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7 Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Large Barn Door

Tuesday November 28th, 2023
One of the many benefits of a sliding barn door is that it can cover a large door opening—such as the wide opening between a dining room and a living room. While a large barn door is perfect for such a space, there are some critical things to keep in mind when purchasing an oversized barn door. These include: 

7 Large Barn Door Essentials

  1. Measuring the Space
  2. Different Materials
  3. Hardware Requirements 
  4. Customization and Design
  5. Installation
  6. Maintenance
  7. Safety and Security 
Large or oversized barn doors have more specific installation and care requirements than standard barn doors. Because they are heavier than a normal sliding door, you want to make sure they are structurally sound and safe for continuous use. 
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the seven essential things you need to know to prepare for your large barn door—ensuring you have the knowledge required to complete the project from start to finish. 

7 Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Large Barn Door 

Before you begin designing and ordering your custom large barn door, we recommend reviewing these seven points. That way, you know exactly what measurements you need, the materials you want, the hardware needed, and more. 

1. Measuring the Space

First, you’ll need to find out the dimensions of the large opening where you want to install the barn door. How you measure the barn door opening depends on whether the doorway has trim or molding. These measurements will tell you the minimum coverage needed for the doorway, but the door can be larger if desired. 

If the door opening has molding or trim, you’ll want to measure from the outside edge of the vertical doorway molding to the outside edge of the opposite vertical molding. This is your door opening width. 

To measure the door opening height with molding, measure from the floor to the outside edge of the molding on top of the doorway. You’ll want to subtract a half inch from the length to ensure the door has floor clearance to properly slide open and closed. 

If the door opening doesn’t have molding, measure from the vertical edge of the doorway to the opposite vertical edge to find the door opening width. Add one to two inches on either side of the opening for a total two to four inches of additional door width. This allows the sliding barn door to overlap the door opening and ensures the doorway width is completely covered by the barn door. 

To measure the height of the door opening, measure from the floor to the top edge of the doorway, allowing a half-inch clearance as described above. 

You’ll also want to make sure there is enough wall space for the large barn door to slide when it is opened. The barn door track will be twice the length of the barn door dimensions, so you’ll want to make sure there’s enough wall space next to the door opening to accommodate that as well. 

2. Different Materials 

Once you have your measurements, you’ll want to consider what kind of material you want your barn door to be—wood or metal. These materials have their own aesthetics for sure, but it’s also important to consider the material when ordering an oversized barn door because of its weight. 
Solid wood doors will be heavier than metal doors, but they will also be incredibly sturdy and aesthetically pleasing for rustic design schemes. 

Metal doors will be lighter, and thus easier to maneuver—depending on the metal you choose. For an interior sliding barn door, aluminum or steel is best, while an external door should be stainless steel. 

If you are ordering an oversized sliding barn door, metal will be easier to install. But if you desire a large wooden barn door, you’ll need heavy duty barn door hardware to accommodate its weight. 

3. Hardware Requirements 

As mentioned under measurements, you’ll need to accommodate wall space for the hardware—specifically the barn door track—which will be twice the length of the door. Hardware is also important to consider when ordering an oversized barn door because you’ll need a heavy duty barn door hardware kit. This kit is specifically made for large, heavy barn doors so that they are structurally sound and safe to use.

A barn door hardware kit includes everything you need to properly install your large barn door. What’s included in the kit depends on which system you need, such as a standard system for a single door or a bypass barn door hardware system for a double barn door. That said, they will always include hangers, a mounting track, wall spacers, a floor guide, stoppers, anti-jump brackets, installation hardware, and installation instructions.  

If you want to order a large barn door, get in touch with Rustica’s design team for details about our large barn door hardware kits so we can make sure you receive all the necessary hardware to properly and safely install your new oversized barn door. 

4. Customization and Design 

This step is where your creativity comes on board—you have full control of every design element for your custom door to make it one-of-a-kind. 

