Video: Determining Door Hand


Hi. This is Nathan Harrison for FineRemodel.com. What do we mean by handedness of a door? Well, if you wanted to buy a prehung door for your remodel project, as we see here — this is a door that comes already attached to the door jamb and sometimes the casings also are already fastened to the jamb. This makes the process of getting a new door set very easy.

But to do this we need to know if we need a left or right handed door. So how can we tell? You probably imaging it has something to do with the hinges. But the problem is if you view the door from one side, the hinges are on the right, and from another side, they are on the left. Which way is right?

The thing to do is imagine yourself standing inside the door jamb with your back to the hinges. Now, which way does the door swing from your perspective? If it swings to the right, it’s a right handed door. If it’s swinging out to the left, it’s a left handed door. It’s as simple as that.

But wait! What about cabinet doors? Well, it’s just the opposite with a cabinet door. Here’s why. A cabinet door can only be viewed from one side (unless you’re a very small person who likes to climb inside cabinets.) Otherwise you’re looking at it from the outside. And unlike a human door, you have a fixed point of reference now for the hinges.

This door on the left has hinges on the left, therefore it is a left-handed door. And this one is a right handed door.

So to tell which hand a cabinet door is, you simply look at which side the hinges are on. That’s the side of the door it is. This works out to be exactly opposite of a human door.