How to Build Rolling Barn Doors

Rolling barn doors are both functional and attractive.
Build and install a sliding barn doorBuild and install a sliding barn door
If weighted correctly, they are easier to maneuver and are most helpful during windy weather because you won’t have to fight to open and close the door. When snow might otherwise block the movement of a regular door, rolling barn doors provide an easier entrance and exit. In addition, they allow more room in your barn because it requires less space to operate.

Step 1

Measure the width and height of the door’s space with the tape measure to determine the size of the frame. Mark the height and the width of the door frame to the 2-by-4 boards. Cut the 2-by-4 boards according to the measurements that you marked with a saw. If you need a heavier frame, cut two matching pieces for each side of the door frame and stack and nail them together. Alternatively, you can also use 4-by-4 inch lumber.

Step 2

Lay out the frame pieces on a flat, solid surface. Check if the pieces are even with a carpenter’s level. Nail the frame pieces together with a nail gun.

Step 3

Nail or screw metal braces across the corners of the frame. This will strengthen the frame and make it more sturdy.

Step 4

Measure the width and height of your new frame to determine the length and number of planks you will use for the barn door. Mark the measurements on the 4-by-1 boards and then cut the boards accordingly.

Step 5

Lay the cut 4-by-1 boards on the frame. Check if they’re straight using the carpenter’s level. When you are sure of the placement, apply wood glue at the inner side of the door frame where the 4-by-1 door boards will be attached. Then affix the door boards and nail them into the frame.

Step 6

Lay the sliding door track at the top of the door frame. The track should be positioned on the back side of the barn door. Mark where the tracks will be attached. Use a carpenter’s level to make sure that the mark is straight. Screw the metal track onto the frame.

Step 7

Arrange the track wheels at the bottom of the frame and mark their placement. Screw the track wheels to the bottom of the frame.

Step 8

Attach the other sliding door track to the barn wall. The placement of the track should match the track on the door. Use a level to make sure that the tracks are even. Before attaching the track to the wall, check the placement with the carpenter’s level. When you are sure, nail or screw the tracks to the barn walls.

Things You Will Need

  • 2-by-4 inch boards
  • 4-by-1 inch planks
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Saw
  • Nail gun
  • Galvanized nails
  • Metal braces
  • 2 sliding barn door tracks
  • Track wheels
  • Power drill
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue

Tip

  • Always measure everything more than once.

Warning

  • Consider the weather in your area when building barn doors. If you live in an area with strong winds, you should be extra careful and more precise in weighting and fitting your barn doors.

About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Michelle Raphael has been writing computer and technology articles since 1997. Her work has appeared in “Mac World” magazine and “PC Connections” magazine. Raphael received the George M. Lilly Literary Award in 2000. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from California State University.