How to Make a Sliding Barn Door With a Window


Sliding barn doors are one method for controlling access and providing security to areas with oversized doors. The hardware can be purchased as a kit which includes the rail and end stops as well as the wheeled carriages for the top of the door. The door itself will consist of a lumber frame, covered on both sides with sheeting. A small, fixed sash window can be installed to provide light and visual security to see what is on the other side of the door.

Things You'll Need

  • Barn door hardware with track and carriages
  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • Stud finder
  • Treated deck screws
  • 2-by-4 lumber
  • L brackets
  • Plywood
  • Circular saw
  • Utility window
  • 1-by-4 lumber
  • Measure the opening. Cut your rail to size, twice the width of the opening. Determine which direction your door will open. You need a space as wide as from the door opening to the side the door opens to. Measure above the door the height of the wheeled carriages, plus the track, plus the thickness of the mounting brackets on top of the track, and use a chalk line and level to make a line across the area at that height.

  • Use an electronic stud locator to find the frame inside the wall along the line. Depress the buttons on either side of the unit and run it along the wall, marking every place the device beeps and ligths up. Position one mounting bracket, at least one every 24 inches, along the area in which the door will be mounted. Align each bracket with a stud, or framing member, as indicated by the marks you made. Mark the screw holes on the wall. Drill pilot holes with a 1/8-inch bit.

  • Position each bracket over the sets of pilot holes and drive a 3-inch treated deck screw into the wall through each hole in every bracket. Install the brackets with the open mouth of the C-shape facing out, and the flat face against the wall. Set the track into the open faces. Drive a set screw through the top hole in each bracket to lock the track in place.

  • Cut 2-by-4 lumber to fit vertically from the bottom of the track, minus the height of the wheeled carriages, and ½ inch for ground clearance. Cut two, one for each outside edge. Divide the length of your track rail in half and cut three 2-by-4s to that length, plus 4 inches.

  • Lay the two vertical 2-by-4s flat on one wide face, parallel and spaced apart, the length of the horizontal 2-by-4s. Position one horizontal 2-by-4 between and even with the top of these pieces. Position one at the bottom and one in the center. Install a 2-inch L bracket at each top and bottom corner on the inside of the joint between the horizontal and vertical pieces. Install four on the center board, two on top and two on the bottom. Drive 1 5/8-inch treated deck screws through every hole in each bracket, joining the horizontal and vertical pieces.

  • Cut two 2-by-4s to fit between the top of the middle 2-by-4, and the bottom of the top 2-by-4. Mount them with L brackets in the same way, centered in the door, ½ inch wider apart than the window jamb on the inside face. Cut a 2-by-4 to fit horizontally between these two and mount it ½ inch higher than the height of the window jamb on the inside face, using L brackets.

  • Cover both faces of the door with ½-inch plywood. Use smooth plywood on the inside and grooved "barn style" paneling on the outside. Screw the panels to the door with 1 5/8-inch treated deck screws. The plywood comes in 4-by-8 sheets. Cut your pieces to fit, so the whole door is covered and the edges are flush with the edges of the 2-by-4 frame. Measure and mark the window opening and cut it out with a circular saw.

  • Set the window in from the outside, centered in the opening. Screw the trim around the window frame to the plywood siding. Cut four pieces of 1-by-4 to frame the inside. Cut each corner at a 45 degree angle, so the inside of the miters is ½-inch taller and wider than the inside dimension of the window jamb. Screw the 1-by-4 to the inside, with the corners matched up to "picture frame" the window.

  • Attach one carriage to each corner of the door, 6 inches in from either side, with its inside face-flush with the inside face of the door. Drill pilot holes as you did for the brackets, with a 3/16-inch bit. Drive the lag bolts that come with your hardware, down into the top of the door's edge with a socket wrench to secure them. Consult the hardware instructions that come with the kit for more specifics, according to your brand.

  • Slip the left carriage into the right end of the track, rolling it in, and lifting the right edge of the door to slip the right carriage in. Slip the end stops onto the track at each end and tighten the set screws to hold them in place.


  • "The Complete Guide to Building Barns and Outbuildings A Step-by-step Guide": Atlantic Publishing Company, 2009
  • "Building Small Barns, Shed & Shelters": Monte Burch; Garden Way Publishing, 1983
  • Photo Credit barn image by Cathy Kovarik from
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