Anyone who spends time browsing home renovation blogs knows that interior barn doors add character to any home. As homes generally get smaller—and more expensive— more homeowners are turning to the barn door trend to break up spaces.
Installing barn doors doesn’t require a lot of expertise. Hiring someone to install your doors could cost as much as $1000 or more, so many homeowners choose to install the doors themselves.
But if you don’t avoid common barn door buying mistakes, the process could become more complicated and costly than expected.
Avoiding these 8 common mistakes when buying barn doors will make the installation simple. You can enjoy your doors for years to come. Here are 8 things to avoid with your barn doors.
#1. Forgetting to Add a Floor Guide
Before you start installing barn doors, make sure you have purchased the necessary hardware and accessories.
A sliding door guide or floor guide may not be the first thing on your mind, but these tiny additions make a difference in how your door functions.
Most floor guides are floor-mounted. Installing them will help prevent the door from hitting the wall when you move it. This will protect the door and your wall from damage caused by the impact.
Adding a floor guide is easiest to do at the time of installation, so it is important that you don’t forget this step.
#2. Not Protecting Wood Finishes
There are a number of options for barn doors, but most have surfaces that require TLC.
If doors are not properly prepared before they are installed they can become susceptible to damage. This might include warping, twisting—even cracking.
Consider the environment your door will be in. Think about factors that may damage the doors including sunlight, or temperatures.
Take time to seal your doors with a proper finish. This will protect the doors from drastic temperature changes and moisture.
#3. Measuring Incorrectly is One of the Biggest Barn Door Buying Mistakes
One of the biggest barn door buying mistakes you can make is buying a door or doors with incorrect measurements.
Barn doors do offer some flexibility. For example, you may decide to choose a door that overlaps the frame slightly. But, if you don’t take proper measurements for the barn door size, you may risk buying doors that look awkward.
The wrong size door may be too large, or leave gaps if it’s not large enough. To measure correctly, measure the height and width of the door frame. Leave additional space for overlapping if you want sliding doors to extend past the frame.
#4. Not Thinking About Privacy
There are many barn door designs. You may consider placing the barn doors on a sliding track, or you may create a site with swinging doors.
Barn doors come in various materials and thicknesses. But if you’re installing a barn door, make sure you consider how it will impact your privacy.
This may not be an issue for communal spaces like kitchens and living rooms, but if you’re placing a barn door on a bathroom or bedroom, privacy should be a priority. Think about how the door will block light and sound. Consider this when you’re comparing barn door costs as the more affordable door may not work in the space you are renovating.
Thicker wood can help block sound. Overlapping a larger door will block light and sound. If the room is a private space, consider purchasing hardware that will allow you to add a locking mechanism.
#5. Not Adding a Soft Stop or Hush Wheels
Two mechanisms can be added to barn doors to make them quieter.
A soft stop helps to grab the door and gradually ease it to the end. This prevents slamming. Hush wheels work like regular wheels on a door, but they have a ring made from polymer.
When you combine soft stops and hush wheels, the door will be dramatically quieter. This is important in any space, but it is especially important in quiet spaces. You should opt for these mechanisms in an office or bedroom.
#6. Buying Low-Quality Hardware
Most homeowners have no issue falling head over heels in love with a barn door or set of barn doors. But very few people consider the hardware their barn doors will have.
It’s easy to cheap out on hardware for your doors, especially when you’ve just invested in expensive doors. But choosing the wrong hardware can dramatically impact the result.
Many hardware kits come with aluminum. Aluminum is a more affordable choice, but it won’t offer long-term durability.
Instead, opt for hardware made of powder-coated colors, or stainless steel. If you’re looking for more of a rustic look, steel is incredibly sturdy. Just know that steel will likely rust over time as it oxidizes, but it can look beautiful!
#7. Using the Wrong Cleaner
Even barn doors with wood finishes will require more maintenance than other doors in your home. If you want to keep your doors looking crisp and healthy for years to come, you will need to ensure you are cleaning them regularly.
If you don’t clean your doors, they will develop a buildup of dust and dirt. But choosing the wrong cleaner can be even worse.
Use a damp cloth made of microfiber. This will prevent scratching on the surface. Using too much water can create water damage.
Make sure you read what is in a cleaner and avoid abrasive chemicals. Avoid anything with soap or oil-based cleaners as they can cause staining and permanent damage to your doors.
#8. Purchasing the Wrong Handles
Buying the wrong handles can cause your doors to be awkward to move. It is important to consider the ideal weight and size handle based on the weight and size of the door.
Choose a handle that can pull a heavy door, and make sure the handle is easy to grab. Remember that you need to enjoy your doors for years to come, so it’s important they are easy to use.
You should also make sure the handles are of good quality, and suit the look of the door.
Make Barn Door Installation Easy
Barn doors have become a popular addition to any home decor, with many homeowners choosing the DIY method for installation. But if you aren’t careful, you will risk making frustrating and costly mistakes.
By avoiding the 8 barn door buying mistakes in this guide, you will ensure the installation process goes smoothly. You will be happy with the doors for years to come!
For more tips like this, follow the Home Improvement section of our website.