Bifold French Doors: Inswing vs Outswing

Bifold doors.

Most bifold French doors found in the marketplace in the United States are inswing rather than outswing. If you are looking through magazine pictures, you will find that most of them feature inswing bifold French doors. Most people are used to an inswing door as opposed to an outswing bifold door. It is very difficult to find a bifold French door that swings out.

Oddly enough, if you have grown up in Europe, most bifold French doors are manufactured as outswing French doors, instead of inswing French doors. Application-wise, each space or room will require a different type of swinging door based on the specific space and based on the individual person’s needs. Whether it is an inswing or an outswing door, both doors must be manufactured to the same specifications.

Drapery, Fabric and Window Treatment Needs

If you are looking to dress up your doors and add window treatments or if you are looking to add fabric and drapery material, it is usually better to purchase an outswing bifold French door. The drapery material and window toppers tend to get in the way of the inswing door.

Clear Span Swing Area: Does Inswing or Outswing Matter?

When choosing between an inswing or an outswing, the biggest issue you need to address is the clear span swing area for the doors. Each door needs to have a path that is able to easily clear the space. If the bifold doors swing in, are they going to take up too much room in the area? If they swing out, will they knock someone down the steps? There is no pro or con regarding an inswing or outswing door for this issue, but it is a matter that requires careful planning.

Hurricanes and Tornados?

If you are using your bifold French doors as part of your entrance to your home, and if you are located in a part of the world that is sometimes besieged with tornado or hurricane threats, you must purchase an outswing French bifold door for safety reasons. In this scenario, inswing doors will not be adequate for your needs.

Pesky Critters and Bugs

If your application of a bifold French door includes using it for an exterior purpose or as an entrance to your home or to a room in your home (like a sunroom), you should consider using an outswing bifold door. Using an inswing French bifold door will cause extra bug collection either on the glass of the bifold door or on the screens. Using an outswing door will reduce the number of bugs, flies, and critters you must clean from your bifold door.