswing Doors in MD, DC, or VA?

In the end, choosing an inswing or outswing door depends on your home’s space needs, the climate where you live, and your personal preferences. Quality Window & Door installs a wide selection of both inswing and outswing entry and patio doors from several manufacturers, including Weather Shield.

To see high-quality doors in action, please visit one of our local showrooms in Maryland and Northern Virginia. Then, contact Quality Window & Door to request a free in-home consultation and door installation quote.

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