Offset hinges are a unique innovation that allows designers to expand doorways. Read more about what offset hinges are and how they are used.

If you have ever had issues maneuvering through a narrow doorway using a walker, wheelchair or other mobile device, there is a solution. By installing offset hinges (a.k.a. swing clear hinges), you can easily open the door farther out of the way. This will provide complete access to the entire width of the doorway or door opening, and eliminates the need to cut a larger opening and install a larger door.

The Concept Behind Offset Hinges

Offset hinges are proving to be a cost-effective solution easily retrofitted into most standard doors and doorframes. They are available in a variety of sizes and shapes and often utilize the same holes and screws as on the existing hinge.

Offset hinges also work as an effective counterbalance needed for a door or shutter for closing and opening the swing. In effect, they work well at clearing any obstacle that might include trim moldings and window frames. The offset hinge is designed to move the pivot point of the door further away from the hinge, allowing more open access to the opening.

Today’s common local building codes for residential homes still have not considered mobility needs of individuals using walkers and wheelchairs. Traditional residential homes are constructed using standard US doorframe sizes that make it highly restrictive.

An offset hinge is specifically designed to add extra clearance. Standard bedroom door sizes are traditionally 30” or 32” in width. However, a traditional hinge does not move the door out of the way when opened, which considerably narrows the door width.

An Effective Solution

Narrow doorways no longer need to be a serious handicap for anyone using a mobility device. Utilizing offset door hinges offers a valuable solution that can make a real difference for the mobility challenged. Standard door hinges can be easily replaced with an offset hinge to gain an additional couple of inches in the doorway width. Many of these types of offset door hinges are referred to as fold back door hinges, swing clear hinges, and swing away hinges.

How They Work

The design of an offset hinge moves the pin of the hinge further away from the frame of the doorjamb. Whenever the door has been opened to an angle of 90° or set in a perpendicular angle to the doorframe, the entire door is set back at least 2” further out of the way of the opening making it larger. This simple solution avoids the need to create a larger opening by installing a new doorframe.

The replacement of a traditional door hinge with an offset hinge is both an inexpensive and simple solution. This basic home modification increases doorway accessibility to meet the needs of the mobility challenged. It also works as an ideal solution for gaining more access when moving large furniture throughout the home. It provides a barrier-free modification that is often necessary in many households. While the removal of an existing door hinge and its replacement with an offset hinge is simple, some households might require hiring a contractor or remodeler to perform the job.

On Shutters and Windows

Architects, homebuilders and homeowners often use offset hinges on their windows and shutters. These types of hinges offer an easy solution for utilizing hinge shutters and windows where they need to be moved or folded back away from the jamb. Every available offset hinge is designed with a pin that is moved away from a traditional location to create a larger “throw” or swing when the window, shutter or door is opened and closed.

Offset hinges work as the ideal solution for any home or commercial property looking to gain a better swing or more clearance in a doorjamb or window opening.

Custom Manufacturing for Industrial and Commercial Use

Midlake Products manufactures custom made offset hinges for commercial and industrial applications only.  Additional resources for finding out more include: