Building Homes or Extensions/door that swings out


QUESTION: We are in the last stages of building a home.  The door going onto the covered, screened back porch opens outward.  This was our choice, however, it looked a little different than I expected.  At first I just thought it was just that I didn't know what to expect, but now I'm concerned they may have just turned an inswing door to swing out.  There is a wide metal threshold on the inside of the house.  I would estimate it is 6" or so wide.  I can live with this ugly metal thing in my breakfast room if in fact it is installed correctly, but I'm concerned this may be a problem.  Is this door installed correctly or have I got a big problem on my hands?


ANSWER: Patti,  I question your decision to have the door swing out.  Most all residential doors and thresholds are designed to swing in.  I cannot see your installation, but the threshold is usually highest at the door and goes down to its minimum at eh opposidte side of the jamb.  If your builder used a prehung exterior door with the good weather seals and adjustable threshold, it would not lend itself to what you have.  If they did hang a door and jamb (not prehung) It would require a custom cut threashold.  It is done in commercial work all the time, but usually with steel jambs and doors or aluminum store front.  The rules and installation do not change for hanging a wood door.  The problem would seem to stem from using a prehung unit.

The most simple solution would be to turn the door and jamb althohgh I don't know how much work would have to be redone.  Perhaps leaving it as is and changing out the threshold for one made of oak would be more pleasing.  Oak is/was the traditional threshold material before aluminum.

I don't know that I have helped, but you can at least discuss it with your builder/carpenter  now.

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door from inside
door from inside  

door from outside
door from outside  
QUESTION: The door was prehung.  The decision to make it an outswing was our decision.  I just want to be sure it was installed correctly.  How can I tell if this is an outswing door or an inswing door installed as an outswing.  I'm attaching atwo images.  Something else I didn't mention, but will probably help make the picture more understandable...we have 2 x 6 exterior wall construction.  In the pictures, the side with the tile is the inside of the house.  I have pictures of the seal/sweep from both sides with the door closed if that would help any.  I could only attach two images.

How can I tell if this is installed correctly?


There is not an out swing version of a pre hung exterior door to my knowledge.  One thing that could have been done would have been to remove the threshold and shorten the jamb sides which would lower the door and jamb.  What you have was done correctly, though I would have tried to explain these issues with you before installing.  
A choice at this point could be to remove the threshold, fill or cover the threshold rabbets, and add a bottom weatherstrip shoe to the bottom of the door.  This will get rid of the high step from the outside but may require some rework of the interior flooring.

I'm sorry that your builder did not discuss the ramifications of your decision before hand and/or discuss choices that would have been easy prior to installation.

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Dan Griffin


I can answer almost all questions related to the total construction process. My expertise is in commercial construction, though I can field most any residential question. I have hands on experience in concrete, heavy equipment, masonry, all phases of carpentry, interior finishes, and I am fairly strong in mechanical and electrical.


I have over 20 years experience as a commercial carpenter and commercial construction superintendent. I have another 20 years experience in facility management for a major school district.

My favorite hobby for he past 12 years has been singing bass in a The OkChorale men's barbershop chorus and the Mature Moments quartet.

I hold a Bachelor's degree in English and Math. I have completed many continuing education hours in the building trades. I hold a Master Carpenter card from the AGC, Associated General Contractors.

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