Door Opening Direction for Idiots

Published: 01st July 2010
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We had to buy a new entry door and we decided to do it online. We'd had some damage when a tree fell down in our front yard and smashed through the front of our house. Our preferred door installation is a steel double door with wrought iron grillwork that was fairly ornate, but would've stood up to that tree, no problem.

So then, we're trying to choose our door on because we always like to look for bargains and found better prices and more choices there then in our local home depot. They would deliver our double door to our door literally and all we needed was a contractor to do the actual door installation. The problem was, I couldn't figure out the instructions for choosing the door opening direction. OK, I admit, I've had a running battle with dyslexia and still have various tricks to remember which way is right and left. So, I figured I qualified as a Door Opening Direction Idiot.

The kind customer service person had me look at the diagram on their website but try as I would; I still somehow was convinced that a right opening door should open towards my right and a left opening door towards my left. No such luck. Door installation was an insoluble riddle to me until my husband did the door opening direction dance in front of me.

The first bit of information that you have to get is that no matter where you are standing in relation to a door, it only opens one way. This confused the hell out of me because I expected it to be called something different whether you were coming in or going out. Another proof of my Door Opening Direction idiocy. Everyone assumed I knew that basic bit of information, but I didn't. So, the right left thing is determined facing a door that is opening TOWARDS you.

Now, we get to the door opening direction dance. Just imagine a person standing there instead of a door with their arms crossed across their chest. Which hand (or handle) do you reach for? If it's their right hand, it's a right opening door, if it's their left hand - you get it, it's a left opening door. The door remains classified as such, no matter whether you are coming in or going out through it.

Now, with a double door, it's basically the same principle. Even though both doors open towards you, one door will lay over the other slightly and this one will have to be opened first before the second door can be opened. This single door of the double door set is the one that you decide whether you want to open right or left.

This detail determines where the hinges go and how the door installation will be done. Once you've got this straight you get to go on to ever more choices, of single or double door, straight top, eyebrow top or arched top, transom or sidelights or both, type of style of the iron work, type of glass and finally, type of finish. Miraculously, I had completed our order and our new double door with sidelights, bronze finish and right opening, is coming in just 6 weeks. I can't wait for the door installation to be completed. Hope I've helped any other door opening direction idiots - may you enter and exit with confidence and style!

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