Patrick's Barn: Two Big Doors Make a Big Difference - Fine Homebuilding

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Editor's Notepad

Editor's Notepad


Patrick's Barn: Two Big Doors Make a Big Difference

comments (11) July 13th, 2012 in Blogs
patrick_mccombe Patrick McCombe, Associate editor

This is the front of our new barn. Until a couple of days ago, the front elevation looked really bad because of the missing doors.
The lean-to doors are made from 6-in. widths of shiplap pine I bought for siding. The board-and-batten doors swing inward, so I was able to use smaller hinges. Casters on the latch side carry half the weight. This saved me $300 compared to hinges that could carry the whole load.
This was the first time my little boy used a paint roller. He painted both sides of the two sheets that would become the flat panels in the fake doors on the main barn. He did a really good job.
Here my boy is painting another panel because I cut one with the grain running the wrong way. I felt like a complete knucklehead, but he made me feel better with his consoling words. He even volunteered to prime the replacement.
I secured the plywood panels into a rabbet I milled into the stock. I used screws so I could replace the panels easily if they succumb to the weather or bugs at some point. I rigged up three drills: one for predrilling, one for countersinking, and one for driving.
This is the front of our new barn. Until a couple of days ago, the front elevation looked really bad because of the missing doors.Click To Enlarge

This is the front of our new barn. Until a couple of days ago, the front elevation looked really bad because of the missing doors.


It probably shouldn't have bothered me, but I couldn't help worrying about what our neighbors were thinking about our barn project. It might be my Appalachian upbringing, but the neighbors having to look at tar-paper siding where a pair of fake sliding doors were meant to go was wearing on me for months.

I finally turned my attention to building the faux sliding doors after finishing a pair of in-swing, board-and-batten carriage doors on the lean-to section of the building. This was the last hole in the envelope. Now that I could secure the building and keep out the weather fully, I decided to make the faux frame-and-panel doors from the remaining white pine I bought months ago. The only material specially purchased for the doors was two sheets of BC plywood and a gallon of "chrome green" paint from Benjamin Moore. I think the total was less than $100.

A couple more coats of green paint, and both sets of doors will be finished. I will then be able to turn my attention to getting the top coat on the rest of the barn. I think the exterior is shaping up quite nicely. What do you think? I'd love to hear your comments.

You can read more about my barn project here.


posted in: Blogs, patrick's barn

Comments (11)

tlhendricks tlhendricks writes:
Posted: 10:44 pm on October 4th

patrick_mccombe patrick_mccombe writes: Hi Jaybour67,
I do. I'd suggest building them right in the opening. Space the perimter of the door away from the opening with 1/4 thick shims for the proper reveal.

The inswing carriage doors on the lean-to section of my barn are board and batten. I temporarily screwed the battens to the opening and then screwed the boards that form the doors to the battens through the batten's back (interior) side. This created a fastener free look on the street side of the doors. Once all the boards were in place, attached T hinges to the battens and removed the screws that temporarily held the battens to the door frame. The final step was to cut the battens in the center with a recip saw, converting a single big panel into a pair of swinging doors.

This is tough without a picture or drawing.

To pararphrase:

1. establish and trim out the opening with finished jamb material
2. temporarily screw battons that span the whole opening to the jamb material
3. screw on the boards to the battens from the back side through the batten,leaving a reveal around the perimeter and between the two doors (if there are two)
4. attach hinges to the battens, remove the temporary screws holding the battens to the jamb stock
5. cut the battens in the center to separte the one big door into two doors.
6. open and close the doors a few dozen times to get the full enjoyment of having a weathertight, secure building.

I used a cane bolt that goes into the concrete slab to secure the passive door and a slide bolt that connects the active door to the cane-bolted passive door. They can only be opened from the inside. You'll need a hasp or something else if you plan to open the doors from the outside.

Clear as mud? If you need further explanation just ask.

Posted: 10:01 am on August 17th

jaybour67 jaybour67 writes: Hey Patrick- I have to build shed doors in a 59 inch opening. Any advice for getting them to fit perfectly? I am using Tongue and Groove Cedar for the door.
Posted: 9:26 pm on August 9th

shafu shafu writes: I use a drill for the drill / countersink (which you can set for different lengths pretty easily) and grab an impact for the fastening duties.
Posted: 1:31 am on July 26th

cloudli cloudli writes: should have posted -stair rails to hay loft
Posted: 1:53 am on July 24th

cloudli cloudli writes: Nice looking. Need stairs to hay loft. If to be used for shop
one story would seem more useful.
Posted: 1:52 am on July 24th

cloudli cloudli writes:
Posted: 1:47 am on July 24th

cloudli cloudli writes:
Posted: 1:47 am on July 24th

jonathanavery jonathanavery writes: Love your barn Patrick and WOW that's a hell of a teeshirt in pic5!!!!
Posted: 3:26 am on July 23rd

joe_the_pro joe_the_pro writes: For everyone else that doesn't have a stable full of tools to evaluate: Shave a tool off the dril / countersink / fasten routine by getting a drill / countersink in one. They're quicker too.

I use a drill for the drill / countersink (which you can set for different lengths pretty easily) and grab an impact for the fastening duties.
Posted: 11:14 am on July 16th

Aroonstock Aroonstock writes: Well done, Patrick. The doors look great. I also like the method of using a separate drill for each function. Though it's certainly more expensive to own 3 drills than 1, I find having a dedicated drill for each step is much faster.
Posted: 10:32 pm on July 13th

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