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Not all doors will have the same handle direction. Some people might get confused about how to operate a new door. It can even be a problem for lefties. Hence, it is crucial to decide which way the handles should go. We've asked the experts how to position door handles, and here's what they recommend.
To know which side to install the handles, assess the door handing and swing direction. You can put the handles either on the left or right-hand side of the door. For this reason, handles should point towards the hinges. If you reversed the handles, you can change them using a pin tool included in the handle set.
The room's purpose influences your decision of where to place the interior and exterior door handles. It is best to put the handles on the correct side for easy access to a room and for safety reasons. Keep reading to learn about door handle positioning.
Does It Matter What Side The Door Handle Is On?
Door handles are necessary door hardware. You cannot operate a door without something you can grip or hold on to. There can be elders and children who might get stuck inside the room if the door handles are not in the appropriate location.
When opening the doors, you should also regard the wall clearance and any obstructing fixtures. If you open the door in the wrong direction, the handles can damage the wall. A wrong side for the handles can also cause congestion when accessing a room.
If you don't want the mentioned issues to impede accessibility, you should first acquaint yourself with the door handing.
How Do You Determine A Left-handed Or Right-handed Door?
It is inconvenient when a new door opens in the wrong direction. Especially if you do not have experience installing doors, the wrong door is a costly mistake. If you bought curved lever-style handles, you should know the door handing.
Check out the following steps to determine the door handing under two scenarios:
1. Existing Door
If you are replacing or repositioning an existing door, follow the directions below:
- Stand outside the door. Then face and try opening the door.
- If the door handle is closer to your left hand, it is a left-handed door. The same goes if the handle is near the right hand.
- You can also check the place of the hinges. If you see that the hinges are on the right, the door is right-handed, and vice versa.
2. New Door In A Rough Opening
If you are planning to install a new door, read these instructions:
- Plan on how you want to enter the room.
- Decide the placement of the hinges on the door frame.
- Stand against the hinged side. Then extend your arm to the planned direction of the door.
- If you extend your right arm, you will need to buy a right-handed door set.
After considering the door handing, it is also helpful to know the swing direction of the door.
How Do you Decide Which Way A Door Should Open?
Besides the door handing, you should also plan which way your doors open. Door swing directions can either be inswing or outswing. Before anything else, you should know the best way to operate a door to access a certain room. Exterior and interior door swings vary due to the purpose of the door.
Usually, interior doors swing inward to a room that opens perpendicular to the wall. The opening must allow ample space when inside a room. You can also prevent obstructing the space in the hallway if your interior doors swing inward. Outward swinging doors are not a good suggestion for interior rooms.
The exception to the inswing direction consists of closet doors. In this case, an outswing door allows maximum storage space.
Most exterior entry doors are inswing that sway towards the interior of your home. Yet, there are also outswing exterior doors. If you select a swing-out door, you can get protection from natural elements and space savings.
Location Of The Hinges
Also, the direction depends on the orientation of the door hinges. For inswing doors, the direction follows the location of the hinges. That means a left-handed door will have hinges on the left.
On the contrary, outswing doors will differ. You will have two options:
- If you see the door hinges on the left, it is a right-hand outswing door.
- Likewise, if the hinges are on the right, it is a left-hand outswing door.
In another interpretation, if you push the door, it is swinging inwards. But if you need to pull open the door, it is an outswing door.
Are Door Handles Reversible?
After installing the handles, you find out it is in the wrong position. But there is nothing to worry about. Regardless of whether the handles are round or lever-type, you can easily reverse them. If you bought a handle set with a pin tool or any similar object like a paperclip or a nail, reversing is possible.
Follow the steps below:
- Find a small hole on the side of the door handle collar.
- Insert and firmly press the pin tool to release the handle.
- Detach the handles on both sides of the door.
- Switch the location of the handles to the opposite sides.
- Put the handles back in place by pressing them. Make sure that these handles are flush on the door.
If there are screws instead of a hole, unscrew and change the positions of the handles. When you put the handles back, tighten the screws. You can always refer to the product instructions if there are no screws or holes to reverse the handles.
What Side Should A Storm Door Handle Be On?
A storm door prevents weather elements and the cold air from coming into your house. You might have one for your entry door if you live in colder regions. The benefits of a storm door include added security and insulation.
When determining the place of a storm door handle, your should view it from the outside of your door. Both right- and left-handed storm doors are available. Yet, some stores might ask about the hinges or the handing when you purchase the door.
As a general rule, follow the side of the handles on the entry door.
However, there is an exception to the rule. You have to consider the traffic pattern when accessing the storm door. Check if you have a wall near the opening of the door. The door must open towards the wall. From the doorway to the wall, there should be a distance of 12 inches.
By doing so, the storm door is not towards your path when passing through the door.
It is important to know the proper side of the door handles. You can either place it on the left or right side of the door. Also, the swing direction dictates the location of the handles. There can be left-handed doors that swing outwards. The differences will also help you find the right doors for interior and exterior use.
If you interchange the handles, it is possible to reverse them. You can use the pin tool and switch the handles to the correct place. For storm doors, you can follow the side of the entry door handles. In the end, installing on the correct side maintains the accessibility inside your home.
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