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Question DetailsAsked on 10/30/2014

What is an estimated cost to install a pocket door?

I own a Baltimore rowhouse and am interested in installing a pocket door in the upstairs guest room to save space (homes are narrow @ 12ft wide).

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You actually have several choices for eliminating or reducing the space taken by door swing in confined rooms - you can find pictures of these options by googling this phrase, with the appropriate door type in each case - images for bypass door - or - images for pocket door , etc.

The choices are

1) a pocket door as you say,

2) a bypass door, which is like a pocket door but hangs on a track very close in front of the wall rather than inside it, so takes up about 4-6 inches of room space along that wall where it parks,

3) and folding doors (both rigid like bi-foldsor tri-folds and flexible like accordian or japanese folding curtain doors) which take up a foot or so of doorway width if "in" the opening (so commonly the opening is widened to provide parking space and maintain a legal door opening width) but no wall space other than the widened opening, unless they are face-mounted so instead ofparking "in" the doorway they park sticking out in the hall or room at the side and close over the face of the doorway rather than internal to the doorway.

4) There are two other less common options too, though rarely used except in converted industrial or "artists" lofts that retained the industrial look, and that is overhead rollup doors which are available in simulated wood as well as the traditional metal and roll up like commercial garage doors in a coil a foot or two in diameter over the door; and fabric doors that are basically fabric folding doors, though there is a company out there whose name I don't remember that makes horizontal-opening rollup doors - sort of like a spring-retracting roller blind on end.

5) One other option which is legal in only some areas and generally only in single-occupancy areas (not in public hallways) so you would have to check code requirements in your area, is changing the door swing so it opens out into the hall rather than into the room. Commonly legal only for door at the dead end of hallsand swinging into the dead end of the hall, so it cannot swing out and hit someone walking down the hall.

====== Cost and ease of installation issues ======

6) The reason I mention the other options is that the bypass door, which runs on a track just like a pocket door (an can actually use the same type track, or can run cantilever-mounted on a side-mount track so the track is hidden behind the open door), is minimally invasive to install - though you do have to leave the parking space for the door free of furnishings so while it does not eliminate that wall for low-profile paintings or posters or very thin flat-screen monitors or TV's and such (which show only when the door is closed), it does prevent putting furniture tight up against that wall. However, takes no longer or even less time than a normal door to install from scratch, so your cost is likely to be about $500 range plus or minus maybe a hundred or so.

One other option on the bypass door (also called a roller door)if you have enough width in the hall to make it legal - is to mount it on the outside of the doorway so it rolls and parks in the hallway - with an appropriate veneeer covering it can blend in fairly well. This is a common solution for vendor stalls in shopping marts with lots of small stalls or shops, though the door does cover up possible window display area in that event.

7) A folding door can be gotten and installed for about $300 if it fits in the same space as the current doorway (if wide enough for it to fit and still leave legal width), otherwise more like $500-800 probably to widen the doorway and install it if they are careful to not damage the wall surfaces that are remaining - assuming you have studwall construction.

8) Then the pocket door - which requires either taking out the entire wall (at least for a bit more than twice the width of the door - its "closed" location plus the "open" parking location plus a bit. The wall is then rebuilt as a double-stud wall - one row of studs (usually turned sideways) on each face to fasten the wall surfacing (drywall or whatever) to, with the open cavity in the center for the door to "park" in. Therefore, you are having to support the ceiling and floor above during the tearout, and pay to tear out the wall and rebuild and resurface and paint it - so commonly in the minimum near $1000 range and more commonly in the $1200-1800 range, depending on whether the wall is load-bearing or not. In brick/concrete construction can be up to about 2 times that cost depending on how much load the wall carries (assuming this is not a major structural wall for a building over about 3 stories). These pocket door numbers are very broad range only, and depend a lot on the overlying load, what utilties are in the wall and it they have to be left there or not, etc- a whole lot more variable than for the bypass or folding door options. Plus for a bypass door installation, you will likely need an additional $250-500 for plans from a structural engineer on how to build the wall before you can get a building permit.

For the same-opening width folding door or a bypass door you want a Door contractor in Search the List. For a wider opening to accomodate a folding door, or a pcoket door, then you need a Remodeling - General Contractor to handle the wall work, which involves changing the header width at a minimum or possibly redoing the entire wall, including replacing the surface finishes and possible flooring touchup as the wallis redone. Some contractors will handle getting the plans done by an architecture or civil engineering firm, some will want you to provide the plans before they bid on it.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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