Asked on Jan 16, 2016

How can I hang an exterior door on the other side?

by Awbrey
I would like to flip an exterior door so that it opens the other direction. Right now it opens into the dining room and leads to an upstairs deck. What will it take to switch it so that it opens the other way?
  4 answers
  • Dennis Filer Dennis Filer on Jan 17, 2016
    You can pull the door and jamb out and reverse it, for example, if the door was hinged on the left and opened in, it could be reversed and would be hinged on the right and open out.If it's a newer steel door and you just want to have it still open in, the hinges cannot be moved to the other side on most doors, the exception is some commercial steel door do allow you to flip the door and move the hinges. If it's a wooden door you can fill where the knob hole was cut and where the hinges are mortised in and change them to the other swing. If this is a wooden door and is painted it can be done. However, unless you have a reason for really wanting to keep the existing door, most of the time you would be better off replacing it.
    • Awbrey Awbrey on Jan 17, 2016
      @Dennis Filer Silly question - cant you just flip the door and replace the hinges - then mount them on the other side of the door jam? And then only have to probably replace the door jam itself to cover the holes from the previous hinges?
  • Tricia Tricia on Jan 17, 2016
    It really would be best to replace the door and frame because apart from filling in where the hinges and door holes were you would have to bore the hole to the other side and cut out the areas for the hinges both on the door and the frame so they are flushed when attached if you decide to want to cut the knob holes and the hindges on the door and frame go a home improvement store and havevthem get you or give to you a cut out stencil they have for people who are using slab doors.
  • Clay B Clay B on Jan 18, 2016
    Replace the entire door and frame. An exterior door should be thought more of as a system; than just a door and frame; you also have threshold and weatherstrip, that all works together. Trying to reverse a door that is already installed, if originally installed properly; you would destroy the frame/sill trying to remove it as the sill should have been glued down. If door generally does not get wet, get a steel door to save money. If it gets wet every time it rains, get a fiberglass door with composite (non-wood) frame and PVC Trim. Whichever you get, very important to paint all 6 sides of the door, the frame, trim etc. I usually go a step further and paint the door knob hole in case water gets in there.
  • Bob Bob on Jan 22, 2016
    Sorry guys, but I have done this before. You have to take the door out, remove the hinges, take a chisel and take the narrow strip of wood remaining from the original hinge inset to the other side surface. Flip the hinges around and remount. The original screw holes might line right back up, but, if not, simply fill the old holes with wood glue, then be careful when installing the screws. Go gently. You also have to remove the catch and do likewise with the chisel, turning around the catch. You also have to reverse mount the handle assy so the angle side of the bolt is facing toward the catch and the manual lock mechanism is on the inside of the door. You also have to remove and reverse mount the stops around the door jamb. I used a cut-down piece of baseboard to replace the stop on the hinge side of the jamb so that it covers the old hinge cut-outs, and if you want, you can use the same baseboard all the way around for continuity. I also had to adjust the trim around the door. It took me a little over half a day to complete, but I didn't have the money to afford a whole new door assy. You could also use white flashing aluminum to cover the old hinge cutouts, by cutting it so one edge is under the stop, and the other wraps around the jamb on the inside. Again, you will have to adjust the inside trim.