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Buying Guide

Buying a Pivot Door

We want to make the experience of selecting your pivot-hung entryway as seamless as possible. To help we have created a step-by-step guide. The following instructions will help you work through the process of buying a pivot door. If at any moment in the process you feel like you need help, please don't hesitate to contact our sales and design team.

The buying experience consists of 8 major steps:

Before Ordering

STEP 1 Door Design Plan out the door design, wood species, glass, and size according to project specs, working from our selection or the design of your choice.
STEP 2 Door Fit Determine the jamb, threshold, and swing specifications so the door unit fits into your structure.
STEP 3 Sidelights Options If your project requires side or transom lights, we will build these into the jamb, creating one seamless unit.
STEP 4 Handle and Closure Options We will prep the door for the hardware that goes with your project, whether you buy from us or from another supplier.

Ordering & Beyond

STEP 5 Order Placement Once you have worked through all of the specifications for the door you wish to order, shop online or contact our sales team.
STEP 6 Construction and
Lead Time
Once an order is placed, we source custom materials, wait for their delivery, and, then, build the door. It is ready to ship in 6 weeks.
STEP 7 Packaging and
We double crate each door, and ship with FedEx Freight. Delivery time is 3-5 business days.
STEP 8 Finish and
Upon receipt of the door, you will need to finish and install the door. Though the doors are unique, the installation process is standard.



When deciding on a door design you have four principle elements to determine:

Style Size
Wood Species Glass

Choosing a door style...

The first consideration when selecting a pivot door is determining what style of door you want. To do this, you have several options. You may choose from one of the styles from our online selection, find an image of a door you like, or present a sketch of the door you would like. We are happy to help you with whatever design you select.

Popular Styles from our selection

Line Flat Solace Glass
modern pivot door line modern pivot door flat flush modern pivot door solace modern glass pivot door

Choosing a Wood Species...

We offer a range of wood species to go standard with our doors. If you would like something other than what we have, in most cases we can source other wood types that are not listed below, though prices will vary.

As you decide which wood you'll choose, the most important factor is how the wood species goes with the overall design of the door and your project. If you have specific questions about what wood to choose that are not answered here, feel free to reach out to us.

Our Standard Selection

images of different wood types

Mahogany (Sapele)

This exotic reddish-brown wood is desired for its rarity, strength, and beauty. It is very durable, and resists swelling and warping, making it ideal for marine uses and high moisture areas.


Walnut wood is strong, hard, and exceptionally durable, without being excessively heavy. It is straight-grained in the trunk of the tree, but possesses a wavy grain in wood found closer to the roots. Walnut wood finishes beautifully, holding paint and stain exceptionally well, and is resistent to shrinking and warping.

Red Oak

Oak wood is strong, durable, and resistant to moisture. It is a heavy wood and finishes well. Because of its hardness, it has a good density with a medium to course texture.


Grown in the eastern half of the United States, Cherry was often used in original colonial American furniture-making. Cherry wood is moderately hard, strong, and close-grained with a high resistance to warping. Its light to reddish brown color deepens with age and exposure to sunlight.

White Oak

This hardwood is known for its high strength properties and its durability. It's moisture movement is medium and it has a good density with a medium to course texture. One of the more popular wood types, White Oak is more resistant to weathering issues than Red Oak.s

Knotty Alder

Alder is almost white when freshly cut but quickly changes on exposure to air to light brown with a yellow or reddish tinge. The wood is fairly straight grained with a uniform texture. Alder is a relatively soft hardwood of medium density that has low bending strength, shock resistance and stiffness.

Choosing a Door Size...

Because each door we make is sized specifically for the project, you are not restricted to any standard sizes.

Measurements to Know

When sizing the door you will need to consider two principle measurements, rough opening and frame size. See the image below for reference.

Drawing of construction details of pivot door with jambCasing included for illustration purposes only, not included in purchase price.

Rough Opening

The rough opening is the distance from stud to stud for framing purposes. We advise that you build a rough opening that is ½ in. wider and ½ in. taller than the total door unit. We find that this allows for sufficient shimming and adjustments during installation.

Net Frame Size: Width and Height

This is the size of the actual door jamb. When determining the net frame size you want to put in a number that is at least a half inch less than the rough opening size to allow room to square and level the door. For example, for a rough opening of 48 in. wide, order a net frame size of 47 1/2 in.

Size Guide

While we can make pivot doors of any size, there are a few guidelines to consider when planning your door size.

Height: In terms of height minimum, we generally start at 82 in. and go up from there. There is a significant price jump on any door over 12 ft. tall because it requires special engineering. Otherwise, generally speaking, your project requirements will place greater restraint on your height than the pivot door’s engineering. When trying to determine the door height, it is best to go off of what will look best in the space and how much room you have to frame out the door.

