Building the Perfect Barn Door

May 30, 2017

3 properties in less than three years, five barn doors and counting. Are barn doors a trend? Yes!  But here's why we keep building them:

 

1. Space Saving

2. Focal Point

3. Less Mess (to clarify, less mess than a retro fitted pocket door)

 

We keep building and experimenting with construction styles.  Here's what we've tried so far:

 

Property 1 Method 1: Exterior Siding Barn Door: We left two barn doors at Property 2, and both were a generous gift from Jason's Dad, also known as Pops (shout out to Pops, thank you, Pops)!  I'll share his construction method. Pops purchased a sheet of exterior siding and cut this to the size we needed. He glued and nailed this to a sheet of plywood, cut to size, which helped to straighten and hold the form of the door. Lastly, he framed the face of the door with 1x6s.

 

Pros and Cons with this construction:

Pros:

A special gift from Pops

Solid Construction

 

Cons:

Rough Wipe Down: The exterior siding is super rough, so attempting to wipe clean is a bear. 

Super Heavy:  Moving and getting on or off the sliding track always take two adults.

Painting: Because of the rough finish this takes several coats of paint followed by several touch ups.

 

Property 2:  We were ready to attempt barn door construction on our own and tried two different methods:

 

Property 2, Method 2:  Looking at Lowe's and discussing tongue and groove options, an employee referred me to a product, maybe 12, quarter inch thick, 3-inch wide by 12-foot sticks in package for around 12 bucks.  Knowing this was a super price, I purchased and went home to construct.  We fitted the sticks together for width, Jason cut for height.  I prestained individual sticks prior to interlocking for the door.  Once stained and dried, we interlocked the sticks and framed up using 1x4s.  The 1x4s helped to hold the door together.   Boom, it was done! 

 

 

Pros and Cons with this Construction:

Pros:

Inexpensive

light weight

 

Cons:

Too Flimsy

Tongue and Groove: These sticks are thin and are a little tricky to slide and interlock together 

 

 

 

Property 2: Method 3: Ripping:  Having made 2 somewhat flimsy tongue and groove barn doors for property 2, we were searching for the best of everything: inexpensive, easy to clean, and not ridiculously heavy.  This led us to experiment with the ripping method.  We purchased a sheet of underlayment and ripped as many 8 inch "ship lap" boards as possible.  We nailed the shiplap pieces to a piece of plywood, cut to size.  The door was ready to be trimmed out, so 1x 6s to frame out the face and a sheet of beadboard for the backside. Viola!

  

Pros and Cons with this construction:

Pros:

Solid Construction

 

Cons: Bowing: 

The plywood had a slight bow that we were not able to totally able to shore up

Property 3: Method 4: 3/4 inch thick tongue and groove yellow pine flooring...............Under Construction! Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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