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Expert Guide to Choosing the Right door for your Barndo

Selecting the right door for your barndominium is not just about picking something off the shelf. It’s about understanding the unique blend of rustic charm and modern functionality. Normally, doors will be included in the suppliers’ quote; however, you can always modify the types and styles. Even, you can replace the door of your barndominium after some years.

This means considering factors like the door’s material, which has to be durable enough to withstand the elements, yet stylish enough to complement the building’s design.

Then, there’s the issue of size and functionality. Barndominiums often feature an open space along with spacious interiors that require doors to have the ability to merge with indoor and outdoor living spaces.

On top of it, security is another crucial factor that needs to be merged with the styles of the doors.

Similarly, energy efficiency cannot be overlooked. Barndominiums, with their large doors and open spaces, need solutions that keep the heat in during winter and out during the summer. This might involve choosing doors with proper insulation, weather stripping, and energy-efficient glazing.

This article aims to deliver a concrete guideline so that you can easily get the door types for your barndominium.

Barndominium metal sliding door

What is the role of doors in design and functionality?

Apart from the entry and exit point, the barndominium doors have other contributions too.

As said earlier, the right door will contribute to saving energy, help the insulation work efficiently, and offer maximum usage of the wide living space while parallelly working with bringing aesthetic appeal.

Moreover, the right door will dramatically influence a room’s lighting, making spaces feel more open.

How important is designing your barndominium doors?

From my own experience, choosing the right door design can significantly impact the look and feel of your home.

In the below part, I will explain that how different designs affect the livability and other associated factors of a barndominium.

Custom Design Options for a Personal Touch

Having gone through the process myself in Texas, I found that custom design options allowed me to add a unique touch that reflects my personality.

In April 2021, I installed a handcrafted wooden door with custom glass inside for one of my clients.

It wasn’t cheap, costing around $2,500, but the personal touch it added to the barndominium was priceless. This is true that such a custom design would cost you more, but again it serves in two ways. One is the homeowner’s satisfaction and the other is the increased future resale value.

Barndominium door indoor

How would you balance Aesthetics and Functionality?

It’s vital to maintain a perfect balance between the aesthetics appearance and functionality of the doors.

My neighbor in Colorado faced challenges with her beautiful glass-paneled door which, although stunning, was less efficient in retaining heat during the cold winters.

She ended up replacing it with a more energy-efficient model in October, which still maintained her modern aesthetic but cost her an additional $1,800.

So, I prepared some to-the-point tips for you to maintain such a balance between aesthetics appearance, and functionality.

  • Choose materials that complement your barndominium’s style while offering durability and energy efficiency.
  • Opt for doors with insulating properties to maintain interior comfort without sacrificing design.
  • Incorporate glass panels to enhance natural light, but select double or triple-glazed options to improve energy efficiency.
  • Consider the door’s orientation and how it affects light and privacy; use frosted or tinted glass for south-facing doors to reduce glare and heat.
  • Select hardware that matches your door’s style but also offers high security and longevity.
  • Use color to tie the door into your home’s overall aesthetic; choose a shade that contrasts nicely with your exterior while considering the door’s exposure to the elements.
  • For high-traffic entrances, choose materials and finishes that are easy to clean and maintain.
  • If choosing a bold design or color, ensure the door has classic elements to ensure it remains in style as trends change.
  • Balance the scale of the door with the size of your entrance to ensure it doesn’t overwhelm or underwhelm the space.
  • Always factor in the functionality of the door type (sliding, folding, swinging) with the space available and the flow of traffic in and out of your barndominium.

Need a Barndominium Floor Plan?

We filtered out the trending barndominiun design layouts in one place.

Rustic vs Modern: Which style would you opt for?

Barndominium Door Indoor Glass Sliding

Choosing between a rustic and a modern style depends largely on your barndominium’s overall theme. For instance, you cannot bring a countryside vibe with minimalist designs, right?

When I visited a friend’s barndominium in Vermont, their rustic, barn-style door was telling the story of the country’s vibe. Meanwhile, my cousin in California went for a sleek, modern door that cost him about $3,000, enhancing his barndominium’s contemporary look.

In a nutshell, the rustic burn-style doors is perfect for the traditional theme whereas the minimalist designs are more appropriate for the modern territory. Neighboring houses will also give a hint on what type of doors would you choose!

Materials of the barndominium doors

Ah, the choice of materials for barndominium doors is sometimes crucial if you have limited ideas about their respective contribution in terms of durability, purpose, and energy efficiency.

