How to Build Bypass Barn Doors

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Do sliding barn doors work in your home?

You should always take into consideration your home style before embarking on any home renovation project. Traditional barn doors can look great in a farmhouse style, coastal, or even traditional home. However, if you install them in a mid-century or modern home, they will look seriously out of place. There are also lots of different types of sliding barn doors offering a different look. For example, a more minimalist home might benefit from metal French-style sliding barn doors, while a modern home would be better suited with a more streamlined metal.

Instructions

  1. First, be sure you have enough room for barn doors! You’ll need at least as much space on the outside of the door as on the inside, to allow room for the door to slide out of the way. For double barn doors, you’ll install two full sets of hardware, centered in the middle of the door opening.
  2. Once you’ve bought the correct size door and hardware, open the package and make sure you have all the right pieces. Gather your tools so you’re not climbing off your ladder to find a screwdriver in the garage.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the instructions. Keep in mind that one of the doors will be hung as a mirror image of the other, so keep this in mind while reading instructions.
  4. Take your time making measurements and markings!
  5. Your laser level is your best friend! The key to barn doors that operate well is getting them exactly level. Hang your laser level on the opposite end of the wall from where you’ll be working, so your hands don’t get in the way of the beam.
  6. Get a buddy to help you with the actual installation. There are some parts that seem to require more than two hands.
  7. You can modify a door stop (included) to cover the gap between rails, if you prefer a seamless look. Or you can get a track joiner if you want the doors to be able to slide to either side.
  8. Install the soft close mechanisms before hanging the door slabs. (This step may not be included in your hardware instructions if you bought them separately.)
  9. Use the included floor guides to keep your doors from banging against the wall or door frames!

Is your door header proportionate?

Before tackling this DIY barn door project, you need to keep in mind that a proportionate header is key, suggests Hum. A header is a solid piece of wood that basically anchors your barn door, helping to distribute the weight of the door and adding stability. It also adds aesthetic value.

“When detailing the opening, a proportionate header is key for decorative hardware,” Hum noted. “I find a simple block-finished edge without extra decorative trim is easiest to achieve, and it creates a clean, modern-cased opening for the barn door to be the main accent.”

Barn doors can weigh up to 200 pounds (or even more), so headers are also important for sturdiness. Mount the header to wall studs (and make sure there are wall studs at every interval on your track).

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