Adding a Pocket Door to Save Space
Adding a pocket door to save space in the home can create about ten additional feet of usable space in a room. Pocket doors slide into the wall and disappear completely from view. There are double sliding doors that meet in the middle and one-sided sliding doors that meet the wall along the door frame when closed. Pocket doors are easiest to install during the new construction phase, but can be added to existing walls with the proper planning and tools.
What Is In the Wall?
Before beginning demolition on the wall around the door opening, it is necessary to know what is behind the drywall. Is the wall a load bearing wall? Are the studs structurally sound and in good repair? Are there electrical wires or telephone lines running along the inside the wall? Will breaking into the wall damage its integrity? Knowing the answers to these questions can prevent complications and allow the project to run smoothly. Checking the underside of the wall from a basement or crawlspace can usually give clues of what is contained behind the drywall or plaster.
By purchasing the highest quality pocket door frame available, the door is sure to last longer and be much easier to install. Good frames will be solidly built from strong metal that will not warp or bend. The rolling tracks of a high quality pocket door frame will be firmly secured and the wheels will be firmly shielded to prevent them from jumping off the track. The added expense for a well-built frame will more than pay for itself with years of trouble-free pocket door movement. Most home improvement stores carry pocket door frames, but they can also be found at specialty stores and online.
One key to installing a space saving pocket door is to make sure that all components are level and plumb. If a frame is installed slightly off-kilter it will keep the door from sliding easily along the track and could result in a myriad of problems throughout the coming years. Level pocket door installation will guarantee that the door will close completely for security and privacy. It is also important to make sure that the entire door frame opening is level. If the opening is crooked or slightly angled, the door will always have problems closing completely. Double and triple check all openings, frames and tracks to make sure that the job only needs to be completed one time.
Pocket doors are a time-honored, space saving design that continue to gain in popularity. Although many homeowners have only traditional swinging doors, the need for more space is leading some to explore the option of installing their own pocket doors. Doors leading from the master bedroom to a closet or master bath are good starting places for experimenting with pocket door installation. The walls are usually wire free, non-load bearing and easy to cut into. Remember to purchase the best frame available and take the time to investigate the walls, measure, re-measure and make sure everything is level when adding a pocket door to save space.