Maximum Width: There is a significant price jump on any door over 7 ft. wide because it requires special engineering.

Minimum Width: Most customers choose a door that is 48 in. wide. We can build smaller doors but there are several reasons to make 48 in. the minimum. First off, each door must have a minimum pass through of 36 in. Now, add onto this the 1 3/4 in. jamb sides and the amount you want to offset the pivot, and you have to have a door that is at least 42 in. This size, though, will only leave a two inch gap on the pivot side of the door, which does not present a clear statement about the pivoting nature of the door—defeating the purpose of getting a pivot door in the first place in many cases.

Window and Glass Options...

If you choose a design that incorporates a window into the structure of the door slab itself, you will need to consider window placement and size as well as glass color, thickness, and pattern. Because we work directly with an architectural glass manufacturer, we can provide you with many specifications available in the window industry. While the style of the door generally dictates the number, size, and propotion of windows, you may request to adjust these specifications as well.

Window Placement

If you choose a door style with a window, you have the option to place the window on the handle side or on the pivot side.

diagram for determining window placement on pivot door

Glass Options

Standard Features

All glass we install is 1 in. tempered double-paned insulated glass. Clear and frosted glass patterns are standard pricing options.

Standard Glass Patterns

pivot door glass options


If you are looking for different finish or insulating options, contact us directly and we can provide pricing.You can vary the glass pattern (e.g., clear, frost, rain, reflective, etc.) or glass construction (e.g., low e, laminated, etc.).

Custom Glass Patterns

image of rain glass pattern


image of reed glass pattern




The jamb serves as the frame that the door sits in. Our doors come with a jamb that has been pre- assembled in the shop to make sure that all of the measurements line up. We double and triple check the final measurements our clients give us to make sure that the size of jamb you are expecting is the size that shows up at your worksite. The following points are key to making sure that the door slab and jamb fit into your project design seamlessly:

Jamb Depth Swing Direction
Pivot Placement Threshold

Determining Jamb Depth...

For the jamb, one of the biggest considerations is jamb depth.

Jamb depth depends on the thickness of the walls into which the door unit will be placed. Most walls are studded out with 2x4’s or 2x6’s, and so, our most common jamb depths are 4 5/8 in. and 6 5/8 in., respectively. Usually the jamb is flush with the interior and exterior wall covering, with the seam covered by casing.

We have standard jamb depths of

4 5/8 in.

5 1/4 in.

5 1/2 in.

6 5/8 in.

7 1/2 in.

If you wish for us to provide a jamb depth different from one of our standard options, please contact us.

Jamb depth dimension drawn out in the image above is an inset of the drawing under "Choosing a Door Size".

Jamb Depth Dimension

drawing that shows how jamb measurement relates to wall measurement

Inset from Door Size Diagram

Determining Pivot Placement...

The pivot placement is the distance the pivot pin will be placed away from the vertical edge of the rough opening. Generally speaking, we suggest placing the pivot over one quarter of the distance of the door width. We find that this presents a solid aesthetic for most door dimensions.

If your rough opening is 48” and you choose a 9” pivot placement, the door will roughly have a 37” pass through opening. You want to ensure you leave at least a 36” opening. (Rough opening width - pivot placement measurement - 4 in. for jamb = a number greater than 36). See picture for details or contact us for clarification.

diagram demonstrating how pivot placement relates to the width of the door pass through

Suggested Pivot Placements

Door Slab Width Pivot Placement
42" - 44" ........... 4"
45" - 47" ........... 6"
48" - 53" ........... 9"
54" - 60" ........... 12"
61" - 66" ........... 15"
67" - 70" ........... 18"
71" - 74" ........... 21"
75" - 80" ........... 24"
81" - 86" ........... 30"

Determining the Door's Swing...

When you order your pivot-hung entryway, you have options when it comes to how the door will swing. Though 99% of the time, you will want a door that swings into the interior (in-swing), we are set up to build jambs where the door swings out to the exterior (pushing your visitors out of the pathway of your tremendous door).

However, when it comes to right-hand or left-hand swing, the layout of your installation site will determine the swing configuration. To determine if the door is left-hand or right-hand in-swing, imagine you are looking at the door from the street. If the pivot point is on the left side, it is a left-hand in-swing. If the pivot point is on the right-hand side, the door is a right-hand in-swing.

Swing Configuration

Diagram of four different swing configurations

Swing configuration defines the direction of the door motion and from which side the pivot is placed

Choosing a Threshold...

You have a two variables to consider when setting up your threshold, color and type.

Threshold Color

The simplest variable to address is color: "Gray Aluminum" or "Black Anodized Aluminum".

photos of black and gray anodized aluminum thresholds

Threshold Type

The second variable is what type of threshold works for your project: Type 1 or Type 2.

sideview drawings showing details for pivot door threshold

If there is any type of wood covering on the interior of the house, you will need a Type 2. The Type 2 threshold has a 90 degree angle on the interior facing side for the wood covering to butt up against.

