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Door handing, or the direction a door opens, impacts the door hardware you need. Determining your door handing before you place your order with us helps ensure you get hardware that fits your door and operates and looks as it's meant to. If the door handing is wrong or unknown, your hardware could end up being installed upside-down or backward! That's why we encourage you to take a few minutes and follow this guide to identifying your door handing before you place your order.

Door handing mainly comes down to two alignments - left hand or right hand. Deciphering which one of these handings your door uses is easier than you think! By figuring out left hand or right hand opening of your door, we can tailor our hardware to meet your needs effectively.To make it a little easier we created a diagram to help illustrate the method of determining door handing.

how to determine door handing for 4 types for door orientations

Carpenters: note that this door handing determination differs from what you use when ordering or hanging doors. This is because the side that the lock is on is important in the determination process for door hardware.

step 1 Stand outside of the door, facing the door. If the door has a lock on it, make sure that you're standing on the side of the door where you would use the key or keypad. If you're determining the handing of an interior door, stand on the side of the door that you would typically enter from. Face whichever side of the door you'll be standing on when using the door hardware that will be installed.
step 2 Take a look at the hinges. Are the hinges installed on your left from where you're standing? That means you have a left-hand door. If the hinges are to your right, then you have a right-hand door.
step 3 When prompted to enter your door handing for your chosen door hardware option, fill in the left or right hand accordingly. If your hinges were to your left, select the left-hand option. Select the right-hand option if the hinges were installed on the right. This will ensure that we provide you with the correct door hardware and that it will operate and look and function exactly as it's meant to and how you want it.

Homebuilders can avoid ordering a lock that has to be installed backward or upside down, by using this diagram and step-by-step guide instead of relying on standard rules for deciphering door handing in the carpentry sector. While the process is similar, including the lock information can make the difference between a left or right-hand determination, and we want to ensure that we're sending you the correct order!

Why Is Determining Door Handing So Confusing?

When a carpenter is hanging doors all he has to worry about is the swing - right or left. So while the carpenter is adamant that he knows how to determine door handing, he may be right [for carpentry]. When you order door hardware you need to know the swing, but you also have to know which side of the door the lock will be on. This makes things seem a little more complicated but it's actually quite easy if you just follow our simple steps to determine correct door handing.

We are here to get you the right setup.  Door handing is something a lot of people struggle with and something we have a lot of calls about because people often order the incorrect handing. It's not that we're trying to be difficult, but door hardware distributors and manufacturers determine door handing differently than carpenters do. Customers initially carry the perspective they've learned from their builder, probably because they've already been working with them for months before they finally need door hardware. We think it's great that they trust their builder, but the way door handing is determined for carpentry is a bit different than it is when you order door hardware.

A Common Question on Door Handing

Q: I am confused about what you mean when you right or left-hand door SWING? Does this mean if I grab a handle on the right, or that the hinges the door swings from are on the right or left?
A: You are not the first to ask this question! Most lever handles (depending on the design) require handing to be specified when ordering. Door handing needs to be indicated because lever handles often have a scroll type design or an arched style; as a result if the handle is installed on the wrong handing the end will point in the wrong direction. For example, if a lever handle curves downward on a right hand door, when installed on a left swinging door the handle will curve up and look wrong. Be sure to read the exceptions before ordering so you don't get the wrong door hardware.

Not all door hardware requires this knowledge, but if you choose one of our hardware options that benefit from knowing the handing, our website will tell you before ordering. We've included the selection process in our step-by-step guide to ensure we get everything we need from you to guarantee your complete satisfaction!  If you have any trouble, feel free to contact us by calling 307-886-9449, and we'll be happy to help you.

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