Bad Doors are Everywhere! It’s Not You.

Lately here at B & M we are often asked why doors are handed the way they are. After seeing this video on line we decided to try and demystify the reasoning behind handing doors and hardware in this month’s blog.

Reasoning Behind Handing a Door

In a previous blog we discussed “Rough Openings and Handing Doors” but this was to understand how to determine what hand a door is by its position and the direction of its swing. This time we will explain what some of the reasoning is behind handing a door a certain way.

Codes and Standards

codes dictate the design of an egressThere are many different Codes and Standards that are referenced for commercial and residential buildings.

These Codes and Standards deal with questions about construction, room occupancy, and life safety. Life Safety addresses the Danger to Life from Fire and to minimize the danger from the effects of fire, smoke, heat, and toxic gases created during a fire. They also establish minimum criteria for the design of the egress from a facility to allow prompt escape of occupants from buildings into safe areas.

Putting It Together

Since the criteria of an Egress (the action of going out or leaving a place) has to do with saving lives the rules dictate that certain unobstructed size openings are used to allow people to escape efficiently. Think about the last time you were in a Hotel corridor, this is an unobstructed egress because all the doors open into the rooms. This leaves the corridor open even during emergency situations so no one is hurt or trapped because of a door blocking their exit. Now let us think about the door entering the room. Since this door has to open into the room what would be the best way for it to swing open? Think of an emergency evacuation, would the open door obstruct the path out of the room? Would opening the door against a wall keep it out of the way from people leaving? Isn’t opening the door against a wall more appealing than having an open door standing in the middle of the room?


The problem in the video has nothing to do with the handing of the doors. In that situation the hardware that was used on the door was not set up for the correct use of the door. Just like they mentioned that door had pull hardware installed instead of push. Unfortunately miscommunication for the intended use and handing of the door can cause problems for end client.

This month’s blog has tried to give you an understanding of the thought and decision making process for something you would think is so simple – Handing doors and using the proper hardware.

If you have any questions about metal doors and frames or hardware don’t hesitate, call us today! We will be more than happy to come out to your project and discuss what is really required for your estimate.


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