December 30


Can Bedroom Doors Swing Out? Learn Here

By Robin Hatch

December 30, 2019

Whether in a house, apartment, or condominium, Bedroom doors will have doors that swing in toward the room. This isn’t by accident. There’s a reason that bedroom doors, in particular, swing in toward the room.

There are no laws against having doors that swing outwards. However, we recommend all of your doors swing into the room. In an emergency, the door swing should open into the room so people can get in.

In this article, we will cover all the reasons why you should have your bedroom doors swing in.

Bedroom Doors Swinging

Bedroom doors can swing any way the homeowner wants. However, it’s not recommended that they swing out but rather swing in.

The IRC (International Residential Code) doesn’t rule out having swinging doors. We recommend you check your local codes to ensure the doors can have the flexibility of in or out.

Here are a few reasons why we recommend the door swings in toward the room rather than swing out. These few instances can be life-saving and can also help improve walking space.

In Case Of Emergency

In case of an emergency, you never want to be locked in a room with no way to push out.

For instance, if a door swings in, you’re able to barricade yourself in the room. In case of a burglary or fire that you’re trying to escape, you’ll have control of the door.

If the door swings out, the person outside the door controls the situation of what’s on the other side. They’re able to put things in front of the door that forces you to be stuck in the room.

Chair Blocking The Door

Referencing the picture above, this could never happen to a person if the door swings in. This chair technique is often used to lock people into rooms where the door swings out.

We always want to put ourselves in complete control of pulling open a door.

Pushing our way out could be life-threatening, especially if heavy objects directly block the doorway.

In case of a water leak or fire emergency, the door may be stuck shut from the contents outside the door.

Doors Could Block Closets & Walking Space

Homeowners or apartment owners typically have rooms within 5 feet of each other.

If the bedroom door swings out, it will likely cause a blockage in the hallway or a traffic jam for the person in the next room.

Furnace Closet Doors

As shown in the picture above, this furnace door swings out into the hallway. This is an extreme example as most furnace doors will swing into the hallways.

However, we wanted to emphasize how having a door that swings out will likely be in the way or clog up the walking space in the hallways. Smaller rooms like closets or furnace rooms won’t have the freedom to have doors swing inward. Therefore these doors must swing outwards.

Additionally, if the door swings out, and there’s a closet door on the other side, it will, over time be a pain as you’re consistently closing a door to open another one.

In our example above, if one closet door is open and the bedroom door swings out, there’s a good chance they’ll hit each other.

If a heavy door is installed, swinging outwards could cause a loud bang or damage to the door if not opened carefully.

For the minor inconvenience, we recommend having the door swing into the room.

Benefits Of Doors Of Swinging Out

Bedroom doors that swing out aren’t necessarily all bad. We have found a positive use for the bedroom door swinging into the hallway.

More Space In The Bedroom

If the bedroom door swings into the hallway, it will save room in your bedroom. Significantly if the door swings into a corner of a room, you’ll gain the 2-3 feet of space back that generally would be blocked by the door,

It may not seem like much, but having a lamp in the bedroom corner is crucial, especially if there isn’t much space. A bedroom door swinging in a different direction can help save inches or even feet in a small room.

Check how much space is being obstructed by the bedroom door and what can be done to maximize the space of your room.

If there’s an opportunity to change the bedroom door hinges and put them on the other side of the door, this may be an option for homeowners.

Parents Can Control The Door Hinges

If you ever run into an issue where you need to remove your children’s bedroom door, having the hinges on the outside will make it easier to do so. Hinges on the outside of the door allow for easy access and replacement.

Do this rather than squeezing in a tight door frame to release the hinges for easy access. This is one of the small benefits of having the bedroom door on the outside swinging outward.


We recommend the bedroom doors swing inward solely for emergency and worst-case scenario reasons. The bedroom doors swinging outward could provide some space benefits; however, they may not be best for the reasons listed in the previous points above.

In closing, be sure to check your local codes to see if they specify any regulations about having bedroom doors that swing out into the hallway.

Typically it’s up to the homeowner to decide the doors, but we always recommend checking with the inspector before purchasing a home or apartment to ensure you comply.

We’ve compiled a complete list of frequently asked bedroom questions for new and experienced homeowners.

Our team of experts answers these questions to help assist you through DIY projects and home repairs.

In the comment section below, let us know if you think it’s not a big deal to have doors swinging outward or if you believe they should all swing in. Do you think it should always be outward?

Robin Hatch

About the author

For over a decade, Robin has been a real estate agent, interior design specialist, and mother. Through her trials and tribulations, she wanted to create the perfect website to help you save money and make your home look beautiful.

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