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Eleven Steps to Installing a Pocket Door

One way to gain extra usable space in a room is to install a pocket door. A pocket door does not use the room a standard door needs to swing out, so it provides an average of an extra ten feet of usable floor space. On the downside, pocket door installation requires removing portions of a wall, so it is best done during a major remodel or renovation. You have the option of installing a single pocket door, or two doors for larger doorways, each sliding into one side of the opening. Here is how to install a single pocket door.

1. Check the wall into which the pocket door will fit for obstructions: electrical wiring, heating ducts, or plumbing pipes. If any of these are present, they will have to be relocated.

2. Purchase a pocket door and hardware kit, along with framing lumber, casing lumber, nails, wood screws, drywall, tape, and joint compound, sandpaper, paint, and construction adhesive.

3. Assemble the tools you will need: tape measure, level, hammer, hacksaw, pencil, drywall knife, and screwdriver.

4. Frame the door opening to the measurements the door manufacturer specifies. Make sure that it is plumb and level.

5. Get the door hardware kit and cut the track assembly and door header to the proper length for the opening. Mount both with the fasteners provided.

6. Install the stiffeners from the kit according to instructions, making sure they are plumb. Then attach the door bumper to the stud at the rear of the pocket.

7. If necessary, paint or stain the door prior to hanging. Mount the doorplate on the top of the door and place the hangers onto the track. Hang the door on the track, using the adjusting nuts to set the height and plumb.

8. Attach drywall to the studs using construction adhesive (nails can damage the door). Tape any drywall joints, using joint compound.

9. Install the adjustable door guides from the kit at the front of the pocket opening and use them to center the door in the pocket.

10. Attach the side jambs and head jambs, using screws to allow you access to the pocket door for subsequent adjustments.

11. Finish by attaching the door casings, using construction adhesive and finishing nails.

When you are done, you will have a door that can close off the room without taking up all the space that your swinging door used to. You can place a couch or table against the wall right next to the door casing to take advantage of your additional usable space.

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