Barn Door How To

In the blog post with our master bedroom closet reveal I shared the finishing touch on our closet was the barn door my husband created. When we looked into buying a barn door, they can range anywhere from $500-$2,000 prebuilt, so my husband decided to tackle the creation himself. The total cost for this barn door was $200. It turned out to be fairly simple to build and we were able to create exactly what we were looking for.

Here is how the barn door was created, in my husband's words.

Before starting to build the door, I first picked the hardware we wanted to use. Sliding door hardware can run over $200. Searching on amazon, I was able to find quality hardware for less than $100. Here is the link to the hardware we bought.

It’s important to pick hardware first because in order to know what door will work best for your space you need to know the track length, door(s) style and what height the door needs to be to fit on the track and cover the opening. Our closet door opening is a little narrower than a normal door.

In order to determine the length of your track, double the length of your door frame to allow for plenty of room for closed and open positions of the door. For our closet, I found that a 6.5 foot track for a single door would do the trick.

With the track decided, I now moved onto building the door itself. I measured the height of our door frame. I knew the sliding wheels sat above the track but would need to be able to move the door and slide easily without obstruction, so I measured the distance that the sliding wheels stuck above the track. This gave me the highest point the track could be. Then I measured down the slider bracket, which told me how far down the door would hang from the track. Those numbers gave me the maximum height the door could be and the minimum height would be the height of the closet door opening. I decided 7 feet was the right height for our door.

For building the door, I followed a set of plans I found at Family Handy Man. In the article he describes a technique called rabbeting where the boards are essentially notched so they overlap and fit snugly together. You can certainly do this project without this technique. I chose to do the rabbeting for our closet door to be sure there were no gaps in between the boards where the closet could be seen through.

I bought 1x6 quality pine boards from Menards. That was the middle of the 3 qualities. After rabbeting, sanding, and cutting, I used a minwax dark walnut stain on the boards (instead of the weathering method outlined in the Family Handy Man article). I liked the weathering look, but I wanted to match the same stain I used when I created our closet organizer.

After the boards were prepped, I assembled as instructed in the Family Handy Man article. The boards did have a little but of warping, but with plenty of clamping, it all came together. I did add a diagonal cross piece to form a Z on the door. This was the look Marie wanted and it was simple to add.

Then I added the handle and was ready to attach the door. Here is the link to the handle we purchased.

In order to attach the track, I first identified the studs on our wall. Unfortunately only 3 of the 5 pre drilled holes on the track lined up perfect with the studs. I had an extra 1x6 board stained so I decided to go with the header solution outlined in the Family Handy Man article. We ended up liking the look better. I was able to lag bolt into the stud on the 3 holes that lined up and lag bolted into the header board on the other two.

After hanging the door, I installed the adjustable roller on the baseboard to keep the door from flying out. Here is a link to one we purchased. Be sure to position the roller so it keeps the door closed in both the open and closed position. These tracks also come with stops to keep the door from coming off the track.

It was a fun project and really added a great finishing touch to the whole closet remodel!

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