French Doors... out or in-swing?

15 years ago

We are considering replacing a sliding glass door with french doors. The doors will lead from the breakfast nook into the back yard/pool area.

Most pictures I see are in-swing doors, but I read somewhere that out-swing are better... lack of leaking when raining and windy. On a windy day, the doors would have pressure from the wind to increase the seal, not blowing in. Our set up would benefit from out-swing doors.

Any pros and cons you have come across?

Comments (16)

  • dallasbill
    15 years ago

    We looked into both for our new house. Good quality doors are built with the proper weatherstripping, head and threshold seals and astragal seals as are needed. That applies whether they inswing or outswing. Wind has nothing to do with a new, properly installed and maintained French Door

    We went with inswing based on our needs. Go with what works for your space.

    And if you are still worried about it, think about getting a fixed panel instead of an active-passive setup.

  • dkb1105
    15 years ago

    We have a similar kitchen setup and the out-swing door worked better for us to replace our slider, because of the close proximity of the kitchen table to the door in the breakfast nook. We ended up choosing a JELD-WEN Caradco Series French door, but we looked at the Anderson 400 Series and the Pella Architect/850 Series doors. All of these doors provide a multi-point locking system that engages at the top, middle, and bottom of the active door providing superior insulation and excellent security. As a general rule out-swing doors are more secure, because you can't kick them in, but this is not a concern with the JELD-WEN, Anderson, and Pella In-swing french doors, because of the Multi-Point locking system. The JELD-WEN and Anderson Doors can be obtained at Home Depot. The Pella 850 Series Door can be obtained at Lowes, and the Pella Architect Series can be obained at the Pella stores.

    FYI, if you want a French Door look in a sliding glass door, Pella makes a very good looking French Slider with a multi-point locking system. They can be obtained at Lowes and the Pella Stores.

  • chuckgiannone
    15 years ago

    We have the same setup. Kitchen leading into the breakfast area with outswing french doors. We decided on outswing due to space limitations in the breakfast area. We also have outswing doors in the greatroom and the master bedroom. All of the doors lead out to the patio, deck, backyard area.

    I think you will be happy with the outswing doors due to the extra space you gain. We live in a temperate climate and have the doors open all summer. This gives us the feel of being outside when we are inside.

    Chuck G.

  • finallyca
    15 years ago

    We just ordered our French Doors. I really wanted outswing
    but we want to use phantom screen doors and I really
    don't want the hardware for the screens inside the house, so in the end we went with inswing.

  • dallasbill
    15 years ago

    Our French doors I mentioned above are Jeld-Wen Caradco too. They make awesome stuff and have the best warranty against wood rot in the business.

    Interestingly, ours open to to a covered, screened-in sleeping porch from the master and we chose inswing because we also leave them open a lot. We didn't want to compromise our furniture setup on the porch, so that's why we went that way.

  • urbanandrural
    15 years ago

    are you in a climate and area where you are considering screen doors as well? if so, then which do you want on the inside when the french doors are closed. Sounds as tho' screens are not part of the equation
    Dont know how wide your existing slider opening or wall is, but when we considered French doors out to a large stone patio, we ended up installed French SLIDERS instead (Marvin product) and we are very happy with the result. Four panes... the ones on the far left and far right are fixed and then the center two slide left and right respectively. That also has made it nice to slide the screen doors open when not needed and have a clear view and less obstructed passage. I think the minimum is 10 feet however, on this option

  • blueginger
    15 years ago

    ours our inswing so we could use outswing screens.

  • wolfpak
    15 years ago

    This hasn't been mentioned for you to consider: window treatments / sun screens. I have french doors off my LR on the west side of the home and have found myself limited due to the inswing of the doors. When the doors swing *in* you either have to install curtains that will completely clear one or both doors ... or you are limited to a roman shades - type treatment that either installs *on* the door or above both doors and then hidden by a valance.

  • grignon
    15 years ago

    I would be concerned using outswing doors to an exposed area. Unless the doors are an inert material like fiber glass or metal, the exposure to the elements will degrade the appearance and perhaps their function -hinges. Also you'd need to consider the impact of wind- a good gust could turn all those small windows into portholes

  • lyfia
    15 years ago

    No advice as I'm still weighing what to do myself so I'm just following the post.

    grignon - I'm not seeing what the problem is that you are trying to describe. Whether in swing or out-swing you could still have all those things happen.

    BTW in Europe outswing is the general standard and I never had any problems growing up there with anything outswing.

    The only issue I see is how you want to do screens if you want screens. I'm still weighing that too. I don't have any now as it is a screened in porch, but if I ever wanted to unscreen it then it might need to consider it.

  • guy_exterior_man
    15 years ago

    When choosing a hinge styled pair of doors. The biggest issue is clear spanned swing area for the doors to operate. If they swing in are they going to take up to much room in this area? If they swing out will they knock someone down the steps? These are the questions you must ask yourself before you make the purchase. A glider doesn't require any clearance so it offers a great alternative for close quarters. French doors on the other hand need to swing one way or the other. As for the screen issue that's easy. Pella doors and windows were born from the Rollscreen company back many years ago. That's what started their entire enterprise. The phantom screen installs inside the unit either way. Even their gliding unit has an interior sliding screen. Andersen just released their new invisible screen which is amazing in itself.
    I totally agree with DKB on pointing out the multi point locking of doors. We install doors and windows daily and I always push products which offer a higher security to the consumer. It's much easier to sleep at night knowing your safe. Marvin also offers a great door system. I'm a big Pella fan so I'm biased. So spend some time to go and check out the products displayed somewhere before you buy. They're all great products!!

  • nancita
    14 years ago

    We live in a hurricane area. We have to have outswing doors. Even our front door is outswing. It's initially strange, having come from MA, where it was inswing. But, that's due to bad weather issues.

  • elenab
    14 years ago

    We just purchased Marvin French doors that swing outward and we love them (inswing would not work with our kitchen setup). We are buying Clearview retractable screens to handle the bug problem and apparently they offer some privacy at night too. I have just one potential problem with the doors; on really windy days (and we have them quite a bit), I'm afraid they are going to catch the wind and slam against the railing and possibly break. I've called Marvin about possible solutions to prevent this (i.e. put on a chain or piston) but everything they've suggested to date will be an eyesore. Has anyone else dealt with this problem?

  • beach_rose
    14 years ago

    I recently had Andersen outswing French doors installed between an enclosed porch and a wood deck. Needed to meet "hurricane code", whatever that is. It was a tough decision (slider? inswing? outswing?) but outswing is my personal preference, and I didn't want to give up any space on the porch. I am very happy with these doors and appreciate them every time I walk out there (several times a day). I plan to get phantom screens. I think retractable screens are the only option for me. We're using a dooorstop with a plastic tip on the deck. To keep them from swinging closed, I use a plastic plant pot that is a little taller than the bottom of the door. I do not want to drill holes in the door. They sell magnetic doorstops, but I think they require drilling(?). Anyway, so far I think they're worth the extra money.

  • musicmama61
    12 years ago

    We are purchasing outswing double patio doors(no center 'board')--the inswing doors interfere with the kitchen eating area the miniblinds will be inbetween the panes of glass -not exposed. Does anyone have these kind ??? Thanks in advance