Covering Up an Incredible Eye Sore With a Barn Door Closet!

Introduction: Covering Up an Incredible Eye Sore With a Barn Door Closet!

About: There is nothing I love more then making something new and usable again that someone else would have thrown out or torn down!

So we've had this incredible eye sore in our entryway since the very beginning of our house renovation. We can blame me and the epic lack of communication with our electrician remains a VERY sore spot for me because it apparently never occurred to anyone that we needed to discuss the location of the new panels SO they ended up right here, right by our front door. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. Horrible eye sore that I've been planning and scheming to get covered up this entire time. Outside the house it looks just as horrible, a nice electrical conduit welcome greeting for anyone coming in but unless I win the lottery some time and want to hire someone to undertake the immense (and extraordinarily costly) task of moving the panels, all I can do is make the best of this ugly situation. Of course, my plan began with the idea that I wanted to make a barn door closet, as I've got several wonderful old barn doors laying around :) So, this is where I started.

I went to my stash of left over 2x4s and 2x6s and managed to build the entire frame out of scrap lumber from the house renovation. A barn door closet has to first start with a good frame! Really, I just built a little room. It is not the exact right way to frame in a closet, but it is sturdy and level (screwed to the ceiling joists and the floor) so I'm ok with it not being perfect in wall building standards - it certainly isn't holding up the house or anything. I used a 2x6 on the right side of the door frame to give extra support for our old barn door. Like so many things in the house this old door was actually the old wood shed door and, amazingly, this is the old wood shed that is now our entryway. We just took down the wall between it and the house and added a floor as it all shared the same roof line and, suddenly, we had 200 square feet of more living space. It used to be my Grandma would step out the front door, turn a step to her right and go right through this old barn door to access the wood shed, so, this old barn door is literally only about two feet from where it used to be :)

I was planning out this closet to always incorporate the beautiful coat rack we were given as a wedding gift as we literally had no where else to put it. So, we had to cut the barn door down and I had to make the door opening only 68 inches tall. Anyone but me and anyone shorter then me will be ducking to get in here from now on but, because I'm our electrician for everything but installing panels, I'll be the only one in here so, no biggie.

I got to work then covering the entire frame with leftover bead board. If you've every worked with ply bead before (plywood that looks like bead board) you know you only have two sides with a tongue and groove to work with so, to not have any seems, you need to keep your wits about you. If I had just bought full sheets of new ply bead this would have been a much quicker task, however, I saw no reason not to utilize the scraps we had and, low and behold, it was enough to cover our entire barn door closet!

Step 1:

Some one, who shall remain nameless (me), forgot to take pictures after I covered the entire cabinet in trim! Amazingly, I had enough scrap leftover from trimming the house and out in the barn to do all but one piece of all of that trim! So, for a cost of all of $2 I grabbed a 6 foot 1x4 at our local lumber yard after work and completed all of the trim using our air compressor and brad nailer. Then I got to painting! If you're going to believe me when I say that painting bead board is easy then I have a bridge to sell you ;) I did two coats and then hung up the barn door and our beautiful coat rack to finally complete our barn door closet!

We are stoked!!! Finally we have a place to hang our coats and leave our shoes after work at the end of the day!! Our dining room is to the left there in the picture so, inevitably, every day we would come home and our coats would be hung on a dining room chair and, pretty soon, it looked like our entire closet was hanging out around our dining room table. Not good. Now, we come home to our barn door closet, have a spot for our shoes, have a place to hang our daily coats and, a place for our guests to hang their coats too! Yay!

As always guys, you're wonderful for coming by and checking out our projects. If you don't mind giving us a share we're on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Every single share of support is what keeps our little farm going and helps us pay for future projects, thank you so much guys!



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    7 Discussions

    As an electrician that was just lazy and/or poor planning on the person(s) that installed those panels.

    Now for the electrical mumbo jumbo you won't like. The "closet" is fine to hide the panels as long as there is enough working space defined in National Electric Code 110.26 (A)(1) for depth of working space, 110.26 (A)(2) for width of working space, and 110.26(A)(3) for height of working space. Now sadly your idea of using it for storage is cut down by NEC 110.26(B) unless the above clearance is still met with the stored items inside the closet.

    That code isn't just for electricians but is also used by safety, fire, building, and insurance inspectors.

    4 replies

    After passing code I kept the number of our electrical inspector and gave him a call. He had me send him the photos and gave me an A-Ok. Actually we're in such rural area there were no inspections or permits that needed to be pulled when we renovated our house up to a year and a half ago. Then the only inspection we were required was an "obligation" to have it inspected through our electrical company by their private electrical inspection, which we obliged by and why I sent him the pics.

    I probably had constructed the closet less deep as to not waste space too much and get the clearance for the electrician when he has to do his job. Probably I'd nailed the person leaving the mess as you found it, carefully watching the nails would hit the live cables in the right order.

    Lol right!? Gosh I was so angry when I came home and saw where he had put it without ever talking to me first. I blame me, I just didn't think for a second that anyone in their right mind would stick it there without talking to the person who hired him first. I tried to call but never got a hold of him, left a message on his voice mail and the only response I received was a bill for 4,000. Still mad.

    Depending on the contract you made you should not pay the whole sum but maybe just half of it. Then talk to where you both can agree. Of course, again: depends on the contract.

    I live here in my 2nd house and know quite good how to get hold of all those craftsmen. Nevertheless I still got pissed by some. They are clever since they do that all day and for me it was, so to say, the 2nd time (though with quite a number of contracts).

    Good luck!

    I know nothing about the legalities of the electricals, but I think your cupboard looks awesome. Great job...I have an old door from a railway station that was pulled down years ago. You have given me an idea


    1 reply