Barn doors.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We had planned to have a sliding barn door installed on our new barn but are having second thoughts due to sliders not being weathertight or critter proof.

    The builder has suggested a garage door type affiar but we REALLY dislike garage doors,mainly because they aren't very 'barn-like'... :p

    We thought of having 2 swinging barn doors in place of the slider,what do y'all think?

    The builder says they will sag eventually and require replacement of the hinges.

    The doors would each be 41/2 feet wide and 9 feet tall.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Aintlifegrand

    Aintlifegrand Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm tough one. i am like you in that i dislike the appearance of garage doors. Why will the double doors sag eventually? Can't he do something to make them not sag like extra support ect? If a garage door becomes the option, maybe there are some nice ones that look like barn doors or maybe they have ones that are overlaid or covered with a barn door but function like a garage door sort of like the panels covering refrigerators or dishwashers that make them look like cabinets.
     

  3. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    I have NO idea why they will sag eventually,I guess because of the weight of the door on the hinges.

    There ARE garage doors that look just like barn doors and we saw a brochure on them at Lowes but I believe the price will be higher than the buildr simply building us doors...

    I also don't know how much we will be using the barn doors as that part of the barn has no specific purpose at this time....of course soon enough it will be full of 'stuff'.... :p
     
  4. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I just went through the same thing. My barn has an 8' door and a 16' door in the front, and a 9' door in the back (so I can just "drive through" when I'm pulling something I don't want to back in!)

    I wanted the sliding doors but my son (who is the builder) said they weren't practical and had problems with drafts, critters, etc. My next option was swinging doors, but he said the same thing.....sagging, and do I really want to shovel out the driveway so I can swing the doors open? I ended up get the overhead garage doors. I don't think they look as nice, but will sure be practical. At my age, I go for practical. :)
     
  5. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    Go with the swinging barn doors. Get decent hinges and they should last trouble free for a good while. Especially if they are only 4 1/2 ft by 9 ft.
     
  6. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Splurge for the real garage doors that fit securely but look like barn doors. In a major storm you won't have to worry and wouldn't it be great to be able to use an electronic garage door opener? Also, down the road when the door finally needs replacing, you can just order another at Lowe's and not have to jury-rig slider doors to fit.
     
  7. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well where the barn doors will be will be sheltered to some extent as there will be a deck above it.

    Also it is in an area of little snow...thank the Lord. :)

    Thanks for all the replies. :)
     
  8. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    Building swinging doors that size that dont sag or end up out of square will be a trick . Its not just the hinges but the wood its self . the door frame will have to be very solid which is a major cause for the sagging.
    You'll need Heavey duty hinges such as those used on semi trialers.
    building the doors so they last and dont sag is a comprimise between weight and strength .
    the classic Z brace provides some support . a variation would be far better though . have a welder make a Z out of 1/8 plate to be hiden under the 1x bracing such plates should also be used at hinge connecting points .
    the door frame should be braced the same way to carry the load .
    looks like a nice barn from the pics your very lucky will it be wood or steel siding makes a difference on how to consturct the doors to match
     
  9. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    It will be wood with a metal roof.

    We have VERY firm ideas as to the look we want...and even though metal is so much easier we couldnt do it.

    The builder is very good although a little slow to start but once going he seems to be full steam ahead.

    Called him this morning and the subfloor upstairs is down and the upper walls going in.

    By the time we go up this saturday it should look quite different from last week.
     
  10. Aintlifegrand

    Aintlifegrand Well-Known Member

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    Wow..that fast already? Amazing what can get done with a work crew...it took us 6 weeks to get the first floor and walls in place... :)
     
  11. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    In that case Id say 5/4 box car type siding tongue and grove with the metal Z behind the wooden Zbrace . the heaviest duty hinges you can find .
    on each side of the door frame inset 3/4" plywood flush with the studs spanning at least 18" on each side of the door frame . The hinges would be bolted to the siding and door on the outside with steel reenforcing pates on the back side .
    the Metal Z brace on each door would be screwed to each board of the door .
    a 4" wide metal zbrace can be covered easily with a 1x6 for looks a doble Z would be better on each door and would provide a metal backing for three hinges on each door .
    Another option would be for dutch type spilt doors . which would mean four hinges per side or two per half door section .
    The main problems with sagging come from not bracing and supporting the door frame.
     
