How to Build a Large Wooden Barn Door

Updated February 21, 2017

Barn doors are much larger than normal doors, so if you're seeking to build one, you need to take the weight and support into account more seriously. Barn doors that swing out need to be mounted on large and strong hinges, and sliding barn doors need to be properly balanced and hung on high-quality hardware. Thicker wood will make the door more effective at keeping heat in, but will also make it heavier.

Lay the 1-inch thick boards out on a flat surface, pressed together tightly. Lay them on a bench or table so that the ends of the boards are hanging off the sides of the table with the undersides accessible.

Lay a 2-by-6- board across the other boards, perpendicular to their direction and 1 foot down from what will be the top of the door.

Lay another 2-by-6-board parallel to the first one, about 1 foot up from what will be door's bottom.

Working from underneath the 1-inch boards, drive screws through them and into the 2-inch thick crosspieces. Drive two screws through each board and into the crosspiece.

Lay the 10-foot-long, 2-by-6-board between the two crosspieces diagonally, so it extends from one end of the lower crosspiece to the opposite end of the upper crosspiece.

Mark a line on this diagonal piece along the edges of the two diagonal pieces.

Cut along these lines so that the diagonal brace will fit in between the horizontal crosspieces, in a way that the three pieces make a "Z" shape.

Clamp the diagonal piece onto the door and stand the door up.

Drive screws through the 1-inch thick boards, which make up the door's front, into the 2-inch thick diagonal brace.

Snap a chalk line across the ends of the 1-inch boards, close to their ends. Cut along this line with a circular saw to make the top and bottom of the door square and even.

Attach three of the biggest hinges you can find to one side of the door.

Build a sliding barn door in the same way as you would build a swinging barn door, with the following exception.

Attach the top 2-by-6 crosspiece right at the top end of the door. This will allow you to attach the wheels that run along the sliding door track to the crosspiece, rather than to the ends of the 1-inch boards. This will make the door much stronger.

Prime the wood and paint the door to extend its life.

Things You'll Need

  • 16 boards, 1 inch thick by 6 inches wide by 8 feet long
  • 2 boards, 2 inches thick by 6 inches wide by 8 feet long
  • 1 board, 2 inches thick by 6 inches wide by 10 feet long
  • 100 screws, 2 inches long
  • Drill
  • Chalk line
  • 2 C-clamps
  • Measuring tape
  • Circular saw
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About the Author

Jagg Xaxx has been writing since 1983. His primary areas of writing include surrealism, Buddhist iconography and environmental issues. Xaxx worked as a cabinetmaker for 12 years, as well as building and renovating several houses. Xaxx holds a Doctor of Philosophy in art history from the University of Manchester in the U.K.