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Interior Pocket Door

Make Better Use Of Space With An Interior Pocket Door

There are few more effective and affordable ways to improve your household space than to install an interior pocket door rather than a standard door in areas of the house where space is at a premium. By eliminating the need to reserve clear space for the swing of a hinged door floor-space is freed up, leaving rooms airy and open for furniture and human movement. Traffic areas such as storage entries and corridors are more easily navigated when a hinged door is replaced with the pocket door.

What is an interior pocket door? It is a clever and sensible form of sliding door which takes advantage of the fact that most interior walls are largely hollow. Besides studs and braces a wall is mostly air contained by sheets of lathe or drywall. An interior pocket door is made by adjusting the support structure inside the wall to leave a case into which a door can slide: a pocket.

Old versions of pocket doors were sometimes balky, or shoddily made. As a result for some time pocket doors had a poor reputation among remodelers. The problem was made more severe by the lack of different styles and finishes available.

A modern pocket door, however, is likely to be well made, with a solid case, strong and easily maintained suspending rollers, and a door which can come in virtually any style a standard hinged door can be found in. From paneled doors to smooth faced foam core, from windows with glass panes to bright enamel coated metal doors, there is likely to be a pocket door to suit any home and decorative style.

There are several approaches to installing pocket doors. The most common is to purchase a kit to be installed by a well equipped and moderately experienced do-it-yourself woodworker. These kits can also be installed by most contractors without difficulty. A well made kit can even increase the strength of the wall.

There are several stages involved in using an interior pocket door kit, including removing the existing doorframe, clearing the space for the pocket, installing the suspension system and rollers, and installing the pocket. Because this is a moderately complicated project those who are new to home improvement should be very careful to read all instructions, assemble all needed materials in advance, and not proceed before fully understanding the various stages of the installation process and the logic behind the order of stages.

Another approach to installing a pocket door is to purchase a largely pre-built door and pocket from a supply store providing home fabrication and remodeling materials to contractors and homeowners. Give careful thought to this approach. It is seldom any easier than the method of using the kit, and many argue that pre-fab pocket doors are designed in ways that weaken the structure of walls.

A final approach can be considered by homeowners who have a fair amount of experience, a good set of cabinetry tools, and a desire to take a challenge. Using suspension and sliding-track hardware a pocket door can be constructed from scratch, using either a preexisting door or even taking on the challenge of creating a door from raw materials. This demands a fairly high level of carpentry and cabinetry skill, though, and should not be chosen by the inexperienced.

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