Coop door dilemma...need help/opinions...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by teach1rusl, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Scenario: We live in Indiana...frequently drops to freezing/below freezing in dead of winter. We are building a 6 x 8 henhouse. We will be insulating our structure. I was fine with just a homemade door (core with T111 overtop) or even a narrow interior type door. My husband insists that we need an exterior door for proper weather resistance, etc. Okay, but I want my door to open outward, so conserve space in the somewhat already small room. My husband insists that we have to have it open inward, because it won't seal properly if we reverse a standard exterior door. But I see a LOT of doors on this site that open outward...???

    So I guess I'm wondering what kinds of doors others have used...has anyone else used interior type doors? Has anyone else reversed an exterior door?

    I want to do this right. I just hate being forced to give up so much of my already small space by having to leave swing room for a door to open inward. Any advice/comments/examples would be appreciated...
  2. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    We built all our doors, but don't you just hang the door to make it swing the way you want it to? I think it's all in how you put the hinges up. Also, you can get good doors cheap at yard sales, thrift stores, or on the side of the road.
  3. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Songster

    May 5, 2009
    West of Crazy
    I think it's great that your husband is so concerned about doing things right for the coop, but all my coop doors open outward. Never had a problem with it. And we have self-built doors too. Not store bought ones.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Evidently that's not the case with exterior doors, because that's what I said!! And yes, we did get our door from a Salvation Army, so at least it was cheap. Unless I hear something substantial backing his opinion, I may push for him installing it "backward" so it'll open outward.
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Yep it's a mess if you have to open the door inward, fighting off hens etc.... In fact you will probably need a "litter guard" behind the door to keep shavings from packing around the frame. Be sure you can lock the door securely from predators.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    As you probably know, the colder the climate the more important proper ventilation is. But you don't want the ventilation coming from a door.

    If you plan how you frame the door, you can use weatherstripping to seal the door. You most likely have some type on the door that opens inward on your house. Look at what of weatherstripping is available and get a type the chickens won't try to eat.

    If he is doing the work and going to great pains to do it right, I'd suggest you really look closely at your layoyut to see if an inward swinging door really takes up that much room. If the door is in a corner especially, you will probably not have anything in the way as you will not want to trip over things in the doorway. I'm just suggesting that you pick your battles carefully.

    My doors on the coop open outward. I have seen posts where people like the doors to swing inward as it is easier to keep the chickens from getting out when you open the door. It is purely personal preference and does depend on how your coop is laid out.
  7. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Songster

    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    As far as reversing an exterior door there's not much issue in it besides handling any water that may drip into the open cavity where the door seal would normally be. Since the door seals would be inside you could run into water issues along the side of the door and door jamb.

    You would also need to ensure that the threshold was reversed, allowing any water that may drip down to drain outward instead of in.This can be tricky at times, but is doable. It depends on the door setup.

    All in all it shouldn't be a big issue though. So long as there is sufficient eaves and the door does not face the prevailing wind, wind driven rain should be no issue at all.

    So far as I see, flip it, stick it and make sure it drains.

    The above assumes you're using a pre-hung door and not just a slab.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  8. geosheets

    geosheets Songster

    Jun 8, 2009
    Quote:An exterior type door will seal better since they have weather strip. They do make exterior doors that open outward... these are the standard entry doors on a lot of small storage barns/sheds but can be purchased for your house as well (special order at some stores). They are exactly the same as a door that opens inwards except the brick mold is on the other side. It would be fine to remove the brick mold from the door and put it on the opposite side, then install the door 'backwards'. A couple things to watch for because an open out door is not recessed into the jamb and it is subjected to more weather... Use a stainless door knob, keep the edges(especially the top) well painted (assuming it's a steel door), and keep the now exposed hinge pins painted and/or well greased as they will now be exposed.
  9. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Quote:Oh, gee, it pains me to go against the great wisdom of a husband, but I do have to say that (gulp) you're right.
    I suggest your getting a storm door. During the summer, you can cover the screen part with 1/4-inch hardware cloth; that gives you the equivalent of another window. During the winter, you have a door designed for cold weather.
    There are pictures on My Page if you want to see them.
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    On both of my coops the doors open outward.

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