Pondering the pocket doors

The good old pocket doors – they have been weighing on my mind a lot and for a long time.

While we were deconstructing the 1st floor, we were delighted to find that our building once had pocket doors. The framing for the pocket doors was still in place, but the pocket doors themselves were gone (to our great disappointment).

Finding antique salvaged pocket doors is an expensive proposition. But good fortune sometimes comes with time. And after checking Craigslist for about a year, we found an affordable pair of pocket doors we liked. A down side to the doors: they were painted and needed stripping.

With the pocket doors in our possession, I now could adjust the framing to fit the new doors. Along with it, I built a rail system that matched the original rolling mechanism of the doors.

So far so good. But another down side of the pocket doors was that they were a notch too short. I refrained from lowering the height of the doorway to fit the new doors, because there was a pleasant consistency in the doorway height throughout the unit. Altering that didn’t seem right.

I have been tiptoeing around adjusting the doors, i.e. adding an extension to the top and bottom to make them fit, mainly because it seemed an intimidating task that if not done right could ruin the set.

But there is no longer any avoiding it, and our friend Drew insisted that it would all work out just fine.

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About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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