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Rosie on the House: Pivot doors bring the outdoors indoors

Rosie on the House: Pivot doors bring the outdoors indoors

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Oversized glass doors allow more natural light into your home while expanding your outside view.

Q: I want to replace the sliding doors in my living room that lead to the patio. French doors seem so “yesterday.” Is there another option?

A: Yes, glass pivot doors. You have probably seen the popular oversized sliding glass doors that create a glorious, seamless flow from the inside of a home to the patio. They are stunning, especially when they go all the way up to the ceiling.

The new trend takes the idea of moveable glass walls one step further. Pivot doors open more fully and allow more of an unobstructed view (when the doors are open) than any other product available. Because the large glass panels swing around pins mounted at the top and bottom of the panel, much like a turnstile, pivot doors only obstruct the view with the slim width of a door turned sideways, which is just a couple of inches.

Big glass doors that create a moveable wall system are nothing new. They’re typically made up of custom-sized sliding panels that move along a track in the flooring, or bifold doors that hang from a track along the ceiling.

“I wasn’t happy with how thick the frames were on residential doors readily available to the Phoenix market. By working with the manufacturer’s engineers, we’ve designed a pivot door product that can be completely customized in size and configuration at a modest price compared to residential products that don’t reach the same level of elegance and durability,” says DunRite Windows & Doors owner Sal Sucato, a Rosie-certified partner.

Working with a local manufacturing company, Sucato reimagined a commercial pivoting door design, long used for office and building entry doors and conference rooms, into a slimmer residential application. It has a slim frame that is just 2.75 inches wide, unlike residential products that are typically 5 to 6 inches thick on each side.

The thin, elegant frame allows the glass to dominate, instead of the door. “It’s the ultimate wow factor,” says Sucato.

It offers the strength of a commercial product intended for continual use, in a modified, less bulky form that works for residential settings.

“It’s slim and sleek, and flexible enough in design requirements that we can manufacture almost anything a homeowner can dream up, even re-creating something seen on Pinterest or Houzz,” Sucato adds. “We’ve built them in a wide variety of sizes, including one design of three pivot doors that spanned the entire back of a home.”

It worked so well, in fact, that the commercial manufacturer now offers it to their own residential clients.

You may want to consider more than just two panels. Opening a whole wall and installing pivoting doors will allow more natural light and air into the room while expanding your outside view. Plus, it will give your home an updated, modern look and feel.

Pivoting doors are not just for patio installations. The modern pivot style can be designed into a custom door that accentuate a home’s entryway, used to mimic expensive $20,000 to $30,000 wrought iron doors. Not only is a custom pivoting front door less expensive than a custom welded door, pivoting doors can save you the cost of hiring a contractor to fortify the home so that it can support the weight of the iron doors.

DunRite’s aluminum product is extremely strong, yet lightweight and is available in custom colors. No need to limit your imagination.

“I’ve seen it done in a bright blue color that was spectacular,” said Sucato.

An Arizona homebuilding and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning “Rosie on the House” radio broadcast, heard locally from 10-11 a.m. on KNST (790-AM) in Tucson. Ask Rosie on the House your homeowner questions by emailing or call 888-767-4348.

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