The choice depends on what you value most: the organic beauty of wood, the robust assurance of steel, or the open, airy feel of glass.

Below are the three prominent barndo door materials along with their respective pros and cons:

Wooden doors


  • There’s an undeniable warmth to wooden doors. Crafted from nature’s bounty, they lend a rustic or traditional elegance that’s hard to replicate. My own experience in December 2019, when we opted for a hand-carved mahogany door, costing us a pretty but worthwhile sum of $1,500, stands as a testament to the timeless appeal of wood.
  • The versatility in design is unmatched. Whether it’s a sleek, modern look or a chunky, vintage vibe, wood can be shaped to fit.


  • Wood requires regular treatments and experiences warping and fading
  • Cost can be another factor. Quality wood, especially exotic varieties, can make your wallet a lot lighter.

Best For: Wooden doors are appropriate for someone who prefers warmth and tradition. Such doors are perfect for rustic designs or anyone wanting to make a statement with their entrance.

Steel Doors


  • Durability and security are where steel doors shine. After a spate of break-ins nearby in August 2021, my neighbor in Colorado opted for a steel door upgrade, costing around $1,200, an investment in peace of mind.
  • Maintenance is a breeze compared to wood. A little wipe-down and occasional touch-up paint are all it takes to keep them looking fresh.


  • Steel can feel cold and impersonal. It lacks the tactile warmth of wood, making it a hard sell for those looking to create a cozy, inviting space.
  • Temperature conductivity is another downside. In climates where temperatures swing wildly, steel doors can transfer that external temperature inside, though insulation can mitigate this.

Best For: Steel doors are suitable for security-conscious owners or those living in areas prone to severe weather. They fit well with modern or industrial-themed barndominiums.

Glass Doors


  • Natural light in abundance makes spaces feel larger and more inviting.
  • The ability to make it blur yet receive the outdoor light is the best point here.


  • Privacy can be an issue with glass doors, although frosted or tinted options offer a workaround.
  • Fragility and security concerns are significant. Glass is, inherently, more breakable, and while modern treatments enhance its strength, it still doesn’t compare to the solidity of wood or steel.

Best For: Glass doors are suitable for those wanting to maximize views and natural light, ideal for barndominiums with scenic landscapes or owners aiming for a modern, minimalist aesthetic.

Barndominium Door Comparison

Here’s a quick comparison on barndominium doors:

Type of DoorMaterialCost RangeBest ForProsCons
Exterior Glass DoorGlassHigh ($800 – $3000+)Modern barndominiumsMaximizes natural light, offers panoramic views, enhances indoor-outdoor connectionLess privacy, potentially higher energy costs if not well-insulated
Wooden Exterior DoorWoodMedium ($500 – $2500)Traditional/rustic stylesWarm, inviting appearance, customizable, good insulationRequires maintenance to prevent weather damage, can be expensive for high-quality wood
Interior Sliding DoorGlass/Wood/MetalLow-Medium ($200 – $1500)Space-saving areasSaves space, modern look, can be used to separate or connect spaces seamlesslyInstallation can be complex for some systems; not as soundproof as hinged doors
Interior Hinge DoorWood/MetalLow-Medium ($100 – $1000)Any interior applicationVersatile, wide range of styles and materials, relatively easy to installCan require more space to open and close, standard privacy and sound isolation
Exterior Metal DoorMetalMedium-High ($400 – $2500)Secure entrancesHigh durability and security, low maintenance, can have insulated optionsMay conduct heat or cold, potentially less welcoming appearance
Interior Metal DoorMetalLow-Medium ($200 – $1200)Industrial-themed interiorsDurable, unique industrial aesthetic, low maintenanceCan feel cold or impersonal, may require special framing due to weight
Barndominium door comparison table

Are sliding doors better than hinged?

Barndominium wooden sliding door

Deciding between sliding and hinged doors for a barndominium is like choosing between chocolate and vanilla ice cream at a summer festival in Texas: both are great, but your choice varies depending on the need.

Cost-wise, sliding doors can be a mixed bag. On a trip to a supplier in Georgia last May, I found that the initial cost for a sliding door system might give your wallet a bit of a workout. Such sliding doors with heavy security installations can cost up to $2000 (price varies by size, location, and supplier).

Hinged doors, on the other hand, are generally kinder to your budget upfront, possibly setting you back around $800 to $1,500 depending on the material and design.

Whatever is your choice, try to maintain an evenness with the barndominium windows so that the overall appearance of the property stays untouched.

