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Why are vinyl swing doors not typically wider than 36”?

Window Geeks

Have you ever wondered why you usually only see vinyl swing doors up to a certain size? Don’t worry! The Window Geeks know a thing or two about doors as well! There are a few reasons behind the sizing of these swing doors and why you’re unlikely to come across one that is wider than 36 inches. We’re here to tell you why. 

First off, there are no rules regulating the maximum width of a door, so it isn’t to say that a vinyl door wider than 36” isn’t possible. There’s known performance within the boundaries of what is “typical”, and outside that realm, there’s risk as with any new innovation. We haven’t engineered doors wider than 36", though that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

“Prudency, our professional recommendation”

What is a stock size? Most doors “stocked” in the market don’t exceed 36” wide. Vinyl swing doors typically come in sizes 32”, 34”, and 36”. To achieve air, water, and structural performance requirements, we recommend you design your project with doors in this size range.  

Entertaining a wider door 

First of all, if you’re looking for a price that is somewhat mid-range, this won’t be the option for you. Sizes like these are seen in more premium products. There’s a possibility of entertaining doors this size, but you should consider all the impacts that going outside standard design parameters will have on performance and price. It will likely require special engineering to achieve the same performance as a standard door, which will certainly be more expensive.


  1. Weight 

Traditionally, vinyl swing doors are MUCH heavier than their fiberglass or wood counterparts. Thanks to this added weight, the swing doors have to rely on robust hinges and weatherstripping to maintain air and water tightness. An “oversized” version of your vinyl swing door in terms of width or height brings with it a much higher risk of water and air ingress issues.  

  1. Installation & Labour 

Distribution of steel-reinforced vinyl swing doors on a job site is already difficult. They’re large, heavy, and cumbersome, and the additional weight associated with oversized doors creates extra challenges with associated costs (such as more labour components) to both distribution and installation.  

  1. Warranty 

Asking a manufacturer to provide a solid warranty on a product that is atypical or not tried, true, and tested to industry standards is also highly challenging. As warranty requirements become increasingly stringent, keeping within manufacturing limitations and industry-standard practices becomes important.

A Simple Rule of Thumb  

There’s a simple rule of thumb that makes these oversized doors unfavourable. The more surface area of a frame that a door slab needs to come into contact with in order to close and seal, the higher the risk that the door will not properly seal to the elements and the occupant will have difficulties with operation and discomfort in the home.

We Are Your Certified Window Geeks  

We love to talk windows! The demand for glass is at its all-time highest, but we are working with our customers to ensure you get the products you need. Contact us as early in the process as possible so we can help secure your order and keep our project on schedule. We will guide you early on so that your supply requirements are met.  

For more information on this topic (and many more!) contact our local Employee Owners at 1-888-534-3333 or drop us an email at Become a Window Geek yourself by signing up for our biweekly newsletter, which provides news, advice, and tips about the industry and upcoming Centra events.  

Written by: Les Ferris , February 3, 2022
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