If you live in tight quarters, replacing a regular door with a pocket door is a wonderful way to expand the usable space in a room. Since a pocket door slides into the wall to open, you do not have to leave clearance for a swinging door, and you can arrange your furniture right up to the door jams if you wish. But before you get excited and plan to install a pocket door in your home, there are a few things that you should consider.
Pocket Door Pluses There are some definite advantages to having a pocket door in your home, because they use less floor space than a standard door. Since a pocket door does not have to swing open into the room, it makes for a very efficient use of floor space. A pocket door slides right into the wall and literally disappear when opened. If you choose to install a pocket door in your home, make sure to select a good quality door and install it carefully for years of solid use. Most modern pocket door kits are durable and solid, and very seldom do you have a problem with them flipping off of their track. This is the main reason that you want to make sure to select a high quality pocket door kit for installation.
Do your Homework First One of the biggest considerations before you start ripping into your wall to add a pocket door, is knowing what is housed in the wall. If you have electrical wiring, plumbing or ductwork in the wall, you may want to consider placing your pocket on the other side of the doorway. You can also reroute any internal wall elements as part of your pocket door installation. Another thing that you need to consider if you are adding a new door is whether the wall is a load bearing wall or not. If it is, you will need to make sure that it has adequate support to maintain its load after you cut a hole in it. You may need to install a header beam, or simply add additional support to the door frame. If you are not sure if your wall is load bearing, or if you are not sure how to deal with a load bearing wall, consult a professional for assistance with this portion of the project.
Installation Considerations Once you have determined that you have the perfect spot for your pocket door, and you have rerouted any necessary wiring, plumbing and ductwork, you can begin installing your pocket door. If you are replacing a swinging door with a pocket door, make sure that your framework is perfectly level as you begin your project. If you verify that your angles are level and plumb, then your successive steps will be easier. If you are replacing a regular door with a pocket door, you will need to completely remove the original door and door frame. Before installing your door on the tracks, make sure that your door is stained or painted, because it is much easier to paint the door before installing it rather than after. Make sure that the door is properly finished, because you do not want your door to warp and get jammed on the tracks in the wall. Just doing these few, simple things will help you easily install your pocket door according to its directions for years of problem free use.
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