What are Pivot Doors and How Do They Work?

When you are planning your self-build, there are lots of elements to consider.  An important one is the main entrances to the property – usually the front and back door.  There are lots of different styles of doors to consider but one of the newer ones to the market is the pivot door.  So is this the style for you?

Pivot door basics

The pivot door has become popular with the contemporary style of self-build house but can be used in any design.  Oversized doors such as these can be very striking and are also made from heavy-duty construction which makes them very secure.

Pivot doors can come in a wide range of sizes and are often suitable for much bigger styles than normal types of door.  Some companies offer them up to 1500mm wide and 3000mm tall. Generally, they need to at least 1000mm in width to work properly.  Smaller sizes just won’t pivot correctly – and you still need to remember building regulations when choosing one.

How they work

Pivot doors have hinges like normal doors but instead of being placed at the side of the door, they are instead located at the top and the bottom of the door, usually around 200mm from the door edge.  The frame is fitted into the opening with the door then secured into the frame with the hinges. Some companies offer finger-safe devices to stop fingers being trapped in the opening.

Pivots usually come fitted but the frame does need to be secured into place and this is often best done by an expert door fitter.  Part of the reason for this is that these doors are a lot heavier than standard doors and may need two or more professionals to fit them.

Weather seals are a little more complicated on these styles of doors than others but can still be achieved.  Normally drop-down seals are used when the door is closed as opposed to the normal continuous seal. These styles of door are also often paired with a porch to increase energy efficiency and add an extra layer.

Benefits of a pivot door

Pivot doors are very much a statement feature and allow that oversized look that is often hard to achieve with standard doors.  If you have a space that would normally require two small doors, you can replace it with a single, large pivot door and achieve that modern look.  They are also ideal to pair with glass curtain walling which is another popular contemporary design element.

Pivot doors are very safe, and their additional size and the use of strong, heavy materials adds to this.  You can incorporate locking mechanisms as with other styles of door to comply with safety regulations. They are also good if you have young children or pets as there are ways to stop the door swinging open or shut and trapping fingers, paws or tails.

Pivot doors are not normally chosen because they are the most cost-effective style – it is more about the design and look of the property.  They do cost more than a standard door and then there’s installation costs to consider. But the look is a very unique one.