The 4 Most Common Pivot Door Problems

The 4 Most Common Pivot Door Problems

Pivot doors can be the perfect statement piece in an upscale home. Big showstopping doors like pivot doors, folding doors, and stacking sliding doors are gaining popularity in residential applications and vendors are stepping up to provide homeowners with customizable options. As you consider which company to work with and what kind of door you want, keep in mind that pivot doors are known to have some problems. 

In this post, we’ll explain 4 of the most common pivot door problems so that you know what to ask about when talking to vendors and designers. 

Problem #1: Warping

The most common problem with pivot doors is warping. Unlike standard side-hinged doors, pivot doors swing on a point that leaves the door slab less stable than a traditional door. Because the door is unrestrained it is more likely to warp than other types of doors. To be fair, warping can happen any door made of wood and tall doors. Pivot doors made from other materials can warp too but it’s less likely and less noticeable than warping on wood doors. 

Image Credit: Weiland Doors↗
Visit Weiland↗ online or see more Weiland door product details here on BrennanCorp.com

Problem #2: Weather-resistance

The best place for exterior pivot doors is under a large overhang to protect the door against harsh weather. Pivot doors face water and air infiltration problems because of the swinging design of the door, as the door swings open part of the door is in the building and the other is out. Pivot doors are also known to have poor weatherstripping which all doors have to prevent water, air, and bug infiltration. 


Image Credit: Gary Gladwish Architecture↗

Problem #3: Dragging

Dragging is a problem usually caused by poor installation. Pivot door frames need to be firmly secured in place to hold and carry the weight of the door. Secure the frame to the studs and header using screws instead of nails, screws provide a stronger hold to the frame. When the frame isn’t secured correctly to the header it creates a weak point that can be pulled down by the weight of the door. As the frame is pulled down away from the studs and header, the door slab will begin to drag along the floor. 


Image Credit: Jennifer Noonan via Bob Vila↗

Problem #4: Overextending the door

Standard pivot doors open up to 90° and have adjustable closers but using too much force on the door can cause it to overextend. Avoid overextending the door past its limit to prevent damage to the pivot points and to the door slab or frame. Prevent overextension by installing a doorstop on the floor to catch the door when it’s being operated. 


Image Credit: Olson Kundig↗

Should I buy pivot doors?

Pivot doors are a fun and beautiful addition to a home. If these doors complement your home’s style, fit your budget, and you can provide a proper overhang for the door then yes, go for it just keep all the considerations above in mind. Below are two additional considerations that can help you select the right door for your home.

  1. Some pivot doors have “warp-free” guarantees, ask your vendor what type of warranties they offer
  2. Multi-point locking systems provide additional security, can create a better weathertight seal, and add stability to the door that can combat warping, ask your vendor what types of locking systems are available on their doors

Explore vendor options with your design consultant, one option for you could be Weiland Doors. Weiland is owned by Andersen, one of the biggest and oldest windows and doors companies in North America. 

If you’re still unsure about pivot doors consider other big door options or contact an experienced designer or architect that can tell you more about pivot doors they’ve installed for clients.


Image Credit: Olson Kundig↗

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