How to Build Barn Doors

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Real barn doors are designed for heavy use. One of the best materials to build a barn door with is the LVL beam. These beams are 3-inch thick, very strong and easy to work with. The LVL beam will provide the framework for your barn door, along with regular 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch thick maple, or oak boards.

Things You'll Need

  • Several 8-feet LVL beams
  • 3/4-inch or 1/2-inch oak, maple or other hardwood boards
  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Barn Hinges
  • Cut four LVL beams to half the width of your total barn door opening. Then cut four LVL beams to the total height minus 8-inches to make up for the width of the cross beams, and to leave 2-inches of space below for the door to swing open.

  • Create a simple box frame for each door by laying the LVL beams together and attaching them with a metal brace.

  • Measure diagonally across the two door frames from the inside corners at the top and bottom point. Then cut your cross brace to size. Mark off the appropriate angles, and cut the cross beam so it fits right inside the frame using a miter saw.

  • Attach the cross frame with nails, and make sure it fits snugly inside the frame.

  • Cut the 3/4-inch boards to the length of the frame. Be sure you cut enough to cover both barn door frames. Do this by measuring the total length of both frames and dividing it by the width of the boards you are using.

  • Lay your boards onto the frame, nailing each one to the top, bottom and cross brace with heavy duty, galvanized 2-inch nails.

  • Attach your hardware including your handle and hinges. Attach the handle to the door making sure your screws sink into a brace)

  • Apply your barn door stain to the boards to complete your project!

Tips & Warnings

  • Only use the highest quality, galvanized nails to attach boards to the frame. Use 2-inch outdoor wood screws to attach the hinges. Because the barn will be weather-exposed, galvanized nails and screws are necessary.
  • If the barn doors are very tall (more than 8-feet high), consider using a horizontal center brace with a cross brace located at each half way point for each door. This creates a more sturdy surface than just one diagonal brace.
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