But it’s not just about the cost. In the sprawling landscapes of Montana, where views are as vast as the sky, sliding doors offer an uninterrupted panorama that hinged doors struggle to match.

The seamless transition from indoors to outdoors is something to behold, making your barndominium feel like an integral part of the surrounding nature.

Yet, when I was refurbishing my own barndominium near the Smoky Mountains in December, the chilly drafts made me appreciate the superior seal and insulation that hinged doors provide.

They’re reliable, straightforward, and offer a traditional feel that resonates with the rustic charm of barndominium living.

Space is another factor to consider. In a friend’s Colorado barndominium, the compact layout made sliding doors a godsend, freeing up valuable floor space that hinged doors would have eaten into. This aspect alone can be a deal-maker for those wrestling with square footage constraints.

In terms of maintenance, my journey has taught me that sliding doors demand a bit more TLC. The tracks need regular cleaning to keep them running smoothly, a lesson learned the hard way after a sandy adventure in the deserts of New Mexico left the doors of a rental barndominium stubbornly stuck.

At the end of the day, whether sliding doors are better than hinged for your barndominium boils down to a blend of personal preference, practicality, and the specific demands of your space. Both options have their merits, and just like with that ice cream choice, it’s all about what suits the moment and mood of your barndominium project.

How would you maintain the doors?

Barndominium door glass for outdoor (1)

Let me outline some door maintenance tips for you.

First off, let’s talk wood doors, a popular choice for that rustic charm we all love. Down in Texas, where my buddy owns a barndo, the humidity can warp wood like nobody’s business. He found that a good coat of sealant, costing about $30 a can, applied every spring and fall, keeps those doors from swelling shut or cracking. A small price for peace of mind, right?

Metal doors aren’t off the hook either. My uncle’s own barndominium in upstate New York, with its metal doors, faces rust challenges. Salt from the roads during winter can be a real menace. A simple solution? Washing them down with soapy water every couple of months, more so in winter, and touching up paint as soon as chips appear. And don’t skimp on quality paint—spending around $50 for a gallon of rust-inhibiting paint saves you loads in the long run.

Now, regardless of where you are, hardware maintenance is universal. In the balmy climates of Florida, I learned the hard way that salt air corrodes door hardware fast. A bit of WD-40 or a silicone-based lubricant, which will set you back maybe $5, applied every few months, does wonders for hinges and locks.

And let’s not forget about the door’s threshold and weather stripping. After a particularly drafty winter night in my Colorado place, I realized the importance of keeping those in check. Replacing weather stripping or adjusting the threshold can cost anywhere from $20 to $100, depending on the material and whether you DIY or call in a pro. But believe me, it’s worth every penny for the energy savings and comfort.

What exterior door would you go with?

When it comes to picking the right door for the exterior of a barndominium, the local climate, the level of maintenance you’re willing to undertake, and your budget are three key drivers.

Take, for instance, the steel door. I remember visiting a friend’s barndominium in Texas around July 2021, during one of those sweltering summer days. She had installed a steel door, and at first, I thought the choice was a bit unusual. But the reason behind it was solid – steel doors offer incredible durability and security. They can withstand harsh weather conditions, which is a must in Texas, where storms can come out of nowhere. Plus, the cost wasn’t as prohibitive as I imagined; she managed to get a fantastic deal for around $800, which included installation.

On another trip, this time to Colorado in the chilly month of December, I stayed in a barndominium that featured a beautiful, handcrafted wooden door. The aesthetic was perfect for the mountain setting, creating a warm, inviting entrance. Wood doors, while perhaps not as resilient as steel in extreme weather, have excellent insulating properties, keeping the interior cozy despite the freezing temperatures outside. However, they do require regular maintenance to protect against the elements, something the owner factored into his decision. He mentioned spending about $1,200 on the door, not including maintenance costs.

Then there are fiberglass doors, which I encountered on a visit to a coastal barndominium in Florida. Given the humidity and salt air, fiberglass was the ideal choice. It resists warping, rotting, and corrosion – issues that metal and wood doors can face in such environments. The homeowner chose a fiberglass door that mimicked the look of wood, blending durability with the aesthetic appeal of a traditional wooden door. The cost was slightly higher, around $1,500, but considering the low maintenance and longevity, it was a wise investment.

In a nutshell, Steel doors are unmatched for security and durability, especially in areas prone to severe weather. Wooden doors offer unparalleled beauty and insulation, ideal for colder climates but require more upkeep. Fiberglass doors strike a balance between durability and style, perfect for harsh or humid conditions. My experiences visiting barndominiums across the USA have shown me that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but with a little research and consideration, you can find the perfect door to complement your barndominium lifestyle.

