Power around pocket doors

Shortly after I published the last blog entry about the pocket door installation, Rob posted a question in the comment section:

“Until now we’ve ruled out installing pocket doors for our house because we thought light switches would get in the way. Have you had to deal with light switches here?”

This is great material for another blog post! And the answer to Rob’s question is:

Pocket-doors-15 Pocket-doors-14

… yes, we had to deal with light switches (and outlets), on both sides of the pocket doors. But neither the light switches nor the outlets were really in the way. And that may have to do with the depth of the pocket door wall.


I did not reinvent the wheel, nor did I really think about this. When I rebuilt the framing for the pocket doors, I kept the original wall depth, which was seven and a half inches from stud to stud (or eight and three quarter inches if you count the five eighths drywall on either side).


The seven and a half inches wasn’t enough space to accommodate the depth of the studs. I had to turn them sideways. But it was enough space to accommodate the one and a half inch deep electrical boxes. We also made sure to run the electrical conduit right behind the drywall so that it wouldn’t get in the way of the doors.


The only challenge emerged around the pocket door header, which also holds the rolling mechanism. We knew we couldn’t run the conduit inside the header, where it would interfere with the doors. To solve this problem, we did some planning ahead and offset the header three quarters of an inch into the wall. That gave us the room we needed to again run the conduit right behind the drywall and thus avoid any interference.


Once we were above the header, we kicked the conduit back to have enough room to make the 90 degree turn into the ceiling. Problem solved – and I hope questions answered.

Related posts:

Putting up pocket doors

Patching pocket doors

Pondering the pocket doors

Framing pocket doors

Stripping pocket doors

Picking pocket… doors

Rediscovering our living room – Part 1

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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