The use of sliding wood doors has taken the world of interior design by storm but many homeowners are missing an opportunity to incorporate sliding barn doors on the exterior areas of their home. With a bit of creative vision and skilled execution, barn doors have the potential of providing both functionality and design to the entirety of a property.
5 Ways to Use Exterior Barn Doors on a Residential Home1. Door or Window Shutters2. Garage Entrance3. Sunroom or Enclosed Porch Entrance4. Sheds5. Entry GateIf you’re looking to add curb appeal to the front of your house or give your backyard a bit of a face lift, it would make sense to consider reviewing the categories, styles, and various uses of an exterior barn door for homes.
1. Door or Window ShuttersPlacing a barn door or a set of barn doors on either side of a door or window is a creative twist on traditional shutters. These barn door shutters can frame front porch windows, french doors, or entryways to add a touch of design to a home’s first impression. They can also add elegance to the back of a home, which is an area that is too often neglected. The track and wall mount can easily be installed into the siding with a secure and safe fit, ensuring your handiwork lasts.
2. Garage EntranceReminiscent of the barn door’s original use, homeowners can install doors in our modern version of the horse barn: the garage. Exterior sliding barn doors can replace garage doors for car entry or can be used on the side of garages for additional entry points. Imagine replacing a boring, traditional garage door with sliding reclaimed wood that adds drama and refinement to a generally understated part of your home!
3. Sunroom or Enclosed Porch EntranceExterior barn doors can play a number of roles in a sunroom or an enclosed porch. Exterior barn doors with glass panels (either partial or full) allow sunlight to flood the interior space, similar to the airy aesthetic that glass-paned French doors create. Other barn doors are solid and can be installed to partially block sunlight as they slide open and closed. This option can limit unwanted sunlight and also provide a large open-air connection from the porch to the patio.
4. ShedsSheds are generally an unassuming part of a backyard but that doesn’t mean that they have to stay that way! A small shed holds the potential to be something truly unique and beautiful with the simple addition of a sliding door. Barn doors on outdoor sheds can create larger entryways which are helpful when moving storage in and out, especially when you are transporting bulky items like lawnmowers or leaf blowers. A sliding door makes it easy to open and close when your hands are full.
5. Entry GateWhether you’re looking for privacy for the front of your home, back patio, or garden, an exterior sliding barn door is a non-conventional way to create both a gorgeous and functional statement. These barn doors can be part of a larger, running fence or sandwiched between wired, glass, or open panels for a whimsical effect.
How to Install Exterior Barn DoorsBefore jumping in and purchasing a barn door, you’ll want to learn about the installation process to determine if this is a task you want to undertake alone or with professional help. The good news is that exterior barn door installation is very similar to installing interior sliding barn doors. But even if you don’t have any experience in installing interior doors, installing sliding exterior barn doors will be easy and simple for you if you follow the how-to guide below. Get an extra pair of hands involved to make it easier and faster. Of course, if you do not feel confident in completing the installation process, you can always hire a handyman or contact Artisan Hardware customer service for questions you may have.
Choose Your Door Just as Artisan Hardware crafts well-made interior doors, the company also has a quality selection of exterior sliding barn doors available. As you review your many options, don’t feel overwhelmed with choosing the best door for your home. The type of door is determined largely by where you intend on using it and on your style preference. The Rustic Exterior Barn Door and the Ranch Exterior Barn Door are both larger, heavy duty doors while the Grove Exterior Barn Door and the Orchard Exterior Barn Door are both slimmer, sleek choices. All Artisan Hardware doors are crafted from durable and long-lasting cedar wood that is a natural, anti-warp choice capable of withstanding wind, water, and time. These doors can be purchased as a single door or double door according to your spatial needs and the type of track system you choose: standard, biparting, or bypassing. And don’t think your only choice is a red barn door. Each door can be made-to-order according to your finish of choice, or it can arrive with an unfinished stain so that it can eventually be painted at home to match your decor preferences.