If the exterior floor is the same level as the interior floor, you will need a Type 1 threshold. More commonly, though, the exterior floor is lower than the interior floor and you will need a Type 2 threshold.


Sidelight Options

In many cases, customers wish to purchase sidelights for their door units. We build sidelights and transoms directly into the door unit, so the jamb and sidelights connect seamlessly. All you need to do is tell us what kind of sidelights or transom you want, what size they should be and what kind of glass you want.

Designing the Sidelights...

Sidelight Styles...

Sidelight styles include:

single sidelight

double sidelights


a combination of the above

If you want a customized sidelight style, let us know what you are looking for, and we will let you know if we are set up to build it. We have constructed sidelights with numerous types of frames, panes, and formal elements.

Glass Options for Sidelights...

The same considerations we have for choosing door window glass, as outlined above, apply here. We can get many standard glass options available from industry window manufacturers.

Placement on door...

When you order a single sidelight, enter which side of the door you want it to be placed on here, according to an exterior view. The door will be built with the sidelight attached so be sure to input the height of the door and the height of the sidelight the same.

Example: 48 in. X 98 in. door with a 18 in. X 98 in.sidelight (on the right), will get you a door and sidelight combo that measures 66 in. X 98 in.

Determining Single Sidelight Placement

diagram for determining sidelight placement on pivot door

When ordering a single sidelight, choose left or right placement

Determining Sidelight Size...

What to Measure

The sidelights and transoms match the doorjamb, either in height or width, so it is easy to determine one dimension. When determining the second dimension, you are most often limited by your overall project’s dimensions. You must consider how you much space you have and how you want the sidelight glass to work with the door in terms of proportion and in terms of how much light they let through.

Sidelight Net Frame Size

When ordering your sidelight, you will need to input Sidelight Net Frame Width and Height. This measurement includes only the size of the sidelight jamb. See the diagram below for examples of sidelight net frame measurements for a double sidelight. If you need greater clarification regarding sidelight measurements, please contact us direclty.

Measurements for Sidelights

illustration for determining pivot door sidelight measurements

When determining sidelight measurements, sidelight measurements are in addition to door measurements

Sidelight Building Considerations...

Net Height of Sidelights and Door

The door will be built with the sidelight attached so be sure to input the height of the door and the height of the sidelight the same.

Net Width of Transom and Door

The door will be built with the transom attached so be sure to input the width of the door the same as the width of the transom.

Rought Opening with Sidelights

When inputting the net frame size, you want to put in a number that is at least an inch less than the rough opening size to allow room to square and level the unit.

Example: 48 in. X 98 in. door with a 18 in. X 98 in. sidelight will get you a door and sidelight combo that measures 66 in. X 98 in. (The rough opening size should be at least 66 1/2 in. X 98 1/2 in.)


Handle and Closure Options

One last thing to consider when placing your order is handle and closure options. Though the door comes with the pivot hardware installed, other hardware considerations are sold separately.

Handles and Locksets

Our Handle Selection

First off, you’ll want to decide what kind of handle and lock you want for the door. Though we sell a selection of handles and are able to prep the doors, no handle comes standard with a door. We are able to prep the door for any hardware—either from our selection or from another vendor. In either case, handle prep incurs an additional cost proportional to the task.

Handle from Another Vendor

If you choose to purchase a handle or lockset from another vendor, you will need to provide us with the specifications for the handle or lockset so we can properly prep. Alternatively, you may decide that you want to wait and have a local carpenter prep the for the door handle. In that case, you do not need to provide us with the hardware specifications.

Related Closure Hardware

We provide a number of related hardware products beyond the handle and lockset.

Roller Latches

Usually our customers who purchase a pull bar handle also purchase roller latches. Roller latches will hold the door shut when the deadbolt is not thrown.


In commercial applications and in rare residential applications, we install a bottom closer. The bottom closer creates constant tension on the door’s swing to pull the door into the closed position. This means one must hold the door in order to keep it open. With a closer the door will not rest in an open position unless the hold-open feature is activated, which holds the door open at a 100° angle.

Heavy Duty Pivot

The weight restriction for our standard pivot is 440 pounds and the average weight of our 5ft. X 8 ft. door is 300 pounds. If you choose a door design that is especially heavy due to size or materials, we may need to upgrade to a heavy duty pivot. The upgrade comes at no additional cost.

Requesting Handle Prep...

Standard Handle and Deadbolt Preparation

We will pre-drill the door for a handle with 2 3/8 in. or 2 3/4 in. backset. Standard bore diameter is 2 1/8 in.

The term "backset" refers to the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the bore hole.


