I have a prehung exterior door that is a LH inswing (brand new not installed yet). Can I somehow switch it to make it a RH inswing? Would it work if I installed it as an outswing?

  • Do you speak of a wooden door?
    – Peter Ivan
    Feb 3, 2013 at 20:53
  • An exterior door that swings out would expose the hinge pins to the outside. Do you have any idea how easy it would be to break into your house if anybody could just pop the pins off the hinges from the outside? What you describe is possible but it takes many hours and expert carpentry skills and tools. It is probably better for you to replace the door. Feb 4, 2013 at 13:17

2 Answers 2


It is impractical, if not impossible to make a pre-hung/pre-drilled door (for knobs and locksets) change swings. The exterior is different than the interior in most models and the hinge mortises are on the wrong edge of the door. If you install it backwards, or swing to the outdoors, you may have a problem with the threshold. Many thresholds slope to the outside to shed water. If you reverse it, then water could flow indoors. Another consideration is that you cannot install a storm door if the door swings out.

  • It is not necessarily impractical to change the swing, I have done it before, but it takes a good deal of carpentry expertise to do properly. If you are not comfortable and do not have the right tools then it is very easy to screw this up. It is certainly not impossible. Feb 4, 2013 at 13:16
  • @maple: interior doors are fairly easy, but exterior doors often have different trims or finishes inside and out. Obviously have to check out the door in question. One major cosmetic problem is filling all the pre-drilled mortises and lockset holes in the frame. Can get messy. Feb 4, 2013 at 13:25
  • With a wooden door and frame and holes and mortises, I usually mix a bit of water in some wood putty to where it is a little thinner, and spread that inside. I will sometimes use the flat end of a carpenter pencil and some tape to help with outside edges. When it dries I sand it smooth and touch up with paint. You wouldn't notice it unless somebody pointed it out to you. Feb 4, 2013 at 14:32

Outswing would make it a Right Hand Reverse door (RHR). Changing the hand to make it RH would require you changing these preps ( door hinges , frame hinge , Door hardware preps , frame hardware preps ) . However this may not be practical on certain HMD door scenarios. That being said I recommend you exchange the door for the correct hand . If you are asking this question chances are good you are not equipped to pull this off

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