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Community and Q&A

Reversing Pre-hung Exterior Doors

scottwoodward | Posted in General Questions on

I’m in the midst of installing three new pre-hung exterior doors, two of which are out-swing doors, chosen because of tight interior space. The things one does not think of until too late. It dawned on me today (much too late) that the out-swing doors will be a problem with 2″ of exterior insulation, 1/2″ of rain screen and 1″ of siding.

Knowing that the thresholds are different between in-swing and out-swing doors (, is it possible to reverse these two doors to be in-swing doors without any negative consequences? Unfortunately, none of the suggestions here for out-swing doors and exterior insulation will work for my situation. One door is in an RO on a garage slab and the other door is an exterior door to a deck.

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  1. Expert Member


    You can extend the door jamb yourself, without the need for reversal. It makes for an innie door, and a little more exterior trim work, but it’ll work fine. Remove the brick mold on the exterior, if there is any. Run a 3/8” rabbet around the exterior, and a 3/8 rabbet around your favorite exterior grade board. Slot them in place and glue with tight bond 3, shooting a few 15/16 gauge nails at an angle to hold everything in place. Prime and paint afterwards and nobody will tell it wasn’t a factory order.

    I’ll see if I can’t dig up a few pics.

    1. DC_Contrarian_ | | #2

      I would go this route before trying to reverse the door.

    2. maine_tyler | | #4

      Doesn't this lead to a door that can only open to 90 degrees, give or take?

      1. Expert Member


        No, you may be viewing it backwards. from the interior side, it will will have the 5/8" or 1/2" lip that will allow drywall to butt right up to the door jamb, like normal. It's the outside depth that gets extended. Hopefully I can post up a pic and I think it'll be clear. I didn't get around to finding it last night.

        Edit: I didn't catch that it was an outswing. Sorry for the mixup.

  2. db_neuhaus | | #3

    I just did something very similar on my outswing entry door but used custom bent trim coil. I tucked it tight against the door jamb and the insulation and rain screen. Black jamb, black aluminum and the trim/cladding is black swedish pine tar on rough sawn pine. The jamb extensions are barely noticeable. The only hang up was protecting the door from over extending. I attached a small clear door bumper against the hinge side trim to prevent the prefinsihed door from swinging too hard into the trim. May do something different later but it works for now.

  3. Expert Member
    Akos | | #5

    Maybe I'm missing something but why not push the door out where you want it and trim the missing depth on the inside?

    The other option is wide swing or parliament hinges. These are used on outswings when you want it to clear brick veneer. They do make the door move a fair bit towards the door handle when you open them so you might need a bigger taper on the slab on that side.

    1. Expert Member

      That will lead to a door that can't open all the way, as the hinges will be pushed forward of the wall. It's the exterior depth that has to be extended.

      1. Expert Member
        Akos | | #8

        Unless I'm reading it wrong, the OP is looking at an outswing door.

        1. Expert Member
          KYLE WINSTON BENTLEY | | #9

          You're right, I missed that part!

          Scott, Take what I said and flip it around :).

    2. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #10


      Support for the sill may be a problem of he extends it out that far.

  4. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #11

    You mentioned the sills but I'm not sure you understand that the sills are not interchangeable; you would need to get new sills made for inswing doors. Depending on the type of door--I'm assuming a typical Thermatru, Simpson, etc.--the cuts at the bottom of the jambs probably won't work either. In other words, you can reuse the door slab but you would probably find it easiest to get new jambs. If you're getting new jambs anyway, I suggest ordering a jamb set at the depth you want, and hang your own door in the jamb.

  5. maine_tyler | | #12

    I've never looked closely at outswing doors... is there a reason one cannot simply install it as an inswing (maybe there's a little mini threshold sticking out past the jamb that would need to be removed?)?

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #13

      On an out-swing door the raised threshold on the interior is flat. It is also separated from the door by a gasket rather than sealed by a sweep. As Michael said: without replacing the sill, it will leak like a sieve.

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