Are you planning a remodel and need to know if your bedroom door can swing out? There is a common misconception that bedroom doors are required to swing in. In certain circumstances, it's just more convenient to have your bedroom door swing-out. We did the research to bring you the answers you need.
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Yes, your bedroom door can swing out, however, it is not typically recommended for several very good reasons. In the case of certain emergencies, it can be very beneficial to the safety of you and your family to have bedroom doors that swing in. Always check with your local building codes department before making a final decision.
You may be wondering if there is a way to ensure the safety of your family, while still having a bedroom door swing out. Another question you may have is what type of emergency an out-swinging door can save you from. Keep reading to learn how to keep your family safe while planning your door swing directions.
Why It's Recommended To Have Bedroom Doors Swing In
If you happen to experience the misfortune of a severe earthquake or a house fire, having an inswing door on your bedroom will allow you to escape more easily. If you have a door that swings out, debris can fall and block the door, leaving you stuck. An in-swinging door will allow you to clear away any debris blocking the door, giving you a path to escape.
If your home is ever broken into, an inswinging door will allow you to barricade yourself in your bedroom. An out-swinging door would allow the burglar to trap you inside your bedroom while they get away with your belongings.
Is There A Way To Ensure Safety When Using An Outswing Door?
If you are desperate to have the bedroom door swing out, there are ways to ensure the safety of yourself and your family while still achieving your goal. An emergency window can provide an excellent means of egress without compromising your floor plan. It can prove handy in many other emergency situations as well.
If the bedroom is on the second or third story, you can purchase special window ladders to provide a safe escape.
What Are The Benefits Of Outswing Doors?
Outswing doors can come in handy, they can save space in your bedroom, or allow you access to bedrooms in dire situations. Saving space can be a huge bonus if you have a small bedroom and need extra space. If the door swings out, the hinges are exposed on the outside. This will allow you to remove the hinge pins from outside the room, and open the door if it's locked or blocked.
What Are Some Other Options?
If you need to save space but are worried about safety, you could consider some other door options. Barn doors can provide you with safety, easy accessibility, and they can save you space. Pocket doors are another great option to save space while ensuring safety. Shoji sliding doors are also gaining some steam for their convenience and unique aesthetic.
You could also consider accordion doors or using curtains as doors if the bedroom is for an infant or toddler. This is a great option for younger children because it prevents them from locking the door and allows easy access at all times.
If you decide to use a barn or pocket door, you should keep in mind that it will not have a locking mechanism.
Can You Reverse The Way A Door Opens?
Yes, you can reverse the way a door opens with a little work. You will just need to cut new hinge mortises on the other side of the door jamb and move the striker plate. You will also want to fill the previous cuts with wood putty and either paint or stain it to match the existing finish. It's not too hard and it can be performed by a homeowner if they have the right tools.
Should Bedroom Doors Have Locks?
This is a tough question to answer and it ultimately hinges on your safety preferences. The age of the occupants is another major consideration that can affect whether or not a lock would help or hinder safety. Adults will typically prefer to have a lock on their bedroom doors for privacy.
When it comes to children, it can be difficult to make a decision on whether or not to use locks. A lock can be a hazard for small children. If a toddler locks the door and there is a fire, it could be difficult to get the child to safety. Locks can provide a few extra seconds of safety during a break-in, but interior doors are not hard to break into.
One option to consider is a keyed knob on the bedroom door. This provides the best of both worlds, allowing you to get into the child's room easily, and still provide extra safety in the event of a break-in.
Can A Bedroom Door Open Onto A Landing?
Bedroom doors can open onto a landing in certain circumstances. There must be at least 16 inches between the edge of the open door and the first step. This is a safety precaution meant to prevent obstruction of passage in the event of an emergency.
If you need a door on the landing, you could consider pocket doors or barn doors as a solution. These doors can save you a lot of space and hassle. You could also look into narrow double doors which are an elegant option that takes up half the space of a single door when open.
Which Way Should A Closet Door Open?
Closet and pantry doors should swing out, or slide like a pocket or barn door. This will allow the closet to provide the maximum amount of storage space it can offer and it will allow easier access. It can also give you the room to install shelves and closet rods for additional storage space.
While you can have a closet door swing in, it wastes a ton of space and can make it difficult to get items in and out of the area. Depending on what the closet is used for, you may want to consider using a door with ventilation, like louvers or screen doors.
Your bedroom door can ultimately swing whichever way you want it to. You will just need to be sure you consider all the possible risks involved. There are many alternatives that can keep your family safe while still accomplishing your home layout goals. Always double-check with your local building codes department when planning door swing directions. Don't be afraid to get creative while planning, and have fun with it.
If you have more questions on bedroom layouts, check out our blog post Does A Bedroom Have to Have a Closet?
You might also enjoy another one of our posts about doors: 8 Types Of Front Doors You Should Consider