We can mortise the door for many entry lock sets. Please contact us directly to configure your specific requirements.

See the diagram below for more details.

Standard Handle Prep

single-bore deadbolt illustration
Single-bore Deadbolt
double-bore deadbolt illustration
Double-bore Deadbolt


Placing an Order

Standard Orders

Once you have decided on what you want to order, the next major step is to place the order. You can do this by going online and picking out a door from our site’s shopping portal. Choose the door you want, and then fill out the online order form, providing all of the specification details that match your project. You can immediately see the price and purchase the door.

screenshot of order pivot door product page

Customized Orders

Alternatively, if you wish to speak to someone over the phone about your order, particularly if you wish to customize the door with options that are not available in the online form, you can call or email our sales and design team to discuss what you are looking for.

Once we understand what you are looking for, we’ll send you a bid, usually within 24 hours. You look over the bid, and when you are sure that everything is right, we’ll take the order by email or over the phone. We build doors to fit your building project. That means we are flexible when it comes to meeting your project specifications. Whether you pick from our existing line of door styles, or you show us a picture of what you'd like to see made, we make sure the final product stands up to exacting standards—yours and ours.

What's Included in a Standard Order

The order includes the door slab and a jamb that you will need to re-assemble on site. Once the jamb is together you simply place and secure into the rough opening as with any standard door unit. The pivot hardware is included, already installed in both the door slab and jamb. Doors ship stain ready, which means the unit needs stain and clear-coat. Handle sold separately.

Door Slab

The actual door itself, called the door slab, is shipped stain-ready.

Door Jamb

Each door shipped comes with a jamb that has been assembled in the shop to ensure that the pivot installation is engineered correctly. The jamb is disassembled for shipping.

Pivot Hardware

Each unit comes with pivot hardware already installed into the door slab and door jamb at precise measurements.


Construction and Lead Time

Construction Period

At this point, we take over, ordering the materials, building the door and jamb and getting the door ready for shipping. Feel free to contact us during the construciton period to get an update on your door.

Once you place the order, the specs you sign off on are the final agreement. Any changes you make after placing the order will increase lead time and potentially incur additonal costs.

Lead Times

Generally speaking, with our volume and with the time it takes us to receive the materials for the job, the door will be ready to ship to you six weeks after you place the order. We can offer expedited lead times at an additional cost.

Though we are a custom shop, we take pride in our ability to fill orders on time.


Packaging and Shipping

Engineered Packaging

Upon completion, each door is wrapped in protective material and then placed in a crate that is custom built for the door dimensions and shipping parameters. We want the door to get there in as beautiful a condition as when it leaves the shop.

Shop to Site Shipping

Every day we ship to cities all over the United States. Pivot Door Company maintains a good relationship with FedEx Freight® Services, the principal shipping company we use in delivering our doors from the shop to your installation site.

Curbside Delivery

Our standard shipment goes out by FedEx Freight® Curbside Delivery. This means a driver will arrive at the delivery site, and though he will sometimes assist in getting the door off of the truck or use a pallet jack to move it up the driveway, it is best if you have 2-3 able-bodied individuals waiting to help unload the crate off of the truck, to help balance the crate as the driver lowers the crate with the lift-gate.

Engineered Door Crating

example of pivot door crate

Each door is double crated for shipment

Standard 6 Weeks to Ship

Your door leaves the shop six weeks from order confirmation. Allow additional time* for freight delivery. See map below for approximate transit times to your region.

Map showing delivery times in North America
Fedex Freight Economy
Ship Times from Colorado Springs

Rush 3-1/2 Weeks to Ship

If 6 six weeks is not soon enough, we can get you a custom door in a month or less if you choose the Rush Option. The additional charge covers paying the extra hours worked by the production team and the cost of Fedex Freight Priority Shipping, which cuts down delivery time. The door will ship 3 1/2 weeks from the date of order confirmation. Allow additional time* for freight delivery. See map below for approximate transit times to your region.

Map showing delivery times in North America
Fedex Freight Priority
Ship Times from Colorado Springs

*Pivot Door Company guarantees ship dates; we do not guarantee delivery times. Ship times depend on the carrier. That being said, we have come to trust and see great reliability in Fedex Freight.


Finish and Installation

Finishing the Door Unit

All doors leave the shop unfinished. This allows the customer to match finishes more easily. Once you have received your shipped door unit, you will need to give the door immediate attention to make sure that the door stays in good condition. To make your warranty valid, you must stain and clear-coat the door within 72 hours of receipt. Follow the guide lines in our Care and Finishing Guide to take the best care of the wood facing.


Though the instructions included in the product documentation are clear and concise, Pivot Door Company strongly encourages the employment of skilled trades persons to carry out the finishing and installation of each door. These instructions must be completed according to the documentation requirements in order to make valid the manufacturer's warranty.