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In this video, Ask This Old House carpenter Nathan Gilbert enlists the help of his father to install sliding barn doors on Mark McCullough’s chicken barn.

How to Build an Exterior Sliding Barn Door

  1. Using a tape measure, mark the location of the sliding door brackets on the door. Be sure to space them evenly to distribute the load for smooth operation. Generally speaking, roughly 8 inches from each side will do, but adjust as necessary.
  2. Drill through the door and attach the brackets using the hardware and an adjustable wrench. Thread the rollers into the tops of the brackets.
  3. Attach the rail and brackets to the barn using the impact driver, sockets, and included lag bolts. Wherever possible, locate the brackets, so the lag bolts thread into the studs inside the wall. Use the level to ensure that rails are perfectly level.
  4. With help, lift the doors and slide the rollers into the ends of the frame rail. Ensure that the door is plumb and closes correctly. Once satisfied, attach the end cap to the rail to prevent the door from rolling out of the rail.


C.R. O’Neill Company and William C. Gilbert Carpentry provided expert assistance with this segment in Lexington, MA.

Shopping list

Barn door kit, including: