March 15, 2021 at 9:52am | Marc Iafrate
The cottage look has become a huge trend for homeowners, especially those with older homes that have lost a lot of their original charm to generic remodels over generations. One of the big elements of this new wave in design is the sliding barn door, a simple door mounted on a track that slides to cover a doorway.

  • Barn doors don’t insulate well. Because barn doors hang on a sliding track, rather than sealing shut, there’s more air, light, and sound infiltration around them. This is fine for a lot of uses, but may make them a poor choice for spaces like bedrooms or bathrooms where you’d like more privacy. If you have pets, for safety’s sake, choose a door and hardware that are heavy enough to keep the bottom of the door from being shoved forward to allow a smart dog or cat to open these doors from the bottom.
  • They do save a ton of space. Even though they’re not the greatest doors for insulation, barn doors can save a ton of space that a regular door will require to swing. Instead of losing a whole wall to opening a door, you can instead move the furniture a few inches off the wall to allow the barn door to slide behind. Unlike pocket doors, you don’t need to tear out a wall to install a barn door; you simply run along the outer wall. This can also help minimize the impact of doors that cover water closets and pantries.
  • Planning is important. Before you decide that you absolutely must have a barn door, look very carefully at the space where you think it should go. Remember, the door will need room to move along a track, so there must be room on both sides of the door opening (at least enough to allow for the hardware), and no elements that stick out of the wall. If you’ve got a flat light switch or outlet that will end up under the door, consider how that will affect your ability to use the electricity in the room.
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