Do you remember when your parents got their first microwave? There were two trends my parents were ahead of in the mid 80’s- the microwave and the VCR. The microwave sat on the counter for weeks before we used it for anything other than melting butter for our air-popped popcorn. How did we reheat leftovers before the invention of microwaves? Well, our barn doors were my kids’ microwave.
I don’t remember how we got ahead of it, but I remember when this lady sent me an email that our barn doors were being featured on her blog.
Maybe not as much excitement or life-changing as watching the first time we popped a hotdog in the microwave and watch it explode after 60 seconds of energy waves.
But, we were ahead of the barn door trend ten years ago (I can’t believe it has been that long).
We replaced our hollow, french glass doors leading into the playroom (now this room) with solid doors to make barn doors.
We installed a set of double barn doors and then a single barn door leading to the mechanicals (furnace and water heater). #realtorlife
Ten years ago the big box home improvement stores referred us to large animal feed stores in Colorado. The prices were much higher. Oh and we spent way more money back in the day than we have on our most recent barn doors.
Over the years we tweaked the barn door install process and learned how to make barn doors for less money.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON BARN DOORS
MEASURE MEASURE MEASURE
- Measure 5 times and order once.
- Check that the width of the door(s) has enough wall space on opposite ends for the doors to open and close.
- This saves money on a single track system versus a double track.
- For our son’s closet doors we opted to only have one door open at a time since we had already ordered the single track.
- There is always a way to fix something, but measuring multiple times decreases the cost of the mistake.
SCRATCH AND DENT DOORS
- We found , solid pine doors on clearance at Home Depot. Each door had scratches on one side of each door. Since the hardware holes were not pre-drilled we could hang them with the dents on the opposite side.
- This was perfect since the backsides of these doors were facing the interior of the closet.
PREP THE DOORS
- Use a wood conditioner prior to staining the doors. I love this stuff. It makes the stain so much easier to apply.
- It is worth the extra step and I am not one who likes to take an extra step in a project or recipe.
Sidenote: Does your Home Depot have an “oops paint” section? In addition to paint, they often have quarts of stain. These quart and gallon size mistakes are a few dollars.
The next item to buy was the track and hardware for the barn doors. Over the years the costs for the track systems decreased as the options increased.
We found our most recent barn door hardware from Wayfair.
The image below is mine. I thought I had captured a cool angle, but apparently, Wayfair had the same idea.
As I mentioned above, we ordered a single track because of the width of the closet wall.
The only issue is we cannot open both doors at the same time.
In our lower level (basement) we used a single-track system and had enough clearance on both sides of the doors. This is really where taking the time to measure the widths and wall spaces is crucial.
Here’s the widest shot I could get of the barn doors without backing into my son’s back wall and desk.
I tried to stand on the window ledge, but that would have had a completely different outcome.
We are getting ready to replace bifold doors in my daughter’s room/guest room and our younger son’s room. Stay tuned for that DIY project.
I would love it if you pinned this for later.
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