Building Homes or Extensions/outswing door installation


QUESTION: We are in the last stages of building a home.  The door going onto the back porch (covered and screened) 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: Hi Patti, the swing of the door should have been noted on the blueprints, which it sounds like it was.  As far as the threshold goes, if it was a prehung door assembly, the threshold might have come already installed.  However thresholds come in all sizes and heights.  It may be possible to  alter the threshold to suit your design requirements.  We have cut thresholds down for similar reasons.  If you are installing wood or tile flooring the threshold can be ripped down to create a more compatible transition between the threshold and the flooring.  I don't see how there could be a detrimental down side to your door installation.  If the door swings out then the high side of the threshold is on the inside of the house which is suitable for keeping weather out of the living space.  However if you'd like to send me a photo or photos of the installation I can determine if there are any other issues I'm not aware of.   Sincerely Bruce

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back door outside
back door outside  
back door inside
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QUESTION: Thank you for your prompt response.  In fact in came in at the same time as the AllExperts Question Receipt email and I just saw it!  I'm attaching a picture of the door from the inside and one from the outside.  The side with the tile is the inside.  Also, just to make what you are seeing more understandable...we have 2 x 6 construction.  I'm really OK with it being an outswing and though I wasn't expecting this metal part to be on the inside of my house and would have preferred it was a bronze color, I'm really OK with that too as long as the door is installed correctly so I don't have problems with it later.

Does my door appear to be installed correctly?

Thanks again for your help,

ANSWER: Hi again Patti, I got to thinking about your last email after I sent out my response and your photos confirm my suspicions.  Yes your door is installed backwards.  They did take an in swing door and turn it around.  The bulk of the door frame should be on the outside for a couple of reasons.  First of all this installation is called a knuckle dragger.  Every time you open the door from the inside you will be dragging your knuckles on the door frame.  Secondly, the threshold slopes out for drainage.  They have this threshold sloping inward.  I'm sorry but without visual proof it was difficult for me to answer your first email properly.  Will the door function properly over time? Probably.  And you will probably get used to how to grab the handle so as not to drag your knuckles on the additional door frame facing inside.  Sincerely Bruce Johnson

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QUESTION: Thank you so much for your response.  At this point I'm not sure how we will handle this. Probably will just learn to live with it, but it is VERY frustrating to know you hire a professional and get this type results.  There have been a few other minor things this contractor did, but this one takes the cake.  I was mostly concerned with the backward installation causing problems later with water, but with the protected location of the door and with your reassurance, hopefully that won't be a problem.  We are using Lido door hardware (lever type) so maybe that will help with the "knuckle dragger" thing.

Thanks again for your help,

Hi again Patti, a new prehung door could be easily installed in this same space.  It should fit exactly in the same footprint as the existing.  There shouldn't even be a need to disturb the tile or anything.  It's not a difficult swap out.  Remember, you will be living with this a lot longer than the builder..every time you look at that door you will not like it.  If he is a good businessman it shouldn't be a big deal for him and he can always use that door on a different project where it works.  Something I learned many years ago is the rule called "tell twenty".  If a customer is satisfied with a product they might tell five other people about it..but on the other hand if they are dissatisfied with a product or service they will tell twenty other people about it.  Ask him which "word of mouth reference" he wants associated with his work every time you have someone in your kitchen.  Sincerely Bruce

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Bruce E. Johnson


I can answer any construction related question in regards to carpentry, concrete, drywall, masonry, structural elements of any type of building, residential or commercial. Interior or exterior.


Custom Commercial and residential buildings. Churches, theaters, schools and auditoriums. Most recently I am working with the Catholic Church on several design build committees. I have a website related to scheduling and project supervision. Although my expertise is more related to multimillion dollar commercial, educational and theatrical projects my generous credentials in residential and remodelling construction make me a viable source of information regarding all forms of building questions.

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