Pocket Door in an Interior/Exterior Wall


Old 02-07-13, 12:34 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
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Pocket Door in an Interior/Exterior Wall

Hi All,

I saw some other posts that were similar, but nothing exact (hopefully I didn't miss one). I want to install a pocket door in the bedroom of my home. Because of the size of the door and the interior wall that it's in, I want the pocket of the door to extend into an exterior wall in the house (see attachment).

Going into the attic, I can see that there are no vertical roof members that connect into the section of exterior wall that I want to add the pocket to (though I still plan on adding a header).

My other concern is that there is a different exterior load bearing wall that runs tangent to and into the wall with the pocket.

Does this seem do'able? Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Also, I know I could use a different door type, but I am not a huge fan of accordion doors and sliding doors that have exposed tracks; I was hoping to be able to use a pocket door.
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Old 02-07-13, 02:30 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
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Based on the diagram, it may be possible to do what you want, but it will take a lot of work in that exterior wall (making the pocket framing strong enough to support the exterior sheathing/siding). A serious draw-back is losing any insulating ability in that portion of the wall, making that corner of the room hotter in summer and colder in winter. Building a pocket wall next to a new, fully-insulated and relocated exterior wall, located just to the left of the pocket wall, comes to mind. Such will need a new footing and foundation, however.

Rather than doing things the hard way (IMHO), why not locate the pocket wall in the opposite direction, towards the swinging door leading into the room? I've worked with pocket doors a few times, and it helps to choose a decent-quality product rather than some of the junk stuff available. As always, you get what you pay for.
Old 02-07-13, 03:09 PM
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I don't think it would be possible, without some major reconstruction, which IMO isn't really feasible (mainly because of the inside corner connection for the load bearing exterior wall).

Would there be enough room for a double pocket door? With no measurements on your floor plan it's hard to tell exactly how much room you have on each side.

Nothing wrong with Bridgeman's idea to have it slide in the opposite direction, provided there is enough room on that side. Again, no measurements.

What do you have against double french doors that are hinged?
Old 02-07-13, 04:03 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Thanks for the responses!

I would put the door opening the opposite way, however I am pretty sure the post that supports the ridge beam sits on four (4) 2x4's (see attached picture). Two of these 2x4's are in the wall that the door would pocket into if it opened the other way.

I was planning on using a heavy duty commerical grade Johnson Hardward pocket door frame with a double 2x10 header. Based on CBC tables, I'm pretty sure a double 2x10 header should be able to span a little over 8-ft. So, if I assumed I had a 3-ft door and that the pocket door steel wrapped split studs don't hold any load, then the header should be able to span the 6-ft opening easily.

Like I said before, there is nothing connecting the rafters to that section of exterior wall, so it isn't taking any roof loads. Because to this, I think the split studs should be able to hold up the siding since the siding shouldn't weigh much more than the interior sheathing (installation instructions say you can install "any desired wall material"). I could add some 1x ladder blocks to help with the connection of the sheathing.

I was concerned with insultation as well, but since the house was built in the 40's, I am pretty sure there is no insulation in the walls anyways.

I actually do like french doors, but I didn't want to have 3 doors (including the bedroom door) taking up that whole wall.
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Old 02-08-13, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Kansas City Area
Posts: 215
I have a different suggestion. Instead of mounting this pocket door within the exisitng walls, mount it on the inside of the closet. It might take only an additional 3" of space out of the closet, trim-out the opening such that it looks like a 6" wall or so.

Per the drawing, looks like you are making several new walls for this closet. Just adjust those walls, specifically the closet-end walls to accomodate this pocket door frame. You might save 1/2" - to 3/4" of thickness by removing the drywall or plaster that is currently on the inside of that front closet wall & mounting the pocket wall frame directly to those studs. If I did that I would probably put a thin sheet of luan (sp) up to seperate the studs & pocket door given that part of it would be right next to an exterior wall section. Could work well & involve no removing of the structural portions of this wall. Mike

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