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Pocket Door Retrofit

I am a fan of Pocket Doors. A big Fan. They just make more sense, especially if you have a small house. I have one now and am planning on 4 or 5 more.

Retro fitting a pocket door where there was the other type is not hard.
You need enough space for the door and frame.

Typically it is twice the width of the door plus 2”
Example: (36”) x 2 =72” +2” = 74”
The Height from the finished floor is 84″
So your rough opening is 74” wide by 84” high.

Here is a typical location between a bedroom and a bath.
There are a couple of things to watch for. This photo shows an outlet in the wall. Check both sides of your location to see if you are going to have to re-route electricity or plumbing.
Opening before start

The first thing to do is to remove the old door and trim. Here we are using the original stud on the knob side.
Open the wall up, to see how far beyond the width that you need, you find a stud. In this case the line 1/2 way up the wall on the left is where the stud was. You can see the stud post that formed the wing wall that is in the bathroom, that was a closet and part of the Walk In closet project. You can also see the band joist that framed the ceiling in that closet where there was a heat/ac duct.

Draw a line from the top of the door to the ceiling. On the other side draw or snap a plumb line between the floor and the ceiling. Take a utility knife and cut the ceiling wall intersection so when you remove the drywall, it comes away clean and you will not have a large patch to repair.
Drywall removed and wall exposed

Do the same thing on the other side of the wall. At this point, you will need to cut the bottom plate to your rough opening width.

Rough wall opening

By cutting your drywall straight, you can build a wing wall that you you can place between the top and bottom plates, and tuck it 1/2 way behind the drywall, so that you can attach the drywall securely. Then measure and build a header for the top of the rough opening. The squarer you build this part, the less shimming you will need to do.
Assemble the top track to the pocket door frame, slide it into position, shim where it needs it, and fasten it. The bottom of these assemblies have a steel plate with holes in them. Blue screws are just the ticket for concrete floors.
Install the clips on the top of the door.(Remember the ‘handle’ is below center as you are looking at the door) Install and adjust the door so that it rolls smoothly. Plumb and install the jamb piece being sure to get it plumb, so there is no angle gap when the door is closed. Make any final adjustments on the door rollers, and then tighten them down.
Framing and pocket door in place

Drywall and finish.
Pocket door with sheetrock and second coat of tape

Two Notes!!
1. Use screws no longer than (1”) when fastening the drywall to the horizontal pocket frame members. Anything longer, you risk screwing the frame to the door, which will make you feel dumb.
2. Use Painters Blue Tape on the exposed wood, so that clean up and painting is easier.

The Walk In Closet Project Series End

The Walk In Closet is Finished.

This is His side. We had the cabinets painted to match the rest of the room. The client found some containers that fit nicely above the clothes racks.

This is Her side. After assembly, we did some sizing, and added shelves.

This is the other side of her side. You can see the little window which the client will be making a stained glass panel. Also in this picture is the shoe shelf.

The clients reused the track lighting that was removed from another bedroom.

I like the hollow core idea a lot. So when I get my house situated, I will build a closet like it.