Sliding Barn Door Garage Doors

whattya live in a barn?Photo of a sliding barn door garage door by mriggen/Flickr.

A sliding barn door garage door can be easily installed to change the look and feel of a garage or take advantage of the design of sliding doors. However, you'll want to consider a few factors before making the switch. This door style, for example, tends to admit more cold air, snow, and rain if it’s not installed properly, and can stick or freeze at the bottom if not well maintained. Before you put in a sliding barn door garage door, it’s also important to prepare the site.

Sliding Barn Door Garage Door Design

Traditional sliding barn door design features a large door on a slider, which is pushed along the side of the barn to allow animals and vehicles to pass through the opening; in some cases, a smaller door is cut into the larger one so people can go in and out of the barn without opening the sliding door. Sliding doors offer lots of flexibility for ventilation in addition to ample room for high clearance, and they don’t take up very much room when they open and close. As long as the sides of the building are kept clear, the door can open.

Variety of Styles

Several different sliding barn door garage door designs are available. One is the classic single sliding door, and it’s also possible to find biparting doors. Another option is bypassing doors, and some fold; while this isn’t strictly a sliding design, they’re intended to look like traditional sliding doors, and thus some manufacturers include them in their lineup.

Aesthetic Appeal

One of the most popular reasons to choose a sliding barn door garage door is aesthetics, a concern when a building will be readily visible. The doors can mesh well with Craftsman and other traditional building styles to discreetly provide an entrance to a garage or workshop space which won't clash visually with your home. The space-saving advantages can also be good in an environment where there are limited options for fold-out or rolling doors.

Custom Garage Doors

Whether you're building a new garage or replacing an existing door, it’s possible to order custom doors, as well as kits from a variety of sources. Custom doors tend to be more expensive but may be necessary for openings of unusual sizes or projects with very specific needs.

Pre-Installation Prep

Before you have a sliding barn door garage door installed, completely clear the area where the door will slide. It is advisable to put down a compact layer of gravel at the very least, and preferably concrete or stone, to ensure that weeds and dirt won’t build up and catch the door over time.


DIY sliding barn door garage door installation can be tricky and may require several people because these doors are often quite heavy. You might prefer to hire a garage door professional to handle the job. Once the rail is installed, the door can be carefully maneuvered into place and any finishes, like end caps to keep the door sealed to the rail, can be added.


The sliding barn door garage door should be regularly oiled and checked for signs of warping, and the area alongside the building where the door slides should also be kept clean to ensure the door moves smoothly.

s.e. smith writes for

Updated September 13, 2018.

Get Free Quotes

Looking for a Pro? Call us at (866) 441-6648

Get Free Quotes
  • Service Needed
  • Zip Code
Get quotes from qualified local contractors