Barn Door Repair: Replacing A Barn Door Latch

Latch type suggestions and a creative barn door closure with full instructions. You will want to update your barn door after reading this article.

The simplest way to replace a barn door latch is to remove the existing latch, take it to a hardware or home improvement store, and look for a latch that matches or almost matches yours. But what if your latch is broken and they no longer make similar types? Maybe you just want a new latch because the one you have is not as functional as you'd like it to be. Perhaps you're just plain tired of your current barn door latch. If that's the case then read on.

There are so many different types of door latches out there. Whether it is labeled a "barn door" latch or not, if it's made for outdoor use it can be used on your barn door. One of the most easy to install latches are known as hasp latches. These consist of a hinged piece of metal with a rectangular hole and another piece that juts out and has a hole in the middle. The rectangular hole on the hinged part fits right over the protruding metal piece. Then you can either place a lock onto the latch or just a spring action clip (like the ones you see on dog leashes) if you have no need to lock your barn. There are also locking hasps. Instead of a hole in the protruding piece of metal, it has a key lock. You just slide the hinged part over it and lock it with a key.

Hasp latches are so easy because all they take is a drill and 7 wood screws. When installing, remember to try out the two pieces making sure they still match up after each screw so you can make little adjustments as you go along. That's much easier than waiting until you are finished only to find they don't fit together and you have to take it off and do it again. If you are installing a locking hasp or planning to put a lock on your hasp latch, you may want to consider using long screws and then bolts on the back of them. This will help prevent break-ins since otherwise anyone with power screw driver could just take the hasp off.

Not looking for a basic piece of hardware for your latch? How about a barn door closure like the old fashioned barns where a piece of wood swings down to close and swings up to open? You can make one yourself. First you need your materials. Buy a utility bracket. It will have a flat part with a few holes for screws and an "L" shaped piece of metal coming from it. You will need either a tee hinge (looks like a triangle shape and a small square which are hinged in the middle) or a strap hinge (two triangle shapes hinged in the middle). Whichever you buy, make sure it opens and closes all the way. You need 180 degrees of movement. Visualize a half circle so when the hinge is open the two metal pieces are lying flat, when closed they are on top of each other, and while opening or closing you are making the half circle in the air. If it does this then you have the right hinge. You will also need a drill and both a drill bit and a screw driver tip, wood screws, and a wood two by four cut in half (or whatever measurements you decide are right for your barn door). Start by attaching one half of the two by four flat against one of the barn doors using a drill and wood screws. Using the drill bit to make pilot holes and then putting in the wood screws will make the screws more secure and prevent the wood from splitting. Now attach one side of the hinge to the two-inch part of the two by four (which should then be the top of the wood) you have on the door. Attach the hinge at the very end of the two by four towards where the door opens. You may need a friend to help with this next part. With the hinge open now attach the other half of the two by four to the other side of the hinge. You want the two by four to be one long line hinged in the middle. Now you need the utility bracket. First test out where the wood will rest in it. Mark you holes then move the wood out of the way. If you bought the right hinge you should be able to now have the two parts of the wood basically resting on top of each other and out of the way. Once you have your bracket attached to the door (or side of the barn depending on you barn) test again how the wood comes down and rests in it. If the wood fits in it while also holding the door shut, then you did it right. It may not be the exact old-fashioned kind, but it's an easy to do, very affordable ode to the classic.

© High Speed Ventures 2011