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Before You Buy Barn Doors

Barn doors are a great idea in many situations. They add an updated look to a room, and there are so many different styles that can fit any decor. They can be ordered painted or stained in many different types of wood. They are also available in clear or obscured glass.

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How to Properly Install a Barn Door: Key Considerations

Are you considering installing a barn door in your home? This guide will walk you through the basics, from measuring openings to understanding potential issues. Read on to ensure a smooth installation process.

Opening Sizes Are Essential!


To install a barn door correctly, ensure the opening has at least the same width as the space the door will cover on either side. For example, if you’re covering a 32-inch opening, you’ll need at least 36 inches on either side for the door to slide open. If you have limited space, consider double barn doors, but you still need at least half the distance of your opening on each side.

Openings larger than 32 inches can be challenging for barn doors. Most barn doors are up to 36 inches wide unless custom-made. The door should be at least 4 inches wider than the opening. For a 36-inch opening, a door larger than typical sizes might be necessary. Custom doors can be up to 42 inches wide, with some providers like Top of The Trades offering doors up to 60 inches wide.


Standard barn doors are 84 inches tall, but you need about 93 inches of height above your door opening. Using a ledger board can reduce this size, but if your ceiling is lower or you have crown molding, ensure there are 90 to 93 inches from the floor to the top.

Wall Conditions

Barn doors do not sit flush against the wall. They project up to 3 1/2 inches from the wall, depending on the hardware. The clearance between the wall and the barn door is usually about 1 1/4 inches. Ensure nothing obstructs the door’s path, such as picture frames or nearby furniture.

Important Considerations for Barn Doors

Locks Are Not Standard

Barn doors typically do not come with locks. While custom locks are available, they are not standard. This could be an issue for areas needing privacy, like bathrooms. For bedrooms, lack of a lock might not be a concern. Please ask us about our Magic closer! It closes and opens with just a touch of a finger! 

Gaps and Privacy Concerns

When fully closed, barn doors often leave a gap between the door and the wall, compromising privacy. This might not be an issue in some areas, but for those needing complete privacy, consider adding edge covers. However, these covers might not be aesthetically pleasing and are aftermarket adaptations. Ensure your installer is skilled in applying these modifications.

Most doors should be ordered at least 4 inches wider than the opening, providing at least 2 inches of coverage on each side when closed.


Installing a barn door can enhance your home’s beauty and functionality. By following these guidelines and considering potential issues, you can ensure a successful installation. For more information or professional installation services, contact Top of the Trades today.

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