Right Hand Door vs Left Hand Door: How to Determine Door Swing

One of the things to consider when replacing or buying a new door is the handing of the door whether right hand or left hand

Even if it’s a security door or any other types, once you have checked the door’s size, color, and material, the next important option is to choose door handling positionKnowing this will give an idea of the door swing direction so that you can make the right purchase.

As you should know, it will be frustrating to buy a door with its hinges on the wrong side. So, the first step on how to order doors is to determine whether to get a right hand door or left-hand door. Luckily, we have provided an easy guide to help you choose between right hand door vs left hand door

Choosing Between Right Hand Door vs Left Hand Door

Selecting if the door should be right hand or left hand is the same thing as choosing the door swing direction code. However, there are a couple of differences between the two. Also, there are several ways to determine if your present door is right hand or left hand oriented.

The first thing you should do is to stand upright against the hinge side of the door frame. Then check where the door opens to; if it’s your right, then it’s a right-handed door and vice versa.

You can also face the entry at the point where it opens away from you. For this method, you should place your hands and wrists on the door and jamb. Then pretend that your hand is the door while your wrist is the hinge. Now it’s a right-handed door if the right hands swing in the same direction as the hinges. But if the movement of the hinges matches with your left hand direction, then it’s a left-handed door.

If you must buy the door over the phone, the seller should know the door swing direction and if it’s right hand or left-hand door. However, it is almost difficult to explain this over the phone. Hence, it will be best you buy the door in person.

Deciding between Right Hand vs Left Hand Door Decision


Most times, the swing direction of the door you install doesn’t matter, but it sometimes does. Once there is a blockade opposite the door swing direction, you should place the hinges on that side. That way, the door would open to the front of the barrier and leave enough space for entry.

Another thing that matters is the way through which you get to the door. If stairs heading up are parallel to the door wall, you should place the hinges on the farthest side, so it opens towards the stairs. It will enable you to enter freely without having to move around the door.

Changing the Direction of the Door Swing


If you’re carrying out a home renovation and decide to change swing direction, you can without replacing it. All you should do is to adjust the hinge positions and strike plate attached to the jamb. You should also change the hardware placement on the door.

However, you should have a little carpentry or door hanging experience, otherwise, it’s best to replace it. Buy a new door with the correct swing pattern you want and contact an expert to hang it.

How to Determine Between Right Hand vs Left Hand Door for a Rough Opening

You should know the layout of the house to determine the door swing in the rough opening. Generally, an inside door would swing into the room and will open onto the wall close to the hinge. It’s normal for everyone to want a large space when you open the door.

After getting the right-hand outswing door or inswing typethe next thing is to determine the door handling

Why Door Handing is Pivotal

Most times, your door handing depends on the choice you want. However, it also crucial so that you can avoid any blockage that might be on the way of the opening.

When you have an obstruction on the door path, you should Install the hinges on the barrier’s side so that the door will open against it and give you enough room. Also, check out the path that leads to the door; stairs can also affect the swing direction of the door

Preventing Left Hand Door Problems


For every rule, there is an exception, and this is no different. If you have an aged person, you should check out your door pattern well. Bathroom doors especially can be a problem for elderly people because the floor is slippery and can cause a fall.

Sometimes, when a slip or fall happens, the victim leans toward the bathroom entry blocking the access. And this can cause more harm when you try to gain access to help. So, it’s best to install the door of the aged people in a way that it opens to the passage. That way, they can open the door quickly.

Moreover, you can also install a left-hand outswing exterior door if you have a compact living area. There’s no way you can open the door inward if your room is small and packed with items. But then, door swing direction codes request all interior room doors to swing inside. So, it’s either you create space for it or leave it entirely.

Nevertheless, a pocket door can be an excellent option for small room issues. It’s also the best for the aged people’s houses because it’s easy to open even with a blockade. These doors don’t swing in or out but slide left or right, so there’s no need for door handing

Since compact room owners have a door opening difficulties due to small space, installing a pocket door is better. It’s a better choice than fixing the door the wrong way, putting the occupant’s safety at a huge risk. With a pocket door, there’s no need to de-clutter your room.

Final Word

To most people, door handing doesn’t matter. They believe since they can afford a door, why won’t you be able to install it? Many don’t even know how to order doors for replacement. They just call the store owner and request for doors without knowing if it is right hand or left-hand door needed.

However, selecting between a right hand vs left-hand door is a decision you should make wisely. You wouldn’t want to be circling your exterior doors to enter your home. So, it’s better to follow the guide in this article before purchasing a door. This helps prevent wasting your money on the wrong door handing

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