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Barn Doors and How to Secure Them

Barn doors seem to be all the rage with architects. The only problem is that securing them isn’t very straightforward. Because they slide away from a wall or another barn door or maybe slide next to another barn door without meeting you can’t use a conventional deadbolt or typical hardware from the big box store.

Here’s some ways to secure barn doors:

  • Hasp and padlock – secures the door but only from one side. It isn’t very convenient if somebody wants to unlock the door from either side. There is also the danger that if the hasp is installed on the outside somebody could maliciously lock the hasp while somebody is inside with the door closed and they would be unable to get out.
  • Adams Rite Hookbolt – These are designed to prevent prying the door away from the doorframe. They’re really tough locks. Usually they are used in hollow aluminum doors but I’ve installed them in wooden doors before. It’s a bit of work to mortise out the door for them. They work well in doors at least 1 and 3/4″ thick. They can be locked or unlocked from either side with a key or a thumbturn.
  • The Octopod by Major Manufacturing – locks the door from only one side. The lock is keyed so somebody could only maliciously lock you inside if it was the only exit and they had the key or were able to manipulate the lock with lockpicks or other similar method.
  • Jimmyproof lock – These allow you to lock or unlock the door from either side. They are manufactured by Yale, Medeco, Abloy, and others. They use conventional rim cylinders so they are ideal for thick doors of 3″ or more. The only limit is the length of the screws and tailpiece for your rim cylinder.