Which direction should a screen door open?

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In other words, if the doorknob on my front door is on the right side and opens inward, should the handle on my not-yet-built wood framed screen door also be on the right, even though it opens outward? Am asking because my porch is laid out strangely; when you ascend the stairs to the front door, you have to face left to face the door. Front door's knob is on the right and opens inward, but if I put a screen door up there whose handle is also on the right, it'll open outward and block the stairs to the porch. Is it weird to have the handles on opposite sides?

q which direction should a screen door open
  13 answers
  • Debby Debby on Aug 08, 2018

    I think it should open outward as it will save space on porch. However if you are really used to opening a door inward, keep it the same.

    • Nicki Petruzzella Kerns Nicki Petruzzella Kerns on Aug 09, 2018

      The screen door will definitely open outward. Just needed to know whether the handle should be on the right, which would then have the door block the stairs, or the left, opposite the front door handle. Sorry for the confusion!

  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Aug 08, 2018

    it is entirely up to your lay out, in your case I think the knobs should be on opposite sides, hope this helps xx

  • Rosel Kynast Rosel Kynast on Aug 08, 2018

    When you stand in front,facing the door, your screen door opening handle should be on the left side, opposite to the regular door handle.

    I agree what Debby and Monkey on that.

  • Wxw Wxw on Aug 08, 2018

    Open on the left, hinged on the right. By looking at the photo, for convenience to those standing outside, your screen door should open on the left. Visitors need somewhere to stand out of the way of the "swing" when opening the screen door. Not to mention, it would give you an opportunity to peek out the door to see who is there before fully opening the main door to your home. A safety factor. Just my opinion. Good luck.


  • Jamie Jamie on Aug 09, 2018

    Do to the steps being where they are, you really need to have the screen door open the way it does.

    I do believe that when the house was built, the stairs were probably not in that direction.

    But it really is determined by what suits your wants and needs. It would be very hard to bring in groceries or having family follow you in if you had to open the screen door to where it blocked the stairs.

  • Pat Starks-Australia Pat Starks-Australia on Aug 09, 2018

    It should be on the opposite side so for you the knob your Left, and the door would open Outwards.... You would have to take down the wreath, so the door can close. :)

  • Trish Fenster Trish Fenster on Aug 09, 2018

    My house has the same issue. Our door handles are on opposite sides (interior door swings in to the left, screen door swings out to the right) so we don't block the stairs. This has been especially helpful when carrying in groceries or needing to move furniture, etc. That being said, I frequently talk about moving the porch stairs to another location just to have the screen door swing out and to the left. My husband thinks I'm crazy.

  • Carol Cole Carol Cole on Aug 09, 2018

    the same side as your front door but the screen should open outward. ALWAYS

  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Aug 09, 2018

    Who cares what everyone else thinks about which way it should open? It's YOUR house and YOUR door. Do what works best for you.


    For me in the set up you show, I would want the screen door to open opposite the way the house door opens because otherwise I would to have to maneuver around it or knock guests down the steps when opening it. But that's just what I would do.

  • Sul6462005 Sul6462005 on Aug 10, 2018

    Our insurer suggested that it needs to open the way you would have safest exit in case of fire

  • Nicki Petruzzella Kerns Nicki Petruzzella Kerns on Aug 10, 2018

    Thanks, everyone! The consensus is to put the handle on the left so it's opposite that of the front door and have it open outward to the right. Off to the lumber yard to get supplies now! :-)

  • Emily Emily on Aug 10, 2018

    The knobs on our doors; screen and house are on the same side. Right from inside, left from outside.

  • Cora Beth Cora Beth on Sep 21, 2018

    I to have the same inside door knob on the right and swings in to the left, and my

    screen knob is on the left and swings out to the right. This is must easier than

    going around to screen door. What ever works for you.

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