Many of our clients get frazzled when our customer service reps bring up the dreaded question – “What is the handing of your door?” The “handing” of a door refers to the direction that the door swings. It’s important to understand the correct handing of an opening when ordering locks, exit devices, frames, doors or other “handed” hardware. Even in our own office, there are multiple “methods” used between the old-school staff in our Service, Glass & Glazing and Contract Hardware groups. In short – it is not and does not have to be a complicated thing. The downloadable reference chart below can be used as an aid in communicating proper door handing when ordering product or service.
First off – The hand of a door is determined from the “secure” side of the door. The secure side is the side from which you unlock and enter (the “key side”).
Determine if the door is to be opened by pushing away from you or pulling towards you. Which side are the hinges on as you are viewing the door?
If the hinges are on your Left side, and the door is pushing away from you, it is a Left Hand (LH) Swing.
If the hinges are on your Right side, and the door is pushing away from you it is a Right Hand (RH) Swing.
If the hinges are on your Left side and the door is pulling towards you, it is a Left Hand Reverse (LHR) Swing.
If the hinges are on your Right side and the door is pulling towards you, it is a Right hand Reverse (RHR) Swing.
Doors which swing out (Outswinging doors) are reverse bevel doors.
Double doors typically have an Active Leaf and and Inactive Leaf.
The Active leaf is the leaf upon which the locking hardware is installed and is used most often.
The Inactive leaf is the leaf which typically stays closed with flush bolts or surface bolts and is opened when a larger opening is needed.
It is certainly common to also have two Active leafs in the case of a pair of doors with each leaf having a panic device or push/pulls. These doors would be handed either LH/RH or LHR/RHR.
If the door on the left side is to be active, and the door is pushing away from you, it is a LH Active Opening (LHA).
If the door on the right side is to be active, and the door is pushing away from you, it is a RH Active Opening (RHA).
If the door on the Left side is to be active, and the door is pulling towards you, it is a LHR Active Opening (LHRA).
If the door on the Right side is to be active, and the door is pulling towards you, it is a RHR Active Opening (RHRA).
Some a pair of double doors have leafs which swing in opposite directions. This is called a Double Egress opening. The handing will be LHR/LHR or RHR/RHR. Typically both door leaves are active.
Door leafs with exit / panic devices installed are ALWAYS handed as a reverse bevel door (LHR or RHR).
Again- door handing does not have to be a complicated matter. Use the above information and the downloadable chart below to demystify the process.