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My local home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes only have prehung inswing exterior doors, and I could special order an outswing prehung door but they're like $310+ whereas the equivalent inswing doors are around $170. I really don't want to pay double just because I'm installing an outswing door. Is there anything wrong with reversing a prehung door designed to inswing in terms of waterproofing or something I'm not considering? I'll of course switch to security hinges so you can't just pop the pins out and take the door off from the outside. Also I was wondering if it's possible to reverse the bottom plate so that it looks correct?

Thanks

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. If an answer is helpful, please click the large check mark next to it to accept. And, please take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. – Daniel Griscom Mar 5 '20 at 11:58
  • Are you 100% sure you want to do this? An outswing door is much less secure, as both the latch and the hinges are now on the exterior and easily accessible to miscreants. – Carl Witthoft Mar 5 '20 at 18:54
  • Well they'd have to take a power saw to the security hinges to get them off, it'd be much less conspicuous to just bust the window beside of it at that point. Outswing front doors are the standard in many places like Florida, Japan, and some Scandinavian countries. Also pretty much every business. There's some debate on what is safer but outswing does have some advantages. You can't easily battering ram the door in for example. Strong wind is also less likely to cause a draft. Also, a robber opening the door toward them puts them in a more vulnerable position as I ready my gun. – Mark Mar 5 '20 at 22:29
  • I hope you're joking there -- you really don't want to be "Florida Man" with that gun comment. – Carl Witthoft Mar 6 '20 at 15:38
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I don't recommend this if the door is exposed to any sort of weather.

The threshold is different. This is the big issue, as you don't want standing water, and an exterior door isn't designed to deal with indoor rain. You'd also end up with rain pooling on the top edge of the door, which might be bad. Make sure all the hinges are rated for outdoor use; you don't want them to rust, and that's something an inswing door doesn't need to deal with.

Code wise, if you're switching from inswing to outswing, make sure there's enough room near the front door. If you have steps up to a small front stoop, an outswing door may not be code compliant, as you'd need to step off the stoop to open it. (And would be generally annoying to deal with.)

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  • So the opening side of an inswing door is designed differently than the opening side of an outswing door? Even beyond the threshold? That's kind of what I was worried about. – Mark Mar 5 '20 at 14:00
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The hinges would be my only concern, if the door skin is the same I don’t see any difference. You have the hinges covered. If you live in a high crime area maybe add a strike cover to prevent the “credit card” key but I don’t see any problems.

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  • The depth of where the door sits in the jamb will be different - which probably means cannot even think about a screen door. – DMoore Mar 5 '20 at 4:44

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