How to Build Exterior Barn Doors

If you are looking for an easy and cost-effective way to add a unique charm to your home’s exterior, learning to build exterior barn doors can be a great option. Not only can they provide a bit of rustic appeal, but they also come with practical advantages like increased security, improved ventilation, and easier maintenance.

How to Build Exterior Barn Doors

Building exterior barn doors can be a great way to add a unique, rustic touch to your home. Doing it yourself can also save you money over buying pre-made doors from a store. Exterior barn doors offer several advantages compared to other types of entryways, such as standard wooden or glass front doors. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to build exterior barn doors.

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Build Exterior Barn Doors

Step 1: Inspect the Area

Before you begin building an exterior barn door, ensure that the area is suitable for the project. Measure the space and determine what size doors will fit best. Check to see if any obstructions or power lines could cause a problem when installing your new doors.

Step 2: Gather Materials

Ensure you have all the materials you need for your project, including wood boards, screws, hinges, and door handles. If the area is exposed to the elements, make sure that the wood is treated and sealed properly. Take measurements of the space where you want to install your exterior barn doors. With those measurements, cut the wood boards that will serve as the frame for your doors.

Ensure You Have All the Materials You Need

Step 3: Assemble Frame

Use screws to attach each board together in order to form a sturdy frame. Make sure that each corner is square so that when you go to hang your doors, they will open and close properly. Measure and pre-drill holes in the frame and hinge plates. Then attach the hinges to the door frames with screws. Make sure that they are secured correctly so that your doors will hang properly when installed.

Step 4: Add Door Handles

Choose handles or knobs for your exterior barn doors that match the style that you are trying to achieve. Drill the holes and attach the handles or knobs with screws. Carefully lift the doors onto the frame and make sure they are secure. Use hinges to attach each door to the frame, making sure they are even on both sides.

Drill the Holes and Attach the Handles

Step 5: Install Doors

Carefully lift the doors onto the frame and secure them with screws. Make sure that they are even on both sides and that they open and close smoothly. To prevent any water from seeping in, seal around the edges of the frame with caulk or weather stripping. This will help to protect the wood and keep your doors in good condition.

Once you are finished, step back and admire your new exterior barn doors. You can now open and close them with ease and enjoy the added security that they provide.

Tips for How to Build Exterior Barn Doors

  1. Wear safety glasses and protective gloves when working with power tools, materials and hardware.
  2. Ensure there are no exposed wires or other electrical hazards in the area where you will be building your exterior barn doors.
  3. Use a ladder to reach any part of the door that may be too high for you to reach.
  4. Secure the door frame in place with a hand drill using screws or nails before attaching the door panels.
  5. Use lag screws to attach hinges and other hardware rather than nails which may not be strong enough to withstand weather and wear.
  6. Ensure all the components fit properly when you finish constructing the doors before you hang them from the frame.
  7. Keep children and pets away from the area while you are building your exterior barn doors to ensure their safety.

Following these guidelines will help ensure a safe and successful project when Building Exterior Barn Doors.

Use Lag Screws to Attach Hinges

How Should You Seal or Weatherproof Your Exterior Barn Doors? 

Once you have built your exterior barn doors, it’s important to seal and weatherproof them to protect them from the elements. You should start by sealing all the joints with a strong adhesive caulk or polyurethane glue designed for outdoor use. Then, use weather-resistant sealant on any exposed edges.

Finally, use weatherproof paint or wood sealer to finish off your project. Although the exterior barn doors are made with sturdy materials, it is important to ensure they are well-sealed and waterproofed before hanging them up. This will ensure that they last for years to come and won’t become damaged by rain, snow, wind, or other environmental conditions. By adequately sealing your exterior barn doors, you’ll be able to enjoy them for many years and get the most out of your investment.

How Should You Maintain Your Exterior Barn Doors Once They Are Installed? 

Maintaining exterior barn doors can help to ensure they stay looking great and functioning properly for years to come. First and foremost, it is important to periodically check the screws and bolts on the door frame or track system. If any have become loose or are missing, they should be replaced as soon as possible. It is also important to keep the barn doors clean and free from debris. This can be done by routinely wiping them down with a soft cloth and mild detergent or using a pressure washer on a low setting if need be. Additionally, inspect the track for any dirt or debris buildup, as this can affect how your doors slide open and close.

Finally, it is important to periodically check the weatherstripping around the edges of your barn doors. This helps to keep out dust and moisture, ensuring that your barn door stays in good condition for a long time. If you notice any tears or damage on the weatherstripping, it should be replaced as soon as possible.

How Much Will It Cost to Build Exterior Barn Doors?

Building exterior barn doors can be expensive, and the total cost to build them depends on various factors. The materials used, the size of the door, and additional features all contribute to the overall cost. When it comes to materials, you will need lumber, such as 2x6s or 4x4s for the frame, 1x4s for the trim, and plywood or hardwood boards to make up the door panels.

Depending on your budget, you can opt for more expensive materials such as hardwoods or composite lumber, which will increase costs but will also provide a longer-lasting product.

The size of your exterior barn doors is also important in determining cost. Standard-size doors are generally less expensive than custom sizes, but if you have a specific design or measurement in mind, the cost may be higher because of the extra labor required to construct it. Finally, any additional features, such as hardware or decorative accents, can also increase costs. If you want your exterior barn doors to include any kind of hardware, you should budget for the additional costs. Similarly, decorative accents such as paneling or trim will also add to the total cost.

How Should You Finish Your Exterior Barn Doors? 

Once you have constructed your barn doors, it is important to finish them correctly to protect them from the elements and extend their life. The type of finishing used will depend on the material you are using for your doors and the look you want. If you use wood for your exterior barn doors, you can paint, stain or seal the doors. If using paint, use a water-based acrylic product as this will be more weather resistant and last longer compared with oil-based products.

When staining wood, remove all dirt, dust, and grease before applying the stain to achieve an even finish. For added protection, use a sealant on top of the stain. If your exterior barn doors are made from metal, you should use a rust-proof primer before painting them. This will act as an extra barrier against corrosion and help prolong their life. Be sure to apply the paint evenly and correctly in order to get the best finish.

Use a Sealant on Top of the Stain


In conclusion, building exterior barn doors is a project that requires careful planning and patience. It can be quite difficult to get the measurements right, and it’s important to make sure you know exactly what materials you will need before you start. With that said, if done correctly, exterior barn doors can add great value and character to your home, offering both functionality and beauty! Be sure to carefully research the process and double-check your measurements before starting this DIY project. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to build exterior barn doors. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically. 

Angela Ervin

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of DIY quickly. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping, home decorations as well as other niche efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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