Barn Door Basics

How about some barn door basics?

It’s true? Barn doors are incredibly popular. But there are reasons behind that besides the fact that they are very cool.

POCKET VS. BARN: Pocket doors are more expensive and complex because the builder has to install a door kit inside the wall. Typically, we have to make this wall a 2 x 6 wall instead of a 2 x 4 wall in order to get the system working right, so you will lose 2” from your space. The locking mechanism isn’t as strong as a barn door. On the flip side, the pocket door is a clean look and the door width doesn’t have to be planned for. Both pocket and barn doors are frequently used in modern building because it eliminates the door swing space.

DESIGN: The greatest advantage of a barn door is flexibility. Just about any opening can accommodate a barn door as long as you have the space for the width of the door to slide open. This door can be an antique reclaimed door, new door, a funky door, a modern panel or a by-pass double door. Hardware ranges from the standard black metal to modern hardware.

PRICE: This is the one place where homeowners can control their spending. I find that most of the time, the builder makes the barn doors from a sketch that I provide. Since it is a simple slab, there is a high return on investment.

Featured in these photos are:

  1. A bathroom door that needed to be clipped due to rooflines. On the opposite side is even a full-length mirror. The homeowner built this himself.
  2. A hallway door made of reclaimed wood, custom designed and built by Old House Parts in Kennebunk, Maine.
  3. This powder room door that is off the dining room in a small house in New Castle, NH is reclaimed and refurbished by Nor’East Architectural Antiques.
  4. Another powder room door that is off a hallway was built by Ben Molin Builders of York, Maine and custom painted in C2 Dorian Grey
  5. A modern panel that folds over the mudroom closet and closes off the FROG (Family Room Over Garage) was custom built by Jewett Farms of Dover, NH
  6. These by-pass doors cover a pantry for the kitchen where there’s a lot of traffic as well as an exterior door. We ordered the hardware online and Scott Builders of Portsmouth, NH built the doors.

How do you think a barn door would work at your home? I’m sure pretty cool!


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