Choose HardwareIt’s also important to determine which sliding door hardware style you prefer or which one is necessary for your space since the type and amount of hardware will affect the installation process. Artisan Hardware likewise offers a gorgeous selection of quality hardware for exterior sliding barn doors. As with sliding barn doors, barn door hardware should also be chosen based on functionality and design, considering not only style and finish but weight capacity and spatial restrictions. Below are a few of the popular choices currently offered: Flat Track:
A simple and classic option generally used for traditional barn doors. Crafted from raw steel, the track is reliable and sturdy.Box Track:
A solid, rectangular track that attaches to the top of the door, preserving the face of the wood from drill holes or design-distracting hardware. No Show:
Choose this system
if standard hardware will not fit within your space or if you want to maximize the exposure of your door’s design. The track attaches to the back of the door so the hangers and wheels are hidden, leaving only a tiny view of bolts.Top Mount:
This track also attaches to the top of the door but features exposed wheels like a traditional flat track.
Choose Handles and LocksAnother choice you’ll have to make for your hardware kit is whether you want to include handles and locks. Since you’re installing an exterior barn door, you will most likely want to purchase a lock. A teardrop latch or rustic hook and eye latch are perfect for spaces where intrusion is not an issue or for areas like garages and sheds where internal locking is not a practical option or need. The Privacy Barn Door Lock and the Surface Mounted Privacy Lock are stronger types of locks that are ideal for barn doors that lead to the interior of a home since they can securely close from the inside. Handles are more optional than locks—it just depends on your design and functionality preference. These can easily be installed into any of the sliding barn doors offered through Artisan Hardware. These handles can be traditional pulls installed on either or both sides of the door or flush pulls that lay flat against the face of a door that needs to slide in front of a wall or behind another door in a bypassing track system.
Door Assembly: Once you’ve made all of these decisions, it’s time to decide how you would like your exterior sliding barn door to arrive: pre-assembled vs. unassembled. Purchasing a door pre-assembled makes installation much quicker. For an additional cost, the door will come fully built and attached to its frame. You will only need to assemble the hardware. An unassembled door will arrive exactly as it sounds: completely unassembled. If you choose this option, you will need to start with assembling the door slab.
Assembling Door SlabFor this process you’ll need a drill and a mallet. Everything else you need is included. Step 1:
Layout the frame of your door and line up the letters written on the edges of the beams. These beams are crafted as tongue and groove so that one edge of the wood fits into another.Step 2:
Place dowels into position and attach the top rail to a style, forming the beginning of the frame and creating an L shape.Step 3:
Begin placing panels one on top of the other to create the top half of the door slab.Step 4:
Place the middle rail securely on top of the panels. Use the mallet to make sure everything is secure.Step 5:
Repeat the panel process to create the bottom half of the door.Step 6:
Secure the bottom rail. Insert the remaining dowels and place a few space balls. Finish by placing the final style.Step 7:
If your door calls for support beams, you will finish the assembly process by installing these in place, generally diagonally across the top and/or bottom half of the door.Step 8:
Once your door is assembled, install any locks or handles you may have purchased.
Attach the Mounting BoardAfter assembling your panels into a door slab and frame, you can take a break from working on the actual door and begin preparing the area on which the track installation will take place. Find your wall studs and use a leveler to attach the mounting board onto your home’s exterior. This will distribute the weight of the system and its door to provide a secure attachment and prevent any unnecessary damage to the siding of the building. This is also a great time to install the floor mount, which is an optional (but helpful) piece of hardware on which your barn door slides. A floor mount prevents barn doors from swinging, creating a more secure and weather-proof fit.
Attach HangersHead back to your door slab and measure and mark exactly where your hangers will need to be drilled. Once you have your markings, go ahead and pre-drill your door. Then, put your hangers in place and attach them using the drill.
Install Track System and Hang Your DoorIn this step, you will attach your track system to the mounting board. As with your hangers, you’ll want to measure and mark, then pre-drill before actually installing the track onto the board. At this point, you’ll be ready to hang your door and its rollers from your track system.
Using Exterior Barn Doors In Your HomeWith a bit of careful research and planning, you’ll have no problem choosing and installing your exterior barn door. Take a look around your property in the next few days and imagine what your home could look like with the addition of sliding barn doors as decorative additions to windows or functional replacements for a garage, shutter, or gate. The classic barn door isn’t just for the interior of your home. It is an excellent option for adding timeless style to the outside of any building.