Outswing French Doors
Save Space with this Classic Patio Door Option
French doors are a classic part of most homes whether on patios, balconies or both. But they aren't just functional elements of your home, but an important part of its overall appearance and style. The classic patio door option, they are favored by homeowners around the world. Depending on where you live, either inswing or outswing may be standard. However, the interior and exterior layout of your patio or entryway will typically dictate the best option based on space considerations. Perhaps surprisingly, your local weather will also play a role.
Inswing vs. Outswing Doors and Windows
Have you noticed that commercial buildings nearly always have outswing doors? This is a safety code feature that prevents a large group of people trying to exit the building from blocking the exit in the event of an emergency. In Scandinavia and other snow-prone areas, windows and doors often swing outwards for two reasons. Firstly, it allows the wind to push the door into the frame for a better seal. Secondly, it ensures that snow and ice aren't brought inside every time the door or window is opened. Areas in hurricane zones such as the south-eastern United States and the Caribbean often use outswing doors to prevent high-speed winds from forcing an inswing door open during the storm.
The Outswing French Door
Smaller rooms benefit most from outward opening French doors as well as areas where furniture may get in the way. With leafs that swing out, vital interior room is saved without the need to keep the surrounding area free. Ideal in small to medium-sized spaces, French doors may also feature double sidelights. If so, your choice is usually more open as the sidelights would not have furniture in front of them anyway while outdoor areas may have planters for example. Transoms and muntins (also called divided lites or grilles) can also be configured to match your existing facade and architectural style.
Due to their difference in design, outswing models are often easier to operate too as they lack the sweep gasket and friction of inswing doors.
Additional considerations include bug screens and curtains. If you live in a warmer climate and plan to frequently leave your patio doors open, it is important to ensure that you choose a window screen that does not block the direction of opening. The same is true for curtains and blinds.