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Installing A Pocket Door

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I think it is about time for another half bathroom post.  And today I thought I would tell you about how we install a pocket door.   You can see below how the door opened up into the hall and it was just annoying.. we could never see what was on the wall. And with kids it just always seemed to be open.  The other side of the hall is our bedroom doorway, so not only was it always open but it was always in the way of that doorway.

The solution?  A pocket door.  … I know some people hate pocket doors but they have come a LONG way and the hardware is so much better than it was… that, and you can buy prebuilt kits ready to install (which I HIGLY recommend!)  Below is what the space looked like before.  Before starting any project that effects the structure of your home be sure to consult with a structural engineer or architect.  p.s. sorry about the picture quality, there is no natural light in this space at all…


The nice blank wall  with no electrical or plumbing made this the idea spot for a pocket door.

Ahh… the difference it makes to take off the door.  The great thing about a pocket door is that when you take off the door, that is pretty much how the space will feel when you are done, nice and open, no door to move around!  And I love that I can finally see my pictures (even though I moved them almost immediately)


It is hard not to take a picture of Kitty sleeping in the sink (it is funny to me every time!)

Before getting into any demo, we definitely put up some drop cloths to contain dust…

Behind the wall where we installed the door is our master bathroom shower.  So, we cut the drywall on the half bath side out carefully (we even kept it in one piece and reinstalled it! NO waste!) We scored deeply all the corners, then the lines and used a crowbar to gently pop the nails out of the back of the drywall… (you can also use a sawzall to cut the nails to get you started)

Here is the huge piece of drywall once removed…

Next we removed the studs and header where the kit would be.  (we did not build a temporary wall because our house had two parallel walls within 3 feet on either side., but if you do not have that you may want to construct a temporary wall before removing studs, consult a contractor if you need to)


We used a sawzall to cut the nails, so that the studs could be reused.


Reconstruction began immediately (this project took about a 1/2 day)  Justin started with a new header, and set the jack and king studs in place.  (jack means the one supporting the header and the king is the full height stud that sits outside the header)

Now that the door framing is in place, the easy part is adding the pocket door kit. 

Basically it is a pocket with a space for the door to slide in and a track on top.


Shim it into the proper place.


Add the track hardware to the existing door, the instructions come with the kit. (We used the door as a baby gate during the project… ghetto yes, but worked like a charm!)  Just don’t forget to remove the old door knob and hinges!  You can buy a pocket door handle plug for pretty cheap so that you can reuse your existing door.


And the final results?  Pocket door perfection… well almost!  It reached perfection when we installed all the door trim and a nice coat of black paint!  And that is how to install a pocket door…well at least that is how we installed this one.


(you can see how it looked in this image below when I hung new family pictures up when all the wainscoting and trip was up… love it!)

If you want to see the first post about the 1/2 bath check it out here, I will be showing you more again soon!

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