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Thread: Sliding Barn Doors

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Rogersville, Al
    Posts
    435

    Sliding Barn Doors

    Hey all,
    i'm about to start the new shop and garage and i'm considering using a sliding door on the back corner of the shop like Norm's got on his shop.
    i'm got the hardware located at the co-op, but i was wanting input from those who've built one yourself.
    how hard is it to "insulate" or at least seal these doors off a little to keep the major drafts out.
    thanx
    brad
    The Country Toad Workshop Rogersville, Al

  2. #2
    My shop was originally built with sliding barn doors. I got rid of them and installed 10x10 insulated overhead doors. Though the sides could be sealed off somewhat, there was no way I could see to seal off the tops. Rained poured in through them, was very drafty. Steve


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Round Rock, TX (near Austin)
    Posts
    166
    Take a look at the letters to Norm at www.newyankee.com Look at the Shop Notes section. There are a number of posts there regarding his door.

    Good Luck and let us know how it goes. -- Kevin
    Last edited by Kevin Herber; 03-31-2004 at 9:38 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    2,295
    when I built my garage last year, one of the things on my list was "norms door". It worked out grat and if you want some pictures of how it turned out email me. As for sealing it off, the door itself overhangs the framing by about 4 inches on all three sides and the bottom by about an inch.With it being only an 1/8th or so off the frame I don't think I am am having any problems But in the winter you can easily slip some weather stripping all around the perimeter to further seal it up. The only mistake i made, although i chose to make the mistake for practical use of the door and viusal impact was to put the door NOT on the gabled end of the garage, so in the winter I have a large snowbank pushing against it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    6,520
    I know a guy who was determined to put a sliding barn door on his shop, and also determined to make it seal as well as a residential door. (His shop is heated and air-conditioned.) His take is that it is very difficult to achieve a good seal with a sliding interface. If it is too tight it doesn't seal, and if it is too loose air goes through it. He looked to a minivan side door for his inspiration. When the door is opened, the first move is out away from the van. That move out (or in, when closing) is the one that does the sealing and unsealing, against flexible weatherstripping.

    On his shop door, he uses the standard barn-door track and wheels to slide the door back and forth. However, he hung the door from the wheels with chains. Before it is latched, the door hangs an inch or so away from the building. He built four cam-clamp thingies which grab the inside of the door and pull it toward the building. Because the door is hanging on chains, it can move toward the building and seal all the way around.

    The door is long enough that it overlaps the floor slab, and seals at the bottom just like at the sides and top. His seals are thick foam things intended for sealing the bottom of a roll-up door to a slab.

    His design seals well, and I'm sure it was a fun challenge for him. However, if I were in his place, I'd probably use a pair of hinged doors -- like french doors but bigger and more robust. There's no need to invent anything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Rogersville, Al
    Posts
    435
    good points guys............thanx
    The Country Toad Workshop Rogersville, Al

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    6,520
    I'm now rememebering one more detail about that door. (I saw it maybe ten years ago.) The builder had it hanging from chains, but said that if he were to do it again he'd change that detail. The chains offer too much compliance when he's pushing the door along the track. Instead, he'd substitute a piece of plywood for the chains. There would be a horizontal hinge along the top of the door, the plywood above it, and the wheels would fasten to the plywood. The door would still move in and out the same way as with the chains, but it wouldn't swing when he pushed it the other way -- along the track.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    I'm now rememebering one more detail about that door. (I saw it maybe ten years ago.) The builder had it hanging from chains, but said that if he were to do it again he'd change that detail. The chains offer too much compliance when he's pushing the door along the track. Instead, he'd substitute a piece of plywood for the chains. There would be a horizontal hinge along the top of the door, the plywood above it, and the wheels would fasten to the plywood. The door would still move in and out the same way as with the chains, but it wouldn't swing when he pushed it the other way -- along the track.
    Any chance of getting pictures of your friend's sliding barn door installation?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Gassaway, WV
    Posts
    1,028
    My shop has two sliding doors, one is 8'x10', other is 8'x8'. I used tins on the outside with 2x6 framing with 1/2" styrofoam pink insulation. There is 1/4" hardboard on the inside. I put windows in each one. They seal pretty good, not as good as a house door but they do ok for me. There is a gas well on my property and I have free gas but it don't seem like they cause much extra gas use. When I have the dc running I leave one of the windows open about 6" as the dc exhausts to the outside. I can stand the cool better than the dust.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    779
    I had two sliding barn type doors on my shop building, which is a 24 x 48' metal pole building. The doors were impossible to seal and I even had birds get into the building occasionally. After seven or eight years, this year I had a roll up door with a garage door opener installed on the front opening (where I drive my truck and motorcycles into the shop) and I totally removed the other door on the opposite end of the building and framed in the opening, and installed a pair of regular passage doors. (It was also a good excuse to get a used Hitachi framing nailer.) Where I installed the roll up door I left the slider and I'll close and chain it shut when I go on vacation for a little added security. This winter the shop is much more snug and warm without the barn doors.

    Dave C

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    I know a guy who was determined to put a sliding barn door on his shop, and also determined to make it seal as well as a residential door. (His shop is heated and air-conditioned.) His take is that it is very difficult to achieve a good seal with a sliding interface. If it is too tight it doesn't seal, and if it is too loose air goes through it. He looked to a minivan side door for his inspiration. When the door is opened, the first move is out away from the van. That move out (or in, when closing) is the one that does the sealing and unsealing, against flexible weatherstripping.

    On his shop door, he uses the standard barn-door track and wheels to slide the door back and forth. However, he hung the door from the wheels with chains. Before it is latched, the door hangs an inch or so away from the building. He built four cam-clamp thingies which grab the inside of the door and pull it toward the building. Because the door is hanging on chains, it can move toward the building and seal all the way around.



    The door is long enough that it overlaps the floor slab, and seals at the bottom just like at the sides and top. His seals are thick foam things intended for sealing the bottom of a roll-up door to a slab.

    His design seals well, and I'm sure it was a fun challenge for him. However, if I were in his place, I'd probably use a pair of hinged doors -- like french doors but bigger and more robust. There's no need to invent anything.
    I've been thinking about the same problem. I have roll up overhead doors that don't seal. Heat and cold are part of the problem and during the spring and summer I get mud daubers (wasps) that build their mud nests in every conceivable hole, nook and cranny. My garage doors are also the main ingress and egress for the house. So to keep the shop from getting too dirty (Har!) I try to keep the big doors closed which means opening and closing the garage doors everytime someone wants to go in. This gets old. I'm going to build 4 carriage house doors that can be insulated and sealed to solve all 3 problems. At least, once my shop is done being painted and set up.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
    Posts
    76
    Here is my solution, I call it the "Magic Wall". It's fully insulated, sound deadening, and best of all the WOW factor whenever someone sees it for the first time
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
    Posts
    76
    And a few more to complete the set.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    That's a cool wall. I have a slider that is insulated and for a seal I just used garage door weather stripping. It has worked great for 7 or so years now.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    6,520
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Wright View Post
    Here is my solution, I call it the "Magic Wall". It's fully insulated, sound deadening, and best of all the WOW factor whenever someone sees it for the first time
    Where did you get the curved track? The only stuff I've seen is straight.

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