Researching the Architectural Style of Barn Doors
Whether you're restoring a historical barn or considering a barn conversion, you'll be delighted in the wide selection of architectural styles of barn doors. Many people choose custom designed barn doors, but if you have a standardized size for an opening, there are barn door sources that can provide, ship and install models to suit your architectural style.
Choices include the overhead sliding door with new hardware, pre-built frames and windows, heavily timbered doors, energy efficient doors, classic and craftsman styles, swinging barn doors, and plain heavy wooden timbered doors. There are pros and cons with each style and the quality varies across the range of barn door sources.
Mulling Over Barn Door Styles
Of course, your choices will be different if you're selecting, for example, a utilitarian barn door for use on a barn, or whether you're looking for a more stylish, easily operated barn door for use in a residential barn conversion. Heavy hinges and diagonal bracing not only are structurally effective, they complete a historic renovation.
In considering pros and cons, remember that swinging barn doors create a hefty load on the top door hinge. The hinge and framework must be able to stand high winds and frequent slamming. Depending on use and historical style, you may want to look over Dutch-door options that allow the bottom half of the swinging door set to remain locked, preventing animals from escaping while providing great ventilation.
Sliding barn door styles are among the most popular. In evaluating pros and cons, remember that the framework and overhead track that bears the rollers of a sliding barn door set must be durable under all weather conditions. This style can make a good choice if you plan on moving livestock in and out of the barn on a frequent basis. On the negative side, if you leave a sliding door partially open, an animal may be able to push it far enough to make its escape.
Examine Sources and Suppliers of Barndoor Hardware
As you may know, the difference between creating the right historical effect for your architectural style may come down to the hardware. There's no point in putting in some tacky residential hardware for a stout door in a working barn. On the other hand, even a working barn can be an easier place to handle your chores with an automated bi-parting sliding door. You can save your barn's integrity while sparing your lower back muscles.
Woodrow Aames has written articles and profiles for Yahoo, Microsoft Network, Microsoft Encarta, and other websites and print magazines around the world. He holds an MFA degree and has taught English abroad.