Can you change how Chief calls the swing of a door?


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Here in the SF Bay Area doors are called out differently than in other areas of the country. Here, if you are on the hinge side of a door and the hinges are on the left, it is a left hand door. In Chief and in apparently other areas of the country it is the opposite.

My question is, can that reference be changed so it can be reflected in the door schedule?

This thread is actually the first time I've ever heard of somebody using an opposite definition for door swings. I did a quick search online and I could not find a single diagram describing anything other than what I have always thought to be the industry standard.

I'm curious. Can you find any diagrams showing it the way you describe (not including any you've drawn up yourself and preferably from a door manufacturer)? If it weren't for the fact you're in California I would highly suspect that you were just mistaken.

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Interesting.  Taken from that page...


"Australia's a confusing exception to the rule when it comes to 'handing' - in most other parts of the world it seems to be the other way around, and this is something you need to be aware of if you're ordering from overseas!"


Even though you guys have it backward, at least you recognize its unusual and confusing :)

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This is how we do it in Oz (there are other countries besides the god old USA)!


And jokes about "upside down", etc.....



Thank you Glenn,  you confirmed what I was thinking.  The diagrams you  provided confused me more.  I would of thought the left hand outswing would of been a right hand outswing and the right hand out swing would of been a left hand outswing ........ and put you left leg in and shake it all about and put your right arm in and swing it all all about.


I can't figure it out,  I am so glad everybody else can figure it out.  I will avoid naming the swing direction and show a picture.


i am not even going to try to figure out the nomenclature if I have a door going from a family room to a living room,  or a door from a bedroom to an attached nursery,  Alan Lehman is my idol,  a  picture is worth........ 


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  • 2 years later...

Is there a way to get the graphic in a door schedule to show the other side of the door. I turned on the open indicators to show the hinge edge but that can be misinterpreted depending on which side of the door your on, or what side of the casing the door is on. In the attached image it shows the hing side of the door on the 2068 doors and the opposite side on the 2668 doors.  If I send this the the door company are they likely to mess this up, I think so.  I would like to show the hing side on all the doors.  I marked the hinges on the 2068 doors with a red line because they are hard to see in the graphic.


And yes, if the plan graphic could be used this would not be a problem.



Door Schedule.JPG

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While I think it is admirable to try to make things as clear as possible to a door supplier, it is also possible to take on unwarranted liability in doing so. If you give them a door schedule with simple door types, sizes, and hardware groups,  PLUS the floor plan, then they are responsible for determining the correct handing of the door, etc. This is what they do for a living. There will still be screw-ups, of course, but at least they won't be yours or Chief's.  

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Apparently, someone didn't like my answer to this question. So, let me expound a bit. Take a look at the attached diagram, and the confusing schedule that Chief generates. Chief says the hinges are on the right side of the exterior door. THIS IS WRONG. THEY ARE NOT. This is a left-hand reverse door, not a right-hand door. If you add information that you think is going to be helpful to a door supplier, there a good chance that Chief will get it wrong. In this particular case, you risk getting hinges getting mortised backwards or on the wrong side, and the mortised front door hardware being ordered incorrectly and installed reversed. At worst, you are going to be paying $$ for the purported "benefit" of having added this information. At best, you get to merely argue with the confused supplier who was going by your schedule. 

Door schedule.jpg

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On 3/24/2016 at 10:16 AM, Richard_Morrison said:

This is way too simplistic. The butt-to-butt idea works okay on most interior doors, but falls apart when you're dealing with mortised locksets (usually at exterior doors) or other non-reversible hardware. Calling a door a "left hand door" when it's really a "right hand reverse" door could get you the wrong hardware. The CORRECT way to determine the hand of a door is to stand outside of the door - on the exterior side, the hall side, or the main room to subsidiary room (like bedroom going into bathroom)-- and see which side the hinges are on. If on the right, and the door swings away from you as you are entering, it is a right hand door. If it swings toward you, it is right hand reverse, not left hand. This is probably "old school" with cheapo locksets that are reversible now, but I don't see how this could be a regional thing.


