Converting inswing door to outswing

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Old 05-16-18, 03:13 PM
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Converting inswing door to outswing

I'm contemplating converting an exterior back door to into an outswing door. It's an old house that has a tiny 3' x 3' landing to the basement stairs straight ahead and 3 steps to the kitchen at the left. If the door was outswing, this would solve the awkward positioning that's needed to open and close the door from inside. I've read the following things that are issues:

1. Hinges are not secure (apparently this is incorrect and there are now security hinges that don't have removeable pins)
2. The door will fly open in the wind (I'm sure there's a solution for this since many houses have screen doors that are outswing)
3. You can't have a screen door (I'm okay with that to solve the other issue, and I don't have a S door now)
4. It will be hard to push a heavy snow out of the way (well yes, but also true of a screen door, so seems like a non-issue)
5. It's not code (this is important. Anyone know where I can find my local codes on this?, I have seen many businesses with outswinging doors in my city but not residential)
6. Rain and weather will be too hard on an outswing and it will leak (I guess, but it seems like doing a good job with the correct design and weather stripping should solve this since businesses have outswing doors often. It must be possible to seal the door well. )

If you have any other arguments pro/con than the ones I've listed, I'd like to hear about it. Also, I'd like help to know where to check about the building code for exterior doors.
 
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Old 05-16-18, 03:58 PM
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There are no codes that say you can't have an outswinging exterior door. R311.3 and R311.4 apply, but nothing prohibits a outswinging door except that it cannot outswing over a staircase, there must first be a 36" landing before any stairs.

You will need to buy an exterior outswinging exterior prehung door, and you will want to get stainless steel hinges... not always standard. (You can't use an inswing door and just install it backward... it doesn't work that way.) And regarding the weather issue, it will help the door tremendously if you could install some sort of roof or awning over the door to give it a little protection from the rain. Almost every business has a canopy that protects the door from driving rain... the ones that don't leak.
 
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Old 05-16-18, 07:13 PM
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If I fill and move the hinge mortices, why can I not make it an outswing door? I'm planning to build the frame from scratch.
 
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Old 05-16-18, 08:15 PM
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Well let's see. Location of the door stop on the opposite side of the door, weatherstripping, outsloping sill and water tight threshold... weather tightness... but if you've got it all figured out, do what you like.
 
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Old 05-16-18, 08:56 PM
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Seems a little harsh, I am asking on a DIY forum. So, you're not really saying it can't be done then, just that you wouldn't do it? The door I'm thinking of using will need to be cut down a bit width-wise and there's some extra room to slope the bottom if needed. It seems to me that if I keep the same hinge side so the out-facing part of the door is the same, then the slope should also still be the same, no? I'm not sure on the weather tightness because I haven't done this before, but if I'm building the frame then I assume that can all be built into the design. I'll probably just have to look at an existing one if no one here has advice about it.
 
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Old 06-28-18, 12:32 PM
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Should I install a threshold or door sweep?

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Old 06-28-18, 04:24 PM
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If you have any other arguments pro/con than the ones I've listed, I'd like to hear about it.
Xspleeper is not trying to be trite. But you asked for the negative side of things and he presented them. However you seem hell bent on doing what is ill advised. You'll save time and money if you heed his advise and buy an out-swing prehung exterior door. I would have no problem if this was an interior door (I've done several myself) but exterior is a another story.
 
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Old 07-02-18, 06:15 AM
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I decided to go with an inswing for now for reasons that a lot of people mentioned. It turned out nice but it's super annoying to have to navigate a tiny landing with stairs on one side and a wall on the other. The whole thing cost me about $600 for a salvage door and building the frame myself, etc. vs the $2500 quote I got for a custom 7 foot door. I had the sill made for me by pros because I thought I needed a huge table saw to make that long sloping cut, but learned they don't do it that way, they slope it by cutting 4 small angles instead of the one large one. If I had been thinking outside the box, I could have easily done that on my table saw and bandsaw. At some point re-doing it as an outswing might be the way to go, but you're probably right that having pros build the frame is the way to go. I think my local place (Siwek Lumber) will do a frame for under $400.
 
 

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