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Changing Which Way a Door Opens

Category Doors
Sometimes space can be gained or the home traffic flow can be streamlined by modifying a door. This page is about changing which way a door opens.


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By 6 found this helpful
August 27, 2010

Some rooms are so small, they're almost worthless. Occasionally, a cramped kitchen or other room can be "enlarged" enough to relieve an intolerable situation, by merely changing the hinges on a door so that it swings out instead of in.

Source: a Farmer's Almanac

By Ron from Cortez, CO

Comment Was this helpful? 6


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By 0 found this helpful
November 30, 2010

How do you change a right hand door to a left hand door? It is not a pre-hung door.

By Pat Frain from IN


December 1, 20100 found this helpful

One is to remove the door and moldings, buy a new prehung door and install. The other is to buy a new door and you or hire a carpenter to hang it. The hinges location will have to be cut out on the door as well as matching hinge slots on the molding.


New molding will have to replace the section of old molding where the cutouts were made for the old hinges. Also new cut outs for the door latches. If you are not handy best to have a pro do it so it is hung correctly.

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

I am a handy person and have done this before myself and it turned out almost perfectly but it was such a time consuming hassle that if I ever had to do it again I would hire a professional that could do it in an hour. ;-)

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

Pat, I know this project can be done, because my husband did it a couple of years ago. Of course, he's a retired contractor.
Deeli and FoxRun are right. FoxRun's description was simple, but accurate. Unless you're extremely handy, it's best to hire someone.

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

I retired from a construction career ten years ago. I've reversed door-swings often. If the original door fits well there is no need to buy a new one. Maybe some people have more money than sense? If the door is a simple plain blank panel one can turn it upside down and relocate hinge and lock locations. That probably never happens.


So: First turn the door inside out. Mark hinge cutouts and route or chisel them. Mark lock hardware on previous hinge side and cut openings. I agree that you should hire a professional to do this. If an inexperienced home-owner tries it, he or she generally labors his/her way through a long physical tutorial (turmoil) before scrapping the original door and hiring a carpenter.

I've seen that too.

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