An interesting bit,

This image is scanned out of Architectural Graphic Standards, third edition, 1941.

To me it means the "handing" of doors was meant to get the locksets, which were not reversable, correct..




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Reluctantly, I am agreeing with Richard.  I called some door MFG's and builders to see how they define door swing to find a huge can of worms.  

Out of all the methods I heard, the one I liked the best was "stand in the doorway (door open) with your back against the hing side, if the door is on your left, it's left and vise versa for right".  No idea how you do a slider or bi-fold.

I'm staying with my previous method, see image.



Yikes....  It seems most of the MFG's use the system of being outside looking at the house to determine operable side.  Some use LS (Left Operable), RS (Right Operable).  Or X, O with the X being the Operable side.  Casements....Never asked.

Best I can tell, Chief has the R and L sliding backwards to the label on the plan view if using the "Standing outside" method.  See image.





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7 hours ago, Richard_Morrison said:

While I think it is admirable to try to make things as clear as possible to a door supplier, it is also possible to take on unwarranted liability in doing so. If you give them a door schedule with simple door types, sizes, and hardware groups,  PLUS the floor plan, then they are responsible for determining the correct handing of the door, etc. This is what they do for a living. There will still be screw-ups, of course, but at least they won't be yours or Chief's.  

I agree with Richard let the floor plan show the swing and let the contractor order the door with the hinges and knobs on the way they do it in their county or area

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 Some of us ARE the builder and we are using the schedules specifically FOR ordering. I personally use custom macros and notes/comments as necessary to make sure I get the correct information across.  I also  set up my schedules with the specific supplier in mind.  


A couple things to think about… 


Who do you I think is more likely to make a mistake on a door or window order? You, or your supplier?  I personally trust myself more than I trust my local lumberyard. Not only did I draw the plans but I know exactly what I want. 


Secondly, just because you try to produce an accurate schedule doesn’t mean it can’t be double checked. There is definitely something to be said for having another set of eyes look things over. In order for it to be doublecheck though it first must be…single checked. 


BTW, even if I’m drawing plans for another builder,  they may  want to use the schedule for ordering too.   Actually, the example I posted above was originally developed for another builder. 


I honestly don’t think the perceived difference in the way we call out door swings is nearly as widespread as some people make it out to be. I’ve actually never dealt with a door manufacturer in the northern hemisphere that calls out doors differently than any other.  Anyway, assuming there is a great variation, a diagram in the schedule along with the appropriate notes can pretty easily clarify things.  


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Such complicated schemes for determining handing. Here's an easier one, with you standing on the "outside" of the door (See JJohnson's definitions above):

1) Open the door so that you can keep you hand on the knob as you walk through the door. Which hand is on the knob? If it's your right hand, it's a right-handed door, and if the left, it's a left-handed door.

2) If you've pulled the knob towards you, it's a "reverse." 

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I was in the door biz, and we shipped a lot of product to the SFB area.  If their callout methods were different from everywhere else in the US, I would have known it.  


Excepting high end work, exterior entry doors in residential construction are not beveled on the lock edge, and are called out as RH or LH.  Inswing is default, so outswing is called when needed.


Interior doors typically get beveled edges and are called out as only RH or LH.


It's when ordering locking hardware that's not reversible that one has to be paying particular attention to this, and this is when "reverse" comes into play, and only for interior doors.


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I certainly don't have a problem calling an exterior door left hand outswing vs. left hand reverse. Who cares?  Also, in a world of prehung doors and reversible hardware, it doesn't really matter getting the edge bevel correct since the installation won't be messed up in the field. However, I also come from a commercial/institutional background where there are often KD or welded metal frames, and doors are hung later. Hardware handing is critical and beveled edges need to be angled in the right direction, especially since doors sometimes come with split face veneers. Calling a LHR door a RH door can have very expensive consequences. For those that don't understand why beveled edges are important to a quality job, this discussion may be interesting:


If people are just doing mainstream residential, then they probably don't care. However, I keep hearing that people want Chief to be able to do commercial work, too, and I personally am uncomfortable with the possibility for errors in the swing labeling. 

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