The customization options available depend on the type of door you want. For example, a wood door with glass will have specific customization options for the wood and glass panels. You can choose what wood species you want, as well as optional wood finish, texture, or paint color. There are a variety of decorative glass options that can provide your glass barn door with privacy and textural character. Some of these glass styles include frosted, citrus, and palm. 

If you design a metal door, you’ll have the ability choose your preferred metal type. Rustica offers aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. Steel is the most price-conscious option, while aluminum and stainless steel are stronger, more durable, and resistant to rust and corrosion. From there, you can select a metal finish—there are several to choose from, including flat black, clear coated raw steel, and even luxurious modern gold. 

The customization process for a metal door also allows you to select your door pull style. There are a few different barn door pulls to choose from, each with its own functional and aesthetic benefits. Choosing a barn door pull style is optional, and if you don’t want this included with your custom large barn door, the metal door frame will not be drilled or set with rivenuts. 

No matter what type of door you design—metal or wood—you’ll have the option to include barn door hardware. This includes choosing the barn door system, hanger style, metal finish, barn door rollers or wheel style, track length, track holes, stop style, and door guide.  

You can also include the front and back handles for your door, which gives you a variety of styles to choose from and allows you to input the handle size and finish. By opting to include large barn door hardware with your order, you’ll have everything you need in one purchase to install your DIY barn door. 

Rustica’s impressive customization options give you control of the design process, allowing you to create your own personal masterpiece—whether that’s a rustic door made with reclaimed wood or a stylish modern barn door with polished stainless steel. 

5. Installation

Once you’ve designed and ordered your large barn door, it’s time for installation. With oversized barn doors, it’s important to consider the door’s weight and to determine if the wall is strong enough to accommodate it. If not, you’ll need reinforced structural support or headers to manage the weight. 

How you do this depends on whether you’re installing an oversized barn door on a new wall or an existing wall. For a new wall, you’ll want to install structural support in the direction the door will open. If you’re building a new wall for a big barn door—whether that’s for a garage or commercial building—you’ll need to do further research on how to best construct the wall to reinforce the weight of the door. 

If you’re installing a large barn door on an existing wall, you will need a header board to carry the weight of the door. If there is door casing present, remove that before installing a new header. 

When installing your new large barn door, you’ll want to have a partner or two to help you install the barn door panel safely. Because oversized barn doors are more complicated to install than the average door, consider hiring a professional to complete the task for you.  

6. Maintenance 

Now that you have a fully installed and functioning barn door, it’s important to take care of the door with regular maintenance. Every six months or so, you’ll want to check the hardware and door track to make sure they are still in good condition and that the door maintains its alignment. 

It’s also important to clean your door, as well as lubricate and tighten the hardware every so often. This is especially true for exterior barn doors, which require more frequent cleaning and maintenance checks than an interior door. 

You can dramatically increase the lifespan of your large barn door by regularly maintaining it and routinely checking the hardware. This will save yourself time and money in the long run by avoiding significant repair costs. 

7. Safety and Security 

There are a few additional hardware accessories to consider adding to your large barn door to increase its safety and security. 

Barn door locks are essential if you wish to increase the security of your door. You may also want to consider barn door sweeps for increased privacy. Sweeps fill the tight space between the barn door edge and wall. A bathroom door is the perfect example of a barn door that would benefit from a barn door sweep, as it gives the occupant full privacy and reduces the sounds and smells that are able to pass through the barn door gap. 

It’s also important to install the proper floor guides, handles, and stoppers for your barn door. This ensures the door opens with ease for everyone, and that it doesn’t come off its track. These accessories are included in a sliding barn door hardware kit, but you can order them separately if they ever need replacing. 

Installing and Maintaining a Large Barn Door 

A variety of spaces can benefit from the addition of a large barn door. Whether you need to separate a large opening between two rooms or you want to upgrade your garage doors, oversized barn doors will do the trick. But with their large size comes additional responsibility—you must know how to properly prepare, install, and maintain your large barn doors to ensure they are safe to use and function for years to come. 

If you’re ready to put your knowledge into action, start designing your custom large barn door with Rustica today! 

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