I bought a pair of glass insert french doors five years ago thinking they would let in the extra light from the family room into the dining area. However when I finally decided to hang doors in the space, I no longer had room for swing open doors. Even though the space was built specifically for these doors, they were not going to work. They are cut too short to hang as barn doors too. Briefly I thought closet bypass system would work but I would have to cut the doors even shorter. I gave up on the double glass doors and decided to find another solution. These will go to the Restore. Unless I save them for the new garage! I paid $100 so hate to not use them.
The homemade doors that I bought on Craigslist four years ago have been in our way ever since. They are big and bulky and heavy as can be. I paid about $35 a piece for them. I was disappointed they were not hardwood, just pine which is I suppose is wood and wood is hard! I offered a lower price and the owners seemed happy to get rid of them!
I have been moving them from the garage to the closet to the bedroom etc. as we worked on the house. My son saw one that is waiting to be installed in the family room bathroom and said why don’t you use those? Well, why not? I’m losing interest in replacing the older hollow core doors in the house so I might as well use two of these big doors and hang them as barn doors. I had ordered a single barn door hardware system thinking I would use it in the bathroom for the attic door but there was no headroom for it there. So I had one on hand to try.
The two widest doors were 31 1/4″ and the opening is 66″ after the casing went in. But I thought perhaps I could add to the edge to make the doors wide enough to cover the gap.
I put them in front of the opening and stepped back to consider the design as sliding barn doors. They are really too heavy and difficult for me to move around. I was disappointed by the small passage area that seemed to be open when two doors were hung in the space as bypass doors. I was very disheartened by the whole effort and wrote my son to help me just get rid of all these crazy unwieldly doors! Then I spent hours shopping online and at the Home Depot and Lowes apps but could not find 32″ rustic looking doors. I was not anxious to redesign a 36” door kit either.
The next day I put up the barn door rail just to try one of the doors. Amazingly enough it was not too difficult to install a wood board header which I had from another project I had taken apart and the rail. The J style rollers were also easy to put on the door. Dave helped me lift it onto the rail and I thought it looked OK, and much better than I thought it did just propped in place.
I ordered a second rail set and just one U shaped bracket for a bypass door on one side of the opening. Both came in a couple of days. The U shaped bracket was too narrow for my very wide handmade doors.
It has 3″ clearance but it must be installed at least 5″ above the first rail which was higher than my header board covered. The metal certainly was heavy enough to carry the load if I had bought five, enough for each bolt in the second rail. But five of these were almost as expensive as a full bypass set for the opening!
I decided to install a matching header board on the kitchen side and the second door there. It was even easier than the first since I had already done one. Even though I hung the door backwards so the pull was on the wrong side, it didn’t take long to switch the J brackets to the other side.
But the gap was so wide my plan to use 2 x 4’s was not going to work. I went out to my wood pile and found a nice cedar fence board that seemed the right width. Then I “borrowed” another from Dave’s spare wood.
These are about 1 x 6 and there is a remaining gap but it still affords privacy and blocks the view to the family room. I plan to put a trim piece on each door to hide the hinge mortises. I also bought some small non swivel casters because I can’t easily put a glide in the floor. I have just enough space to install these. Although the doors are so heavy they don’t swing much, the wheels should stabilize them.
I had figured the depth of this caster in addition to the height of the door to determine the rail position.
I was pleased that both doors moved to either side seems to give plenty of passage space.
An easy and inexpensive way to hold the doors closed was a pair of iron hook and eye clasps and the pulls are an affordable sliding door set.
I also have fancier bolts for these doors too but the problem of what to install in this space is solved for now.