Exterior Door Backward

Just reassuring myself here. On a one year warranty inspection today,the garage yard entry door was installed with hinges on the outside. Called it out for security reasons. Pop the hinges and in the garage you are. Home owner agreed with me. I can’t seem to find any literature which backs this up, just using my intuition. Any objections?

I’ve seen a few of these on homes that had rear exits out of the garage. I think they put the doors on that way so you could go in and out with the car in the garage.

The security item is easily taken care of. Usually when the door is closed, the screw holes in the hinges will line up. Take two opposing screws out. In one of them drive a nail into the door so that it sticks out past the hinge about 1/4 inch. Leave the opposing hole empty. Now when the door is shut, the empty hinge hole closes over the nail. Doesn’t matter if you pop the hinges, they won’t seperate because the the nail. Quick fix. Or you can get security hinges that will not allow the pins to be taken out.

You did the right thing.
The door should be installed according to “The Manufacturer’s Installation Instructions.”

"When you cannot find a Code" this information holds true for ALL items, HVAC units, Electrical panels, wooden Trusses, etc.

If any item deviates from “Code” then the MII / Mmanufacturer’s Iinstallation
Iinstructions takes precedent.

I have come across security hinges where the hinge stud was flattened and the receiving hole had screw added. hmmmm


But you would think, either way they put it, regardless if it was right or wrong,* “it would be for going in and out of the garage”*. LOL :neutral: :neutral: :neutral:


Dylan; I made the same mistake a couple of years ago…make sure the hinges don’t have a pin/stud like one of the photos above, or some have a small allen screw in the outer pin sockets and a grove in the pin so the pin can’t be driven out unless the door is in the open position to reveal the tiny screw. Also have seen many garden doors that are designed this way.

Since were on the subject of doors, is there any particular code that states the main entry door has to open out. I see them open either way. Today I had a retired builder who says that the door has to open out. Does anybody know anyting about this.


Pretty hard to install a storm/screen door if the main entry door opens out and we use those up here.

Commercial doors open out, to permit ready egress and the proper use of panic hardware. There are residential grade doors specially made to open out, but they’re a terrible product. I have yet to see a resi grade door that opens out that remains watertight for its lifetime.

must open out for commercial…residential doors for the most part open in…

Commercial only in certain instances, i.e. occupant load >50 or Group H.

I have no problem with outward opening residential as long as the door has security type hinges (many choices) and proper weather stripping

By the time they play with the hinges ,they could just bust the door in anyway.

Thanks for all of your input. This customer claims he was a builder and that the door was supposed to open outwards. I also talked to a builder friend who said there was no particular code for this.

Thanks again…


I did not note it was an attached Garage (heated)

Seeing an exterior door open to the exterior on residential is very rare, but have seen some on attached garages up here.
When I see those, I check for security hinges. They make different types.
Here is an example.
**Door Hinges on Exterior Swinging Doors


Although most people don’t give a second thought to the security options available in door hinges, there are door hinges available that can provide better security.
In some parts of the country, it is common to see doors swing out. When the door swings outward, the hinge pins are typically exposed on the outside of the house.
This could allow an intruder to tap the hinge pins up and out, and lift the door off its hinges, removing the door without unlocking it.
There are several door hinge designs available that make it more difficult to remove the hinge pins.

Non-Removable Pins

On these hinges, the pins are held in place by a setscrew. If the door is in the open position, the setscrew is exposed and can be retracted, and the hinge pins removed. If the door is closed, the setscrew cannot be accessed.

Safety Studs

These hinges come in full mortised type only, meaning the hinge sits in routed-out insets in the door and frame. Studs extend from one hinge leaf and a hole is punched in the corresponding position on the opposite leaf. When the door is closed, the stud sits in the hole. If the hinge pin is removed, the door still cannot be taken off its hinges because the stud holds it in place.

**Fast-Riveted (Crimped) Pins


These hinges are designed so the hinge pin cannot be removed. The hinge pin is made longer than the hinge height, inserted into the hinge, and spun on the end to create a rivet-type end on the top and bottom of the pin.
Using hinges that keep an intruder from taking the door off can be a benefit even if the hinge pins are on the inside face of the door.
Combined with a deadbolt lock with a captured key feature, these features can help deter an intruder, who has broken in through a window, from unlocking the door or taking the door off its hinges.
It is important to use these security products on all exterior doors, including any from the garage to the outside, and on any doors from an attached garage to the house.
Security products can also be retrofitted onto existing hinges in older homes.

The non-removable pin is popular because it looks like a regular hinge. (NRP)
The other problem with outswing doors is water infiltration from the top of the doors.
In this case a drip cap is usually installed but never is.

It would also be prudent to observe that any door exiting to the exterior should not open over stairs.
It is code legal to have two risers or less with out a landing at exterior doors per the IRC 2006 I believe.

Landings should also be no more than 1-1/2" lower than the thresholds.

Hope this helps a little.

Marcel :):smiley:

Florida Hurricane Codes require that the entry doors swing outward.

As should public buildings.

Guess they never get snowdrifts,eh Marcel?
Around here, the thieves don’t know what hinge pins are. :stuck_out_tongue: But they can pop a glass slider out of a track ok. :mad: