It took a bit of planning to decide on the best way to build these doors. We took many factors into consideration, including how sturdy they would feel, if they would hang straight (without warping), their ability to block out noise, and making them look professional-grade. With every project, we think, “Will this help increase the value of our house?” We don’t want to put in a ton of work on a project for little return.
Before I continue, I want to let you know that we had some issues with the wood warping and not laying as flat as it should be. That’s one of the downfalls of pine: it’s inexpensive, but it tends to warp. We took quite a few extra measures to keep the doors flat and we had to fudge some of the measurements to make sure everything fit together properly. If you’re taking on this project, make sure you MEASURE CAREFULLY and tweak along the way as needed. Carefully pick through ALL the boards at the store to make sure you’re buying the straightest and flattest ones they have.
If we had to rate the difficulty of this project on a scale of 1-5, it would probably be a 4.5 or 5. Make sure you have an experienced DIY-er (or handyman!) by your side to help.
We decided to use 2×4″ boards for the backing of the whole barn door, then 1×6″ and 1×4″ boards for the design on the front. That means our doors were about 2.5″ thick! This is good for us, though, because we want these doors to help block sound from the TV. If the door didn’t need to be so heavy-duty (for example, for a closet or pantry), it would be better to use shiplap instead of 2×4″ boards.
Our doorway is 61″ wide by 82.5″ tall (with the trim), so we needed to make sure the doors covered the opening as well as the trim on all sides.