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An exterior door swing is a door that swings out and away from the building, allowing for easier egress in an emergency or when encountering a fire. For the exterior door swing, stand outside of the door and pull the door outside. If the door opens freely, it is an exterior door swing.
While it is common to have exterior doors installed at all four walls of a building’s wall system, the position of these doors can vary depending on the width of the opening, the design or number of rooms present, and how much traffic is required from that area. Here’s how to determine an exterior door’s swing.
1. Location of the Hinges
Hinges on the outside of the door indicate an exterior door swing. Hinges on the inside indicate an interior door swing. The hinges are located on either side of the door. Exterior doors swing out from the building, away from the building. If the hinges are located inside the door, it is an interior door swing. The hinge determines the path of opening and closing the door.
2. Door Swing
Another easy way to determine an exterior door swing is to push or pull the door from the outside. If it swings outward, it is an exterior door swing. If it does not move, it is an interior door swing. You must pull the door from the outside to determine a proper exterior door swing.
3. Swinging Clearance
Door swings must be at least 54 inches wide. The clearance is measured from the wall or stud to the door jamb. The swing of a door must be at least 35 inches in any direction. Exterior door swings do not include French doors, sliding doors, pocket doors, or larger interior and exterior doors with interior fire doors installed to supplement the primary exit from a building. Loosen the hinges if the door does not swing freely but is stuck.
Exterior doors must be able to open outward at 90 degrees without hitting any walls. In addition, there cannot be obstructions between the door and its jamb or frame. If the door cannot swing freely, there are obstructions, the opening needs to be wider, and the hinges need to be adjusted.
5. The function of the door
An exterior Door swing is a door that swings out and away from the building, allowing for easier egress in an emergency or when encountering a fire. It should be a consideration in areas with high traffic, for example, the front entrance of a restaurant or bank or the entrance to a facility.
All in all, exterior doors swing out and away from the building. To determine an exterior door swing:
1. Stand outside of the door and pull it out. If it opens freely, it is an exterior door swing.
2. When determining an exterior door swing, consider the amount and direction of traffic a door must withstand.
3. Ensure that the door swings freely and complies with local codes. If you need clarification on what type of swing is needed for your home, contact an Architect or a contractor specializing in home improvement to help you determine the best choice.