  12. idahodave

    idahodave Well-Known Member

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    I'd take another look at the overhead doors that look like a barn door. A number of houses around here use them and they do look good.

    The overhead door will seal better than the others.

    Check with your builder for a comparison of site built vs the overhead door costs.

    Is there clearance above for an overhead door?
     
  13. Randy Rooster

    Randy Rooster Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I put sliding doors on my barn. You can get the hardware all special order at lowes. The track is basically a large diameter pipe with a slot in the bottom- the rollers fit inside the pipe. If you look around you can find someone who has done similar installations before. I did mine myself- it takes a bit of work and investigation, but I really like the results on my front and rear doors. You can also get a cover to go over the track when you are done which spiffs it up.
     
  14. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    OZ, I think it realy depends on how you want the door to operate. Hinged doors can be made sturdy enough to not sag. I think if you used 4x4's to attach the hinges to they would not flex, and would keep the door from sagging. There are sliding door rails that have w little sloped roof over them to keep the snow and ice out, and you can use small binders to keep the doors pulled tight together, and to the side of the barn to keep most of the weather out. We have a couple hinged doors, and quite a few sliders. The hinged doors swing inward so the snow outside doesnt prevent them from opening. course you shouldnt have any, or much trouble with snow.They are made with 2x6 tounge and groove glued together vertically.
     
  15. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    I live in an area that gets lots of wind. I needed barn doors for a couple 12 feet by 12 feet openings. I used an overhead sliding track (they can be made to keep out birds, etc.). At first I built 7 foot by 12 foot doors with a 2x6 frame, cut down to 1 inch thick at the overlapping corners. Then cut a "ledge" around the inner part and nailed 1x6 western red cedar tounge and groove to fill in the middle part. It was easy to slide, but the wind ruined them in no time. I made a steel angle iron frame for each door, bolting the 2x6 frame into the iron. I then used deck screws to keep the cedar boards in place. I think if you made an angle iron frame for your swinging doors, you wouldn't have to worry about sag. If you made the opening out of angle iron and welded hinges, it would fit snug and never sag. Since most of the iron is hidden, you could have the wooden face look like a real barn door, while having a lifetime fit. Personally, I'd make the hinges out of short pieces of pipe with a steel rod thru them for hinge pins.
     
  16. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I wouldn't have anything you can't put an electric door opener on. Life is too short to spend time opening and closing vehicle type doors. That may explain the multiple button opener controls on everything from my vehicles to tractor to ATV.
     
  17. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sliding track barn doors can seal very well and be critter proof. If they couldn't, we would be using them. My aunt has a set that cam lock down hard against the sides of the barn. Those are virtually air tight. The doors are so heavy a bear would have a tough time coming through them.

    Big swinging doors do sag over time from their own weight. They also bow the sides of the building inwards. The bigger the door, the worse both problems. A plywood door won't sag the way a multi-plank one will.
     
  18. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My pole barn has two 12 foot openings for door, they weren't install when we bought the place. I was going to put sliding doors on, but the way the barn was situated one wouldn't allow me to get into the pasture with it open. I ended up putting two 5 foot doors on each opening and filled in the rest with siding. I used 3 heavy duty hinges per side, I don't think they will every sag. It makes it nice that you only have to open one side to get in.

    Bobg
     
  19. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    One of the old barns I've taken down used sliding doors, but it used dual tracks, one rail on the inside of the doorway, the other down the aisle for each door. This let the door, when closed to press against the wall from the inside, when you opened it it slid into the barn against the first stalls keeping the aisle clear for wagons ect. I'll try a real crude visual:

    o---------oo----------o
    | |
    | |
    | | where the 'o' is the bracket that holds the door. When the door is opened it would slide down and look like:

    o---------------------o
    | |
    | |
    | |
    | |
    o o

    Also, the door was 1" hemlock, fairly weather resistant but much lighter than poplar or oak.
     
  20. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    The sliding doors work fine if they're properly installed. We put a piece of channel in the ground at the bottom a,d pull-down latches to snug it tight against the building when closed.

    Nothing could come under the door or through the sides...talk to someone who installs them...