I have a metal door frame with wood door, it's actually thin layer of metal over wood on the door frame. I need to rehang the door from opening inward (right to left) to opening outward right to left. So, originally there are metal plates with holes for hinges and lock strike plate on the inside of the door frame (to hang the door to open inwards). But there is nothing like that on the outside of the door frame (just metal sheet over wood as far as I can see). So how do I chisel out this metal frame for hinges and how do I drill holes and carve a space for lock strike?

I have never seen a metal frame like this. I don't think I will be able to pry out any of this metal without destroying the door frame.

1 Answer 1


The foremost question has to be why you want to reorganize this door in the first place. After you read what I have to say about that process you may very well re-evaluate whether this change is worthwhile or necessary.

Metal clad doors and metal frames are made with pre-determined hinge locations and latch locations. You cannot make the decision to freely swap around how the door is hinged to the frame unless what you do is a total hack job that is almost guaranteed to give operational problems.

To change the swing of the metal clad door like this generally consists of removing the old door and the door frame down to the rough opening. And then replace the door and frame with a different one that gives the swing and opening direction that you require. Usually that would be a new door but may be possible for you to find something used if you looked around hard enough.

  • Thanks for your reply! Yes, I guess what I am trying to do is a hack job. But I'm dead set on it because the door opens to a tiny bathroom (toilet/tub room) and in terms of functionality is a disaster. Impossible to clean, move around, and even enter. I did the measurements last night with the door hanging and opening the other way and the door and hinges fit with plenty of space left around, even without chiseling anything out (which obviously would be impossible). The frame is identical on both sides with the only difference of not having premanufactured holes for hinge screws and lock latch
    – lia
    Mar 17, 2018 at 18:14
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    A metal clad door and metal door frame are rather odd items to find as a privacy door to a bathroom. A replacement pre-hung door and jamb is not that expensive and would come with a lot easier to work with material. If you go that direction make sure to pick out the proper pre-hung unit so it has the proper opening direction to suit your needs. My sense is that a wood or composite wood product will be a whole lot easier to work with than hacking the metal clad door and metal frame.
    – Michael Karas
    Mar 17, 2018 at 21:16

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