You have decided to up your interior decorating game and add a barn door or sliding door to your house. You probably were inspired by a Pinterest board, some cool install photos on Instagram, maybe your friend Bob (who you don’t really like but feel obligated to hang out with) installed one, or maybe you just landed on Barndoorhardware.com and you were like
But when you start digging down and realize that there are … so many choices. Stainless steel sliding door hardware, traditional flat track hardware and sometimes they call it barn door hardware, there is also mini flat track, and something called Soft Close which every time you picture it you hear Barry White saying, “Soft close” in your head.
Pretty soon you are like:
It is okay. We understand. When you work in the world of barn door hardware the exalted mysteries of sliding doors are second nature. Today’s goal is to in part a touch of that wisdom to you, the consumer, and make choosing a barn door hardware kit simpler.
The Two Biggest Factors …
Before we even delve into whether you should buy a 3/16th inch track and the difference between Top Mount and Face Mount, let’s talk about the two biggest factors that will define your choice of hardware. Those are:
Barn door hardware can give your room any kind of look you want. From an interior design perspective, that ability to enhance a room’s look is one of the strongest points. You can make a rustic interior look more rustic, you can make a loft feel like a Post-Industrial play land, or you can give a start-up a futuristic forward looking flair with sliding glass doors.
Before you try picking between a 402 Flat Track Hardware system and the Urban Barn Door Hardware kit, you need to ask yourself, What is the look you are trying to achieve? Do you already have an establish look or motif, and if so, What piece of barn door hardware will enhance that look?
Keep in mind there is more to achieving a look than just adding a door. Barn door hardware can be used for cabinetry, like in this example where an interior designer used the Oden Sliding Door System to conceal shelving.
Or in this example where a design firm used Large Spoked Barn Door Hardware as the backbone of a sliding shelf system in a retail showroom.
You may in fact want to add a barn door hardware kit and sliding door to a doorway. 90% of our customers do, but when you are considering the look make sure you look past the doorway and think about your entire room.
When it comes to your budget … well, your budget is your budget. A lucky few of us have a “Sky is the limit budget” where they can and will spend whatever it takes to achieve the look they want. Lucky them. For the rest of us, we have a budget and we need to achieve our look within that budget.
When you are building your budget, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Consider your options…
No, not talking about selection here. Your average barn door hardware kit has a base price (this usually is based on either a 4 or 6ft kit with bare bones options). You may look at a Vintage Loop Strap Kit and say, well, based on this my budget is $304.00.
But do you only need a 4ft track with a stock floor guide? Let’s say, for sake of argument, you assume your budget is $304.00, but (in reality) you need a 6ft track kit and a Wall Mount L Guide… So your budget isn’t $304.00, your budget is $319.00. Ever hear the phrase, Measure Twice, Cut Once? Let me introduce you to its brethren, “Measure twice, budget once”.
The Not A Dollar More Mindset
This brings us to the second point, use a budget range when possible. If you grew up in the 70s or 80s you probably have a vivid memory of your Dad at a car dealership, tapping his finger on a piece of paper and concluding a sentence with, “Not a dollar more.” When possible, try not to adopt the “And not a dollar more” mindset.
Let’s say your budget is $450. But for $600 you can buy a barn door hardware kit that achieves the look and feel you want. Do you to settle just because of $150? That is a very individual answer, but in most cases, try to use a budget range if you want. Shop around, get a feel for the look and style you want, and then set a broad budget between X and Y. For some that may mean a budget of $150 to $300, for others that may mean a budget of $600 to $1200.
Not Conspicuous Consumption
When you set that budget range make sure you just are not thinking of the short term. Oftentimes it is too easy to say, ‘Well, I am buying hardware and its $450 and that is expensive but …’ You aren’t just purchasing a product that will soon be discarded, you are making an investment in your home. Curbed pointed out that barn doors are one of the design features that help sell a home. A barn door may also increase the sale price on a home. Make sure you take concepts like perceived value into your budget before making one.
DIY or Professional Installation?
The last and possibly most important thing to keep in mind is installation. Will you be doing the installation yourself? Or will you be working with a contractor to do the install?
An experience DIY’er can totally install a barn door without a lot of work. If you aren’t that DIY savvy, then an experienced contractor or carpenter is always the best route. If you do use a contractor, then those costs need to also be factored into your budget.
Oh There is So Much More …
This article is the start of your journey. In the coming months, we will be detailing the differences between flat track hardware (the always tense 1/4th inch vs 3/16th inch debate that has ruined marriages) and the differing levels of stainless steel sliding door hardware. This is the start.
This is your start too.
On average, it takes a person three months to buy a barn door hardware kit. Why? Because barn door hardware is a simple idea that involves occasionally complex decisions. All those decisions start with the Look and your Budget.