Last fall we bought a 1960 ranch style house in Western North Carolina. It reminded me of my grandparents’ house, I fell in love with it! It didn’t seem to need a lot of work, just come updating/cosmetic stuff here & there. Nothing we hadn’t done in the past, nothing too scary…or so we thought.
At some point, the carport had been converted into a den with a laundry room & bathroom. Enter winter- below freezing temps, snow, and just bone-chilling cold for days on end. Well, one morning we woke up to a puddle of water coming out from under the wall in the bathroom off of the laundry room- a pipe had burst.
We knew the house had old copper pipes and we were planning to convert to PEX piping as we did our updating so we weren’t too concerned at this point. To make a long story short, when we got into the wall to examine the pipe we found a mess- lack of insulation & sealing of the masonry walls which over time had apparently led to mold growing on the walls- yuck.
Our not so big deal laundry room/bathroom facelift just turned to a major reno. Thankfully, months later, we are finally about done with this project.
I love pocket doors, probably because my grandparents’ house had them. We were able to put a pocket door in for the bathroom door but unfortunately because the wall going into the laundry room is brick we could not put one there. Previously, the laundry room door was just a cheap hollow core door that opened into the room. I hated that because it took up precious space in my laundry room. So, after some brainstorming, we decided to go with a barn door.
After checking with the local home improvement stores about ordering the door from them, we discovered that due to the size of the door it was either going to be REALLY expensive or not even an option to order a door in the size we needed. So, we decided to make our own…seriously the BEST idea ever! The outcome is fantastic & it was surprisingly easy to make!
Here is how we constructed our Barn Door.
First, we measured the outside of the door frame, from one side to the other. So that the door would overlap the trim enough when closed, we added 2 inches to this number.
The next measurement was from the floor to the top of the door frame, again adding 2 inches to this number. I sketched a design of how I wanted the door to look so the hubs & I would be on the same page. Fair warning, I can’t really draw to save my life…
I wanted the boards on the top, bottom, and middle to be a little wider compared to the boards on the sides so I decided a 1”x6” board would be perfect and then decided to go with 1”x4” boards for the sides & the diagonal pieces.
The barn door track we used came from Amazon (WAY cheaper compared to buying it from a home improvement store like Lowes or Home Depot- when I say way cheaper I mean over $100 cheaper).
The main thing to remember when buying your track is to make sure it is at least twice as long as the width of your door, a little longer is ideal.
For example, our door is 44 inches wide so I needed a track at least 88 inches long. I bought an 8-foot track- 96 inches long. The track we used said it would accommodate a 1 3/8” to 1 3/4” thick door. With this in mind, we decided to use 3/4 inch blondewood plywood as the main portion of the door.
At Lowes, a 4’ x8’ sheet was $49.98. I could’ve used a cheaper sheet of plywood however, the blondewood sheet was already very smooth which means less sanding for me & I don’t know about y’all but I’ll pay a little more if it means less sanding !! The other reason I chose the blondewood is that it does not have any big unsightly knots in it.
Using an 8-foot straight edge clamped onto the board, the hubs cut the plywood to our measurements of 44”x87” with the skill saw.
After cutting the plywood to size, we next cut the 1”x4”x8’ boards to the appropriate length for the vertical pieces. These 1”x4” boards run the whole length of the plywood. The hubs the used the miter saw to make these cuts.
We then clamped these pieces onto the plywood so we could measure for the 1”x6” boards. We did the top & bottom 1”x6” pieces first & then found the middle of the door & measured for that piece.
Those boards were also clamped into place. We had some leftover 1”x6” boards from the laundry room & bathroom baseboards, that’s why they are already painted white.
The 1”x4” boards for the diagonal pieces were cut & measured next. We- the hubs- marked the lines with a straight edge & made the cuts with the miter saw.
After doing a dry fit to make sure our measurements were correct & that it all fit together nicely, I gave everything a quick sanding till it was nice & smooth.
Next, we started assembling our door. We used wood glue on the back of the 1”x4” & 1”x6” boards to secure them to the plywood & then put some clamps on the boards while the glue set.
After the glue had set, about 30-45 minutes, we used 18 gauge 1 1/4” brad nails with our pneumatic brad nailer to make sure the boards were good & secure.
Next, we applied wood filler to the nail holes & to the joints of the boards using a plastic putty knife. I buy the wood filler that starts out purple & dries a natural wood color so you know when it is ready to be sanded. Just make sure you put enough wood filler in to account for any shrinkage that may occur as it dries.
Once the wood filler was dry, we moved the door back outside & using my orbital sander I sanded these areas until they were smooth. I use my orbital sander for almost everything that needs sanding unless it is something very small or delicate. It saves me a ton of time!
Next step- paint! I vacuumed the door off to make sure there was not any dust left over from the sanding process. Using a Valspar brand semi-gloss paint & primer in one I painted both the front & back of the door. The color is called White Cotton by Sherwin Williams. I put three coats of paint on the front of the door & two on the back.
So, like I said earlier, our barn door track came from Amazon. I’ll list the link at the end of the post. We are very satisfied with the quality of the track, it is heavy duty & looks fantastic! We mounted a board to the wall to attach the track so that the door would be a far enough distance off of the wall.
The directions that came with the track were easy to understand & follow. It did not take long to mount the track or attach the brackets to the door. The door handle also came from Amazon.
The baseboards still need to be put down in the den as does the threshold between the den & laundry room so please ignore all that!
I LOVE the way this door turned out! It was so surprisingly easy to build & install!! We saved a TON of money building our DIY British Brace Style Sliding Barn Door!
Here is our supply list:
¾” 4’x8’ sheet of blondewood plywood– $49.98
1”x4”x8’ board x4- $4.70/ea
1”x6”x8’ board x2- $5.90/ea
Wood Glue- $3.98
Wood Filler– $5.98
(all of the above were purchased at Lowes)
8 Foot Barn Door Track/Hardware Kit- $59.99
Barn Door Handle– $23.99
We spent a grand total of $174.52 on the supplies specific for making/hanging the door…y’all this is LESS than the amount I would’ve had to spend on JUST the barn door track at Lowes…insert some hallelujah hands here for sure!!
DIY-ing on a Budget is doable!!
The following items were used but we did not have to purchase them specifically for this project:
- Skil Saw
- 8ft straight edge
- Clamps (Harbor Freight has great prices on clamps & they come with a lifetime warranty)
- Miter Saw
- Saw Horses
- Bostitch Pneumatic Brad Nailer with nails (one of the best purchases the hubs insisted on buying but shhhhh don’t tell him I said that)
- Plastic putty knife
- Orbital Sander
- Battery Powered Drill