We moved into a house recently and have discovered some less than good work that was done on the home. I am assuming this was done incorrectly as well but am not an expert and am looking for some input. The exterior door has no threshold on the outside, it is on the inside of the door sloping towards the inside. I have ants and water damage under the actual door frame as they did not caulk or use any type of protective membrane. I also noticed it is right on the edge of the exterior wall. Isn't that where a screen door should go and the actual storm door should be where that thick molding is that is 'framing' the door way? Do I buy a new door with frame and rip out that molding and move the door back?

inside looking out with door open

open door from outside looking in, don't mind the cat, door sits in the opening in the forefront not flush against weather stripping

  • 1
    FYI, screen doors and storm doors are the same thing, essentially, at least as far as their position. What you have currently is simply an exterior entry door, not a storm door.
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 16:03
  • 4
    Cat inspector is gonna write up that violation... Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 18:17
  • Harper is correct, you know it is bad when even the cat looks skeptical. Hint: they are always skeptical.
    – user4302
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 6:05
  • 1
    Can you take a picture of the door hinges? If they're not security hinges and they are accessible on the exterior of the home, then I'd say its likely a big box inswing store door that was improperly swapped to be outswing. Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 14:23
  • You can easily swap a couple of the hinges for security hinges. The best are 'NRP' (non-removable pin), though if the door was hung well (unlikely!) you could opt for hinges that have a catch in the plate. (Name of those escapes me -- sorry.)
    – User95050
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 0:04

4 Answers 4


This looks like a pre-hung exterior door assembly from a "big-box", designed to swing inwards as per normal, but installed backwards.

A good carpenter would have assembled jamb, threshold, and weatherstrip properly for the outswing scenario; it would not have come pre-assembled.

BTW, they make screen door sets for outswing doors (they swing inward by necessity) but they can't be found at the "big-box". And if you have room for a screen door to swing inwards you should just install a regular inward swinging door rather than the configuration that you have.

  • I agree with Jimmy Fix-it, that the door is installed backwards. I'd like to add a comment, but lack the rep. I recently learned that some building codes in hurricane prone areas mandate that all doors open out (Key West, FL for one), so let the water out from a possible storm surge. They have interesting ways of adding screen doors, but a simple Google found at least one at a big box store.
    – Tom
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 12:28

I am surprised to see an exterior door swing outwards as they typically swing inwards. One reason for this is as you mentioned how on earth will you install a storm (or screen) door and expect a decent result. Think about it for a moment - it makes it very difficult to get out of the house from the inside if there is a screen door installed and closed!

Basically it looks like a case of mistaken swing LH versus RH and then they installed the door backwards to make it work - probably a DIY'er (maybe they had no idea there was a such thing as left hand and right hand doors), I can't imagine a real pro doing it - but I admit I have not seen it all.

Check your building codes to verify if this is allowable, one reason someone might do this is that an exterior door that swings outward is much more difficult for anybody to kick the door in. A door that swings in, is much easier to kick in. If there are lots of break ins in the neighborhood perhaps your answer lies there.


Although the quality of the work may be questionable, it is an out swing door and the threshold is correct for such a door. Your recollection is of an inswing door, set to the inside face of the wall, out swings doors are set to the outside face.

The door perhaps was not sealed in with a bed of caulk and the weatherstripping does not meet in the corner. Simple fixes if you want to keep the out swing door. If you change the door to an inswing (regular) door, a reputable installer will fix all the issues you refer to.

  • 2
    I'm reluctant to disagree with you Jack, but that looks to me like a door placed backwards. (The part about the threshold sloping downward to the interior is what convinces me.) Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 16:30
  • the weatherstripping across the sill/threshold and the door presumably long enough to engage that weatherstripping tells me it is an outswing door. Outswing doors' sills do or can slope to meet the finished floor. Then possibly, it could be something cobbled together. The sill and the way the door seals against it still speaks to me... I have never seen an inswing door with a seal on the face edge of the threshold. Always a sweep or an interlock.
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 8:14

Whoever is telling you this is an inswing door are very inexperienced. Do not listen to them, or hire them. If they knew doors as they lead on to, they would know that if this door was turned around to an inswing position, and rain hitting the door and going down to that weather stripping, the water will either drip in while closed, or pour in if the door was opened, as the threshold under the actual door is tapered for water shed. There goes a wet floor, there goes a warped floor, there goes hidden rot, there goes possible mold. It is certainly an outswing door. Another tip; look at the hinges. If the pin is locked in position, or if there is a little locking finger inside each hinge, it is "another" characteristic of an outswing door.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.