Door Handing Guide

How do I know if my door is left handed or right handed?

Written by Lucy Thornton ,
Published on October 24, 2023 at 10:53:37 AM PDT October 24, 2023 at 10:53:37 AM PDTth, October 24, 2023 at 10:53:37 AM PDT
Door and Window Handing Guide

What is Handing on a Door?

Handing is the term used to describe the direction in which the door swings. It’s important to get the handing right when buying door handles for your external doors so you can order the correct handle (left-handed or right-handed).

How do I know whether my door is left-handed or right-handed?

Whether you are replacing an existing door or fitting a new one, you need to know whether it is left or right-handed. Get it wrong and your door handle will only work upside down...

Single doors

Stand outside on your doorstep (on the key side) and look at your door. The side of the door with the hinges, where it’s attached to the frame, is the ‘hung’ side.

If the hinges are on the left, this is a left-handed door.

If the hinges are on the right, this is a right-handed door.

What is a door keep?

A door keep is the metal bracket attached to the door frame; when you close and lock your door, the lock goes into the ‘keep’ and your door stays closed.

You have left and right-handed keeps, depending on which side your door is hung. If your door is hung on the right, you have a left-handed keep as the keep is attached to the left side of the frame.

If your door is hung on the left and the door handle is on the right, you will have a right-handed keep.

Double doors

With double doors, perhaps opening onto a garden or patio area, you will either have solo or klone double doors.

A solo double door is where only one of the doors has an opening handle, while the other door is fixed in place and opened with a flush bolt only when the main door is open. Where you have a solo double door, the door with the single handle is called the ‘master door’.

Whether a solo double door is left-handed or right-handed is decided by whichever side has the master door. Stand outside and look at your double doors; if the master door is on the left, this is called a left-handed system. If the master door is on the right, it is called a right-handed system.

A klone double door is where both doors have a handle but only one has a working handle that slots into a keep. The master door is the one that opens with the lever handle. If the master door is on the right, this is called a right-handed system and will require a right-handed lock.

NOTE: Our multipoint locks by Winkhaus have an ‘R’ or an ‘L’ stamped on them – please don’t worry if your right-hand lock has an ‘L’ stamped on it.

This is a quirk of the manufacturer that they label the right-hand locks with an ‘L’ and the left-hand locks with an ‘R’. We know. This is confusing.

This bifold door system has three doors; the handing is three doors, opening to the right. On the bifold itself there is no handing component, but the multipoint lock will be handed. Best way to look at it is to stand outside; you can see the door is hung on the right, which gives you a right-handed door.

Handle Handing

(Try saying that ten times in a row…)

All handing for door handles is done from the inside.

These bifold doors are hung on the left and open out; you grab the handle with your left hand. The lever points to the left. This is a left-handed handle.

On the double door kit, again we view from the inside, where the door opens inwards.

The door is hung on the right; you grab the handle with your right hand, the lever points to the right. This is a right-handed handle.

With the handing of the handles on the klone double door, you will need both a left-handed and a right-handed handle as the slave door is operated by a handle rather than a flip bolt.

The handedness of the lever handle on a door is the direction the end of the lever points; almost always towards the hinges.

For handing for window handles we view from the inside.

This window handle here is on the left; you grab that with your right hand to open. This is a right-handed handle.

For more information on Handing or if you have any questions about what is handing on a door, please contact us on or call 01726 871 025.

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