As a real estate investor, it can be difficult to wade through current home design trends and determine which will last long enough for you to sell and actually offer a solid return on investment (ROI). Barn doors have been popular for quite some time, but since they can cost more than traditional doors, you need to determine if they will produce a good enough return for the added expense. Read on for the cost and potential return of including barn doors for your next property.
What are barn doors?
Barn doors are mounted to the outside of the wall, as opposed to inside the doorjamb. They are hung on a track system so the doors slide out of the way parallel to the wall rather than swinging out. Because of the track system, they hang an inch or so off the wall (depending on hardware) so they don't sit flush and are not sealed. This makes them unsuitable as exterior doors, but they can be used in bedrooms, closets, dining rooms, bathrooms, or any other interior doorways that suit you.
Keep in mind you'll need to have enough wall space for the barn door to slide, with no light switches, artwork, or other items on the wall next to it to catch the door. Not only can they save space by eliminating the outward swing, but they are a trending style that can quickly update the look of the house.
How much do barn doors cost?
According to HomeAdvisor (NYSE: ANGI), barn doors will likely cost between $300 and $1,000. Doorway size, door material, weight of the door, additional features like glass or Shaker style, and the quality of the hardware are reasons for the huge range in cost. If you opt for a lightweight generic vinyl door with a simple track system, it will probably be closer to $300, roughly $50 more than the average cost of a standard door. If you have an oversized double door and go for a heavier, sound-dampening solid wood door, it can quickly jump up to $750 or more. Not big on DIY? Make sure to add an additional $250-$500 to the cost for labor and installation.
Is it worth it?
Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) (NASDAQ: ZG) analyzed over 2 million listing descriptions for various home features to determine which ones sold for more and the speed at which they sold. Barn doors topped the list and were sought after like other home features such as Shaker cabinets, farmhouse sinks, quartz countertops, and subway tile.
According to Zillow's findings, barn doors topped the list for increased sales price from expected at 13.4% higher, whereas the other top features saw an increase of price between 6% to 9%. With consistently high demand over the past decade, it's likely barn doors can be a solid feature to include in your next investment.
The bottom line
Switching standard prehung doors, especially if they need to be replaced regardless and not just for an updated look, to barn doors will likely give you a reasonable return on investment and may even help sell the home faster. Barn doors can also be a great way to add style to your next fix-and-flip or rental property without actually having to hang artwork or other decor. By going a step above basic and using Shaker style, glass, or perhaps even a salvaged antique door, you will add instant character to the room.
Keep in mind: Quality matters, especially for the hardware. Make sure to look at reviews or ask a contractor with experience installing barn doors.