Do Sliding Barn Doors Lock Effectively?

Locking is an important capability that we often prioritize in various exterior doors for our homes or buildings, but certain door types may raise a few questions in this area. A common query that arises from some clients looking into this door type: Do barn doors lock, and are these locks effective?

At Rocky Mountain Windows & Doors, we’re here to offer a wide range of high-end doors for clients around Utah, including sliding barn doors made from the highest-quality materials available. Barn doors definitely do lock – there are actually a few different forms of lock that can be utilized for a sliding barn door depending on your preferences and security needs. Here are some of the basics on how to think about locks for sliding barn doors, how they compare in security to other door types, and some of the top options at your disposal. 

Sliding Barn Doors Lock

Barn Door Locks Vs. Other Door Types

Firstly, let’s address the question of whether barn doors can provide effective security when locked – and they certainly can, though sometimes to levels slightly below other door types. The primary factor here is the lack of a traditional door frame, which is not present for most barn doors. On many other doors, this frame serves as a barrier between the door and the frame when locked. Without it, some small amounts of play can be possible even when locked, which may present a slight security concern for some homeowners.

However, this does not mean that barn doors are inherently insecure – they can still provide excellent protection against intruders with the right lock mechanism in place. In fact, many modern options for barn door locks are designed specifically to address this potential issue and ensure that the door remains securely locked.

Now, let’s get into some specific types of barn door locks that clients often consider.

Various Latch Types

One of the more common approaches to locking a barn door involves the use of a latch. Latches allow for simple, manual locking of the door by sliding a bolt into place, and many options here will also include an added layer of security such as a key-locking mechanism. The primary benefit of latches is their ease of use – they are simple, straightforward, and can often be installed without professional assistance.

However, some drawbacks do exist in terms of security when compared to other options. Latches can be relatively easy to pick or manipulate, and they may not provide as tight of a seal as other options. For some homeowners, this is fine – but for those seeking the highest levels of security, a latch may not be the best choice.

Here are a few of the notable latch types you might think about for a barn door:

  • Tear drop latch: Named due to its shape, which resembles a tear drop. These latches come with a piece of metal mounted onto the door or wall, which is able to rotate out into a catch plate that’s placed on the opposing door or wall surface. 
  • Hook and eye latches: This is another latch method where a hook is mounted to one surface, then pivots into a slot on the other surface to secure the door.
  • Slide bolt latch: This type of latch resembles a sliding lock on a bathroom stall. It’s a simple, inexpensive option for locking barn doors. 

Hasp Lock

If you’re looking for a bit more security, a hasp lock is a style that might work for you. It involves a hinged plate that pivots over a fixed knob, where turning the knob secures the lock – or, for even more security, you can add a physical padlock as well. 

This design is not only effective but also simple to set up and easy to use. The downside, however, is that it can be a bit more expensive than the other options we’ve discussed so far.

This type can also be a bit complex during installation, as it requires a 90-degree bend in the door jamb to secure it properly. Keep this in mind when considering hasp locks for your barn doors.

Cane Floor Bolt

Did you know that there are also locking options that sit at the bottom of barn doors? One great example is the cane floor bolt, which involves a sliding rod mounted to the bottom of the door. Once this is installed, the rod can pivot and lower into a hole that’s drilled into the floor, effectively locking the door in place.

This type of lock is great for those looking to keep their barn doors tightly shut and secure during extended periods of time. However, it’s not as convenient for daily or frequent use compared to other options, so consider this when deciding on a lock mechanism.

Advanced Modern Locks

While some of these products are still in their infancy, more and more advanced door locks are being developed every day. Some of these options include touchscreen keypads, fingerprint scanners, and smartphone-controlled locks that can add an extra layer of security to your barn doors.

Of course, these modern options will likely come at a higher cost compared to the other types mentioned. But for homeowners looking for the ultimate in security and convenience, they may be worth considering.

Factors in Making Your Choice

If you’re still unsure about which type of lock is best for your sliding barn door, here are a few factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Budget: As mentioned, some locks will come at a higher cost than others. Consider how much you’re willing to spend on a lock and factor that into your decision-making process.
  • Frequency of use: Will the door be opened and closed frequently or will it remain shut for extended periods of time? This will impact the type of lock you choose.
  • Level of security: How important is security to you and your home? If you live in a low-risk area, a simple latch may suffice. However, if security is a top priority, consider investing in more advanced options.

Overall, barn doors can offer an excellent combination of style and function, but choosing the right lock is crucial for ensuring both. Consider your needs and preferences, and don’t be afraid to consult with a professional if you’re unsure about which type will work best for you.

At Rocky Mountain Windows & Doors, we offer a range of high-quality barn door locks to choose from. Our team is also happy to provide expert advice and installation services for your convenience. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services for clients around Utah!