Which door is best for the indoor?

For the indoors, you just need to keep a sound balance between appearance and functionality. On top of these two, the budget will be the third factor to consider.

We always prefer sliding barn doors.

Why sliding barn doors, you might ask? For starters, the open-concept layout of most barndominiums cries out for a door solution that complements the spacious feel while being practical.

Sliding barn doors are space savers. Unlike traditional hinged doors that require swing space, barn doors glide parallel to the wall, making them perfect for areas where floor space is a premium. Imagine trying to fit a conventional door into a tight nook or cranny without it swinging into furniture or blocking pathways – it’s a hassle I’ve faced, and one that barn doors easily overcome.

What are energy-star-rated doors? How do they affect you?

Energy Start-rated doors are certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these doors are designed to be more energy-efficient than standard doors, boasting better insulation and tighter seals to keep the heat out in summer and in during winter.

Let me tell you, the impact on a barndominium owner can be pretty significant.

Picture this: It’s the dead of summer, around late July, and Texas heat is not messing around, easily hitting the high 90s. The last thing you want is your cool, air-conditioned paradise inside turning into a sauna because of poor insulation.

That’s where these doors come into play. I remember installing my Energy Star-rated front door; it cost me around $1200 back in 2022, which felt steep at first. But boy, did it pay off. My energy bills dropped like a stone, saving me a chunk of change each month—enough to keep my wallet and my wife smiling.

Beyond the cost savings, which are a big win, there’s the comfort factor. My barndominium turned into this cozy haven, maintaining a steady temperature without the HVAC system going into overdrive. And let’s not forget the peace of mind knowing you’re doing your bit for the planet. Reducing energy use means fewer greenhouse gas emissions, which is something we can all get behind.

Safety Regulations you need to care of

Let me connect you to the regulations you need to adhere to before finalizing a door for your barndominium.

The rules aren’t just a one-size-fits-all; they vary wildly depending on where you’re setting up your dream barndo.

Take it from me, back in the summer of ’19, I was deep into planning my own barndominium in Texas. I thought choosing doors would be a breeze – pick something sturdy, looks good, and you’re set, right?

Wrong. I stumbled into a maze of building codes that had me scratching my head. For instance, in certain areas, especially those prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, doors must meet specific wind and impact resistance standards. This isn’t just a suggestion; it’s a mandate for safety. My cousin in Florida spent a pretty penny, around $2,500, on a set of doors that complied with their local hurricane codes.

But it’s not just about weather; fire safety plays a huge role, too. Some regions require fire-rated doors, especially if your barndominium is a mixed-use space or has certain occupancy levels. This became a pivotal factor in my decision-making, as my barndominium design included a workshop area. Adhering to these regulations was essential for insurance purposes, not to mention peace of mind.

Accessibility is another critical aspect dictated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Although primarily applicable to public and commercial buildings, if you’re planning a barndominium that might serve as a business or a public venue, even occasionally, considering ADA-compliant doorways—wider frames, accessible handles—is crucial. I learned this the hard way when a friend, who uses a wheelchair, pointed out the oversight in my initial design. Retrofitting cost me upwards of $1,000, a hit I could have avoided with better planning.

Now, on the topic of costs, they’re as varied as the landscape. My Texas doors were an investment in compliance and aesthetics, setting me back about $3,000 for materials and custom work. Yet, this can fluctuate based on materials, craftsmanship, and, of course, those pesky local codes. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but skimping on quality or compliance could result in fines or, worse, redoing the work.

The complexities of selecting the right doors for a barndominium in the USA are intertwined with local regulations, safety standards, and personal needs. It’s a balancing act between what you want, what you need, and what the law requires. My journey taught me the value of research, professional advice, and a bit of flexibility. So, dive into those building codes, consult with experts, and remember, every hurdle is a step closer to your dream barndominium.

Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper

I'm Brian, an architectural engineer from the University of Texas

Writing about barndominium is my passion. I try to bring informative and technical contents on barndominium so that the entire sourcing and construction process seems easy.

As an architectural engineer, I do have expertise of designing and building using prefabricated steel structures. Moreover, I am connected with 500+ prefabricated steel structure experts that helps me to gather and prepare the relevant information for your help.

I have experience of 250+ barndominium contrustion of which 75% are built with metal structure. Moreover, I am a trained energy audit professional, and with that specialization I can help you to bring your barndo's energy consumption at minimum level.

I hope you like my write-ups which is my greatest inspiration.

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