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barn door, hardware, architect-on-demand, advice-without-strings

If you read this blog, you’ve already heard about my project in the Hamptons. The first stage of it is under construction, which consists of the garage remodel/pool house conversion. With respect to the existing structure, the intent is to preserve as much of it as possible, especially the operable barn door — keeping this endearing element is critical, even if it morphs into a window covering and its hardware is replaced.

barn door, hardware, alla diy ally

As such, the building’s proposed front elevation aims to respect its history. In the past, this roughly seven-by-seven door slid back and forth, providing access to the space. Now, the main point of entry is around the corner facing the new pool. The wall is closed — instead of a door, there’s window. So, it kind of does not make sense to leave the obsolete barn door, right? That’s been the contractor’s and the client’s point of view. I, on the other hand, strongly disagree and am passionately fighting to keep the relic where it has always been and still belongs.

To justify the expense of retrofitting, I’ve come up with an alternative use for it . What if we employ it as a sliding panel or an exterior window covering? We’ll replace the hardware, reduce the size a bit, and it will work beautifully.

The existing door can hang on the new box rail trackReal Carriage Door & Sliding Hardware will supply it. By the way, they provide excellent customer service. Apryl Floring walked me through a few options. One of them, a more decorative model called “Prop” might’ve worked quite nicely if I wanted to expose the hardware. However, to be consistent with the previous set-up, I decided to go with understated and inconspicuous instead.

barn door, hardware, alla diy ally

Barn door hardware: box rail track

Thankfully, I came across a high quality heavy-duty option (with this model, the barn door can weigh up to 400 lb.) that would do the work without bringing attention to itself. We can order the hardware in galvanized steel and hide it within the layer of wall construction. Our reincarnated barn door aka exterior window covering will glide effortlessly.  Simple and timeless. I love that!


  • Alexander Popov
    January 12, 2019

    I love it too!

  • Mia S Kazovsky
    January 12, 2019

    I love anything simple and timeless too. Do you remember our Architectural River Tour of Chicago? Well, my biggest takeaway form that tour was the importance of respecting the surrounding architecture that predates a new design. I think you do a really fantastic job of preserving, and thus respecting and honoring, a prior architect’s work!

    • Alla DIY Ally
      January 18, 2019

      Interesting comparison!!! Thank you, Mia!

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