How to install an exterior sliding barn door: Step-by-step Guide for 2019

Installing an exterior sliding barn door is a pretty straightforward process.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to install an exterior sliding barn door in 14 simple steps.

Needless to say, you have to have a quality door and barn door hardware kit for this project.

No matter if you are looking for a barn door hardware kit for cabinets, for furniture or your room, you will find the appropriate size of kits from almost every vendor.

Anyways, you will be installing only the exterior barn door here.

Before you begin, here is the list of tools that you require to complete the installation.

  • Barn door hardware kit.

  • Of course, a barn door.

  • Drill bit.

  • Countersink bit.

  • Power drill.

  • Wrench with the socket.

  • Wood screw.

  • Carpenter’s level.

  • A measuring tape.

  • Stud finder.

Now let’s jump into the steps involved in exterior barn door installation.

I’m considering that you will be installing a single door. Fitting the double door or bypass door is not too different.

Step 1:

First, check the space you want to install the barn door. Make sure it can adequately accommodate your barn door.

The door will be sliding, right?

So, you have to ensure there is enough empty wall space to let the door slide next to the doorway. The area needs to be free from any electric outlet or switches.

Your barn door should be wide enough to cover the opening and 1-2 inches extra on both sides.

When you end up installing the door, it should be hung at least ½ inch above the floor. So keep your eyes on the height of the door as well.

Step 2:

Once you are done with clearing the space, now it’s time to start the actual installation process.

Start with installing the backer board and track.

Please note, installing a backer board is not inescapable if you have a concrete wall. You can install the track right on the wall. For this project, I assume that you are going to install backer board.

At first, paint the backer board to match it with the color tone of the wall or the door.

Step 3:

Next, using a stud finder, locate and mark the stud above the door.

As you are installing a single door, mark 3 inches above the hinge side of the opening and repeat this for the length of the backer board.

For double doors, find studs for both sides of the opening.

Step 4:

Now, it’s time to drill the backer board. First, mark the stud location on the backer board and drill two holes at each stud location. Use a countersink bit to drill the holes.

Step 5:

Then, copy the track holes and pre-drill the backer board accordingly.

Step 6:

Ok, now attach the board to the wall. Very likely, you will want to get assistance from someone to complete this step.

Secure the one end of the board to the stud with the woodscrew. Keep the board level and insert the other screws.

You are done with attaching the backer board. If you want to cover the screw heads with wood filler, go ahead. Don’t forget to paint them too.

Step 7:

What’s next?

You guessed it right.

Now, you are going to install the track on the backer board. Align the rail with the backer board holes and use the spacers, lag bolts, and washers to fasten it to the board.

Put the spacers behind the rail and bolt the rail in.

Don’t forget to tighten the lag bolts with a wrench.

Step 8:

It’s time to install the casters or rollers onto the barn door.

First and foremost, you have to identify how many inches you want to keep the bottom of the casters above the top of the door.

In this case, you should follow the direction of the manufacturer. Usually, manufacturers provide a template to install the roller and give you proper guidance.

Some doors come pre-drilled. I presume your one is not pre-drilled. So, you are going to drill the door. Keep the bottom of the casters about an inch and ¾ above the edge of the door.

Once everything is lined up, secure the roller and hanger to the door and use a drill bit to drill through the two holes.

Step 9:

Next, screw up the hanger of the caster with the door. You will get the required nuts with the barn door hardware kit.

It doesn’t matter if you want to put the nuts on the back or the front; the installation process is the same.

Just make sure you are going to tighten the nuts properly using a wrench and a ratchet.

Repeat this step 8 and step 9 to secure the other roller on the other side.

Step 10:

Now, install the door handle. You can always paint the handle to match the hardware color.

Pre-drill with the smaller drill bit and attach the handle with the screws provided by the handle manufacturer.

Step 11:

After that, install the rubber bumpers / anti-jump pads on the top of the door. The rubber bumpers will keep the doors from getting bumped off the track.

Step 12:

Next, let’s install the door stoppers on the rail/track.

Slide the stoppers onto both ends and tighten them with the provided Allen key.

Remember, you may have to take off the bolts of each end so that you can slide the stoppers through. It depends on where you want to place the stoppers on the track.

Step 13:

Now install the door guide/floor guide. Floor guides keep the door from swinging back and forth / wobbling when opening and closing.

Step 14:

You are all done. Now slide the casters on to the rail and do a final check. Make sure the rollers are sliding like butter, meaning the door is opening and closing properly, and door stoppers are tight enough to stop the door.

Final Words

How simple was that?

I’m sure you are now pretty much clear about how to install an exterior sliding barn door.

One final suggestion for you. You can go for the cheap barn door hardware kit, but don’t compromise the quality and durability. Buy quality hardware, no matter how much the price is.

Now it’s your turn.

Go and install your sliding barn door in a quick time following the above straightforward steps.

RJ Frometa
Author: RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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