Farm Projects: Building A Repurposed Door

The new pigs are have settled into their barn/run setup, but we quickly realized that we needed a functional door to be able to keep them out of their sleeping area when we need, for example, to clean it out. What to do? Make a door…from repurposed materials.

First, let me explain: the barn once had doors. Over time, the heavy wooden doors began to sag on their hinges, and were pretty non-functional by the time we moved in. We removed some of the worst, which left open doorways. It was fine for poultry to wander through the open barn, but it doesn’t work for pigs – we just don’t need them running amok!

This project is illustrative of how our perspectives have changed: rather than immediately heading out to buy some lumber, we first looked around to see what we had on hand that might be utilized. We routinely keep leftover bits of lumber, wire, etc…because you never know. And once again, a cast-off piece became useful: what was formerly a part of our first (and well-used) brooder’s lid became the frame for the door.

We installed it as it was, at first, with the poultry netting, but soon realized that the pigs could push the wire out at the bottom – and we didn’t want that sharp wire to poke them. So we took it down and removed the flimsy poultry netting, but didn’t come away unscathed; unfortunately, cuts and punctures seem to be par for course when working with wire.

Door v2.0 uses scraps of plywood from other projects to replace that (not-so-useful) poultry netting. The two pieces were (of course) of different thicknesses, so we had to get creative and devise a way to “marry” the pieces where they met near the middle. Another scrap piece of lumber was employed to address that issue.

Since we had already attached the hinges, the plywood was screwed on over the original hinge mountings. Time saver! It was only when we went to re-attach the door that we realized it wouldn’t work because there was no longer enough clearance for the hinges to swing properly. Not a time saver, after all.

After loosening the plywood enough to reach the hinge mountings, we unscrewed them and re-attached them over the plywood. The door was re-attached to the barn, and it worked perfectly. With a good, sturdy door, the pigs are secure, even when they’re pushing on it.

Cost of the project? $17.99, broken out as follows: $7.99 for the pair of hinges, $5.99 for a hasp (to lock the door), and $2.99 for a clip to go into the hasp to secure it (and $1.02 sales tax). Saving scraps and functional parts of previous construction projects can really pay off!