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Should Patio Doors Swing In Or Out? 

Posted on May 7, 2024

Should Patio Doors Swing In Or Out? 

Many homeowners aren’t aware that there is a difference in the type of door you can choose to lead out to your patio. These doors are known as inswing and outswing doors, and it can sometimes be confusing to tell the difference between the two. They both offer different pros and cons, so the decision depends on what you need and what you like best. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the different functions and limitations of inswing and outswing patio door openings so that you can make an accurate decision about how your patio doors should swing.

What Are Inswing Patio Doors?

Inswing patio doors are designed to swing inward when opened, making them a popular choice for spaces where an outward swing might not be practical or desired. They’re particularly common in areas with limited exterior space, as they don’t take up space in small outdoor areas like balconies or patios. 

Why Should You Choose An Inswing Patio Door And What Are Its Limitations?

Inswing patio doors are an excellent choice for several reasons:

Patio Doors

1. Space Saving

One of the primary benefits of inswing patio doors is that they don’t require any additional space on the outside of your home. When opened, the doors swing inwards, allowing you to maximize your outdoor living area or patio space.

2. Easier Function In Harsh Weather

Inswing doors provide better accessibility during harsh elements such as rain, wind, and snow, that would otherwise make it hard to open the door outwards. This makes it a good option for people in the northeastern part of the country.

However,  if you have limited interior space, inswing doors may not be a suitable option. Evaluate your interior space and identify potential obstructions that are placed near the door opening before deciding on inswing doors. These doors may also not be the most effective at protection. With inward hinges, it could be easier for intruders to kick in the patio doors. 

What Are Outswing Patio Doors?

Outswing patio doors are designed to swing outward when opened, away from the interior living space, instead of inswing doors that open inward. They’re favored for their ability to maximize indoor space, enhance security, and provide a tight seal against weather elements when closed. 

Why Should You Choose An Outswing Patio Door And What Are Its Limitations?

Patio Doors

1. Unobstructed Interior

With outswing doors, your interior space remains unobstructed when the doors are open. This can be beneficial for smaller rooms or spaces where every inch of floor space counts.

2. Weather Resistance

Outswing patio doors provide stronger weather resistance compared to inswing patio doors. Wind gusts may easily push inswing patio doors open, while outswing patio doors do not have this problem. The seals around outswing patio doors also tend to be considerably more secure. 

However, outswing patio doors may not be the ideal choice if you have limited space on your patio. They require additional clearance to open fully which could potentially obstruct a small patio, deck, or outdoor living area. 

Another drawback is the increased exposure these doors have to elements like rain, wind, and snow when they are open. If they’re not properly sealed and maintained, this can lead to water damage or drafts entering the home. 

Factors to Consider When Trying To Choose the Right Swing Direction

When deciding whether your patio doors should swing in or out, consider the following factors:

1. Available Space

Evaluate the amount of interior and exterior space you have available. Inswing doors may be the better choice if you have limited outdoor space, and vice versa. 

2. Climate and Weather

If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, inswing doors may provide better functionality while outswing doors handle some weather conditions like wind better.

3. Accessibility and Mobility

For individuals with limited mobility or strength, inswing doors may be easier to operate and more accessible.

4. Personal Preference

Ultimately, your personal preference and style will play a role in your decision. Some homeowners simply prefer the aesthetic or functionality of one option over the other.

5. Building Codes and Regulations

Ensure that your choice complies with local building codes and regulations, as considering them will provide you with specific requirements for patio door swing directions in certain situations.

Both inswing and outswing patio doors have their advantages and disadvantages. By carefully considering your specific needs, available space, climate, accessibility requirements, and personal preferences, you can make an accurate decision that best suits your home.

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