Build sliding doors yourself: instructions in 7 steps

A sliding door is practical and saves a lot of space. Especially in confined spaces, this door variant enjoys great popularity, because it does not open into the room. However, sliding doors require some play to the side to stay mobile. Building such a door yourself is relatively easy: we provide a detailed construction manual.

Simple sliding doors versus sliding doors

The simple sliding door needs nothing more than at least one rail, which gives her support and determines their direction of movement. Lifting sliding doors, on the other hand, have a more complicated construction, but they also offer some advantages.

For example, lift-and-slide doors are much easier to use than exterior doors, for example on the patio and balcony. They seal better against drafts and moisture and have an effective latch that keeps out uninvited guests.

But a lift-and-slide door can hardly be built in your own basement workshop itself, the simple sliding door provides rather a good basis for a successful DIY project. It then serves as a stylish room divider or as a cupboard and shelf door.

Difference between sliding door and sliding door

The sliding door also differs from the sliding door, though both words are often mistakenly used as synonyms. The sliding door is characterized by the following properties:

  • Running track only at the upper end, no bottom rail
  • visual impression, as if the door "floats"
  • less stable due to free suspension
  • easier operation because less rolling resistance
  • more and more often to find wardrobes

The classic sliding door, for which we provide a construction manual here, is a bit different and yet closely related to the floating door. Their properties are as follows:

  • a top track, a bottom guide track
  • groove systems are also possible
  • more stability due to fixation on both sides
  • Rolling resistance can lead to bucking and jamming

A beautiful door leaf is the alpha and omega of the sliding door

Rail systems for self-made sliding doors can be purchased in every hardware store, but the nuts and bolts is a visually appealing door leaf. You have the choice whether to make this door leaf yourself, or if you want to buy a prefabricated product.

Prefabricated doors are available in glass as well as metal or wood versions. Plastic doors are likely to be among the cheapest finished models priced, with sliding doors, the mounting kit is usually included.

Self-made door panels, for example, can be made of antique material that has been upgraded in a shabby-chic look. Experienced DIY enthusiasts build a glass window with rungs in a wooden door leaf or produce a high-quality paint job.

A guide to the self-construction of sliding doors

  • possibly sandpaper
  • door leaf
  • door handle
  • Running track for above
  • Bottom guide for below
  • 2 trolley for above
  • Dowels and screws
  • ruler
  • spirit level
  • Beistift
  • saw
  • abrasive paper
  • Drill and drill
  • Cordless Screwdriver

1. Take measure

First, accurately measure the door hole and also check that there is enough space to push the self-made sliding door all the way. Determine the exact position of the runner and bottom rail so that they are exactly on top of each other.

2. Cut the door leaf

Now cut your door leaf in the appropriate dimensions or let it be sawn in the hardware store. Smooth out all edges and perform the pilot holes for mounting the door handle.

3. Mount top runner rail

First, assemble the top track after assembling and eventually shortening to the correct length. Use the spirit level for precise adjustment and mark the drill holes in advance.

3. Tighten the floor guide

Now attach the floor guide: mark the drill points again, then drill them and insert the dowels. Then screw the rail with the cordless screwdriver.

4. Mount the trolley on top of the door leaf

Now mount the two trolleys at the upper end of the door leaf and pay attention to symmetry.

5. Install the sliding door

To hang the door you probably need a second person. Hook the trolleys into the track and fit the bottom end into the floor track.

6. Install the lever guard

Remember to mount the knockout guard on both sides of the track so the sliding door does not "overshoot".

7. Screw on the door handle

Last but not least, screw the door handle on: Now you can open and close your self-made sliding door for the first time.

In the third part of our series, take a closer look at the possibilities of retrofitting a wardrobe with sliding doors.

Tips & Tricks

Always make sure that no dirt settles in the guide rails, otherwise the self-made sliding door could soon be jammed!

Video Board: How to Make a Sliding Barn Door