Horse Barn Dutch Doors – The In’s and Out’s
As I stop and think about the many barns that my horses have lived in or were stabled in, most had dutch doors! They have a multitude of benefits for you and your horse. If your barn lacks ventilation, easy in and out access or if you need a way to let your horse enjoy an open view, dutch doors will be just the answer. Top door’s opened alone or both top and bottom doors opened, you just cannot beat the functionality!
Almost any barn can be remodeled to accommodate these useful doors. You just need to start with a strong framed opening accommodating the wood supports in your barn. Think about the base of your frame to be sure your horse can easily walk over the threshold. Additionally, you will want to consider a threshold that will keep your bedding in place so it is not in the way of your door. Keeping bedding away from the bottom door is a key for closure without putting stress on your hinges.
The doors that you see pictured to the right are steel framed and built to order. We choose a pre-made laser cut cross buck design. They look just like a wood painted cross-bucks with the ‘cross’ and outside frame that lays on top of the door. Our pre-ordered doors come with all hardware, which helps the building and detail process go much quicker. We had the option to choose a 3 piece frame or a welded one piece frame-which we decided on, for the ease of construction. You can choose from galvanized steel or powder-coated paint with over 30 colors to choose from to match your barn.
From having Dutch Doors in the past, I did not want to have my horses lean on them when the top door was opened. So we decided to put an inner door on the inside of the bottom frame. It saves on the wear with the bottom half of the Dutch door and horses tend to lean or rub on the inside door rather than the outside door. We made a steel mesh framed bottom door which allowed us to open the bottom half and the ventilation was superior! Small latches were installed on the outside of the barn so doors could be secured open with small eye hooks. On windy days you don’t want your doors swinging, with any kind of wind, and accidentally hitting you or your horse.
When horses are being shod or in the aisle of the barn and getting through is not easy, exiting out the Dutch Doors makes turn-out or riding easy. We also opted to have an overhang along each side of the barn which helped to keep us and the horses out of direct weather. When the doors are closed in inclement weather, they are tight and do not rattle or let the wind, rain or snow through.
Sliding Dutch Doors on the front of your barn can really make barn entrance beautiful. A plain barn can be brought to life and given a new look as well as increase functionality. The large door way opening is unobtrusive to horses and allows access for large equipment. You can opt to have windows at the top of your doors and allow natural light to filter into your barn. Top windows also give the front of your barn a truly distinctive look.
If you like the look of cross buck doors and do not want a ‘double door’, you can consider adding ‘bale doors’ to your barn They offer the ability to increase ventilation and still let your horses have a view with out having to install windows and grill work. When installing any of your doors, be sure to think about how far apart the doors will be set, pertaining to the outside of your barn. Putting them too close will cause over lapping and you may want to consider spacing to allow the doors to be flat when completely opened.
Sliding Dutch Doors can be used for tack rooms, grain and hay storage areas. Because they can be used in a standard door application or as large as over head door ways, they can be used for both interior and exterior areas. Not only can they be used with your horses, but many of us have small children (or small animals and dogs) that are can be safely kept in areas of the barn that should be off limits for safety reasons. Being able to close just the bottom door or both, gives you so much versatility.
Take it from me, I know you will love having Dutch Doors in and outside of your barn! I would love to hear from you and find out your thoughts and ideas about having them in your barn!
Take some time this week to enjoy your horses and your family. I hope you enjoy every moment in your barn!