French doors can add a touch of elegance and a lot of light to a room, and so it comes as no surprise that they are so popular. But which way should your French doors swing? The answer is: Either way, but you need to choose one or the other. Although French doors can open in or out, you need to decide on a singular direction — inswing (opening in) versus outswing (opening out). Here are a few things to think about as you make your decision:
Do Look at Your Doorframe
If you’re replacing a door where one already exists, examine the current door and inspect the doorframe. To keep things simple, you’ll likely want to choose an option that works with your current doorframe so that you don’t have to replace that part too. Starting from scratch? There are still a few questions to ask yourself.
Your space is the number one factor to consider when deciding whether you want inswing or outswing French doors. In fact, this one component may answer the question for you. You’ll need plenty of swingin’ space for the doors — that means no tight corners, walls, or furniture that will obstruct the door opening.
If the doors are interior (say, for an office or music room), you want to make sure that opening the doors into the room won’t limit where you can place your sofa or desk. And if your French doors lead to an especially small balcony, it might make more sense to have them swing inward so they don’t take up too much space outside.
Avoid Traffic Jams
You also need to consider other doors that might block traffic. For example, are your French doors leading into a home office right off the entryway? Will your front door get and the French doors collide? Or if the doors lead to a screened porch, will they fight a screen door leading to the deck? All of these considerations may seem like a lot, but they will save you a major headache down the road.
Consider Your Climate
Weather is another factor to consider when choosing your French doors. It may seem minor, but if your doors lead to the outside, consider your climate! If you frequently have piles of snow building up, an outswing door is probably not a good fit! Although the gaskets on outswing doors make them less likely to let water leak in (and therefore suited to the outdoors), that won’t matter if you can’t open the doors for a large chunk of the season.
Hopefully, you feel better equipped to make the decision about which direction to have your French doors open. Ready to tackle the next big step? Shop our range of French doors now!