sliding doors

macbirchMarch 7, 2006

When we had this house built, we measured how much space we wanted in the large laundry cupboard for the tall things (broom, mop, ironing board, etc) and the small things (spare light bulbs, tools, cleaning items, etc). I told DH to check with the builder about the number and size of the sliding doors so that there wouldn't be any problems with accessing the shelves. I didn't follow it up myself because both DH and the builder had a bit of an attitude that building a house is mens business and what would I understand. So now we have shelves that are half blocked by a door. There is no way of sliding the doors aside so that the shelves are completely accessible. The result is that things get shoved in awkwardly and eventually pushed to the back and nobody remembers what's in there.

Week before last I started my biannual laundry cleanup. The highlight of this process is lifting out one of the sliding doors , emptying out the shelves and sorting through everything before putting it back in a way that it can be seen better once the door is put back (and hopefully getting rid of some of it). I found other urgent things to do for the next few days, such as driving round various nurseries in search of a particular plant I suddenly had to have.

Eventually I decided I wanted my family room floor back. Didn't get very far before I found myself standing in the laundry holding DH's hammers and screaming. For a few minutes I felt like if I didn't put the energy into screaming, I would put it into smashing the laundry cupboard. The only progress since then has been to put away the hammers and the spare light bulbs, and to pile up the stuff on the floor into a taller pile so it doesn't take up as much floor space.

I know somebody is bound to suggest getting a carpenter to move the shelves. But they are so solidly built, as opposed to the back wall of the cupboard which is worryingly wobbly. Don't want to touch it. So that leaves replacing the doors. Four smaller doors or three doors of different sizes? When we built the house I could visualise the potential problem but now I get so angry I can't visualise a potential solution.

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Oh my... I understand such frustration.. would it be possible to put a cute curtain on the area?.. sort of a french country look?

If not how about little bifold louvered shutters???


    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 9:18AM
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I was going to suggest a curtain too. Just take off the doors and haul them outside

One of my friends lives in a tiny house with three kids. She doesn't have enough room so she turned the end of her dining room into storage. She bought some tall, shiny chrome looking shelves from Sams and put them at the end of the room. She got a long pipe to stretch across the room and hung curtains on it. It looks nice and allows her to access everything.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 11:45AM
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I found other urgent things to do for the next few days, such as driving round various nurseries in search of a particular plant I suddenly had to have.

Oh, my--I can just tell how much you had to have that plant. Your subconscious was trying to save you from smashing in DH's head w/ that hammer.......

new door, definitely. Throw the sliding doors in the trash (take the hammer to them first, though, so they can't get dragged back in).

Then put up a curtain for now.

Then call the carpenter that built such solid shelves, in such great sizes, and ask him to help you figure out what do so w/ the door.

Bifold doors would be my vote, bcs they won't stick out into the room when you open them (is that why the sliding doors?) yet can be sized to give you nearly complete access (all but the few inches at each side.

Is there woodword around this cupboard, like a door frame? Remember that it can be moved. And since you built recently, you can get matching wooden trim.

But since those are longer-term projects, you need to get that door outoutoutoutoutoutoutout.

I'm working on a new magazine, and in one of their projects, they show a WINDOW SHADE covered in fabric to cover a section of a bookshelf. That would give you a less rumply/gathered look, if your house has a sleek esthetic.

There are curtain rods that swing or swivel; you could use those for short-term, and they'd function like a door.

Tell us a little more about this cupboard--is it a cupboard like a kitchen cupboard, or is it simply a narrow closet, w/ woodwork around it, etc.?

What kind of space is in front of it, etc? Why a sliding door in the first place?

Here is a link that might be useful: swivel end sash rods

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 12:46PM
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I like the curtain or blind idea better than louvered doors (because laundry rooms get damp and I hate wiping dust louver by louver).

If this is a tall broom closet, I can visualize a two-layer curtain with tie-backs, kind of like a fancy shower curtain would be with a liner underneath.

Toss the doors tomorrow, you'll feel immediately better! LOL

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 6:57PM
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bi-fold doors don't have to be louvered.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 7:10PM
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We have bifold doors on one closet that aren't louvered, but they have wood "trim" on them that make them fancy (sometimes plain bifold doors look like hinged plywood, if you know what I mean?).

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 6:23AM
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Possible to just have open shelves? Get some nice organizing baskets so you see them (and not clutter). Then you won't have to replace the doors.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 4:50PM
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Thanks all. Sad truth is sliding doors work best for this cupboard. It's a big one. Tub, washing machine, laundry basket and small bench along one side and the cupboard right along the opposite side. I think we could keep one of the sliding doors and have two new ones made in different sizes. Might look a little strange but I don't care as long as it works. I'll make DH build a scale model first though! I like the idea of louvred bifolds and that would be perfect for one of my other cupboards.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 1:56AM
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What about those accordion-fold doors, either the inexpensive ($30) vinyl, or the more substantial wood version. I don't know how much they cost, but they'd give you full access.

maybe use a curtain until you save up enough $5bills to buy one?

Or, maybe four panels to your sliding doors, two each side? That would make the inaccessible part much smaller.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 9:45AM
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I had a laundry closet in my old house with louvered doors. Well, the louvers were probably good for allowing air to circulate and mosture to escape, but the noise of the washer and dryer was distracting. When we remodeled that kitchen (the laundry closet was in the kitchen), we put the bi-fold equivalent of six panel doors on the laundry closet and noise was no longer a problem. I would also recommend magnets to somehow hold the bi-folds in place.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 8:59PM
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I hate vinyl accordian doors but I had a look at the website and the timber ones are very nice. Don't know if I could justify the expense for the laundry. So I think it'll be sliding doors. Maybe four would be better than three. Gotta think about that.

Saving the bifold idea for another of my cupboards. It's not a send-you-crazy nuisance but I've never been completely happy with it and I realised the bifold suggestion was perfect for that location. Thanks for the tip about the magnets.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 2:36AM
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Frankly, I think you SHOULD justify the expense for the laundry.

I object to the idea that only *pretty* stuff is allowed to cost more money. I think *tools* are important, and that laundry closet is a crucial tool.

How crucial? Look at how frustrated you are, and how hard life is, when the doors don't work! You do laundry nearly daily--I bet you go into that closet minimum 3 times a day. Count, sometime.

People *should* spend money on ordinary stuff like laundry and cleaning--good tools cost money. If your DH bought a table saw, he'd round up, in terms of expenditure, to get quality, wouldn't he?

You deserve the same for the laundry-closet door.

People SHOULD spend money on cleaning tools, on everyday-running-the-household stuff: on a qualify vacuum cleaner, on closets that are convenient to use, on a really good filing cabinet.

It's not "bling" that matters--it's function. And that closet does NOT function.

Check and find out--how much *are* those doors?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 10:29AM
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