Opening a pocket door wall?

emagineerNovember 20, 2007

This should be over in remodeling, but thought I'd ask here first.

The wall between my living room and kitchen has a pocket door. I'd like to remove this wall area for an 8' opening. This would open up the space in the kitchen, a roomier feel and more light with the large windows in both rooms.

The wall is load bearing. The supporting beam is there with supporting studs on both sides if opened up and would not need to be altered.

There isn't anything inside this wall area other than the pocket door frame which is attached to a supporting stud. It looks like I can leave the outside framing of the pocket door, but remove the cross pieces and center post of frame (2" X 2"). The cross pieces do not appear to be of any supporting use, more for keeping the frame and door aligned. I certainly couldn't hang cabinets or anything heavy on the wall as it is.

Doing this appears to be be similar to removing a double door and and leaving the outside framing. Then trim out the opening. Although the wallboard on both sides covering the frame needs to be cut out.

Has anyone done this or have suggestions to keep me out of a mess? Is the frame supporting anything significant, cautions regarding going into the pocket door wall?

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hmmm i am nervous about removing any framing in a wall that is a load bearing wall, especially if the wall has compromises like already having a pocket door in it. not that it isn't ok as is...but you might need every stick of framing.. is this an old house? if so, the people there might have good ideas or may even have done this. a pocket door wall was previously removed in our house and a replacement beam stretches across the span. i don't know what it looked like before, but now the ceiling sags a little...eek! kren

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 12:35PM
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Thanks for your comments. Yes, a tad nervous about the wall and why I posted.

I went to Habitat today for my volunteer time and asked one of the builders about the wall. He said the frame of the pocket door is flimsy, those 2 X 2 frames are doing nothing regarding support. With a support beam across the ceiling and two on each side which aren't being moved/changed, I won't be affecting the current structure.

My house is 50s and well built. One of the guys is going to drop over and look at the wall, plus the floor support for expanded opening.

If interested will follow up on final decision. Nothing is simple and keep thinking I'm missing something looking at this. Hopefully not and I'm home free on an easy change.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 4:25PM
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Pocket door framing like that barely holds together the pocket door hardware! It certainly isn't holding up your second floor or roof.

kren pas pocket doors may have been put in after initial construction without compensating for removed supports, thus leading to the sagging. It wouldn't be the first time!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 7:47PM
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emagineer, so nice that you were able to get someone that knows to take a look...they're probably fine to tear out. newer pocket doors (1950s is newer to me) are probably not structural in any way...that makes sense, worthy!! in our hourse, the pocket doors were original to the 1926 house and not added as a separate unit, so it is likely that their framing was actually part of the "real" framing as they were built in place-- you can see where the floor had to be patched after their removal as the framing extended down through the original wood floor boards. the sagging actually occurred after the pocket doors, and almost all of the wall they were in, were removed...we can tell because wallboard tape covering the beam is stretched and cracking, but original plaster parts are still ok!! those darn POs.... oh well, i guess the moral of the story is that emagineer is probably fine either way...older houses tend to stay up rather than fall down
cheers kren

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 9:14AM
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The take down of wall and pocket door frame was a no brainer....even with the mess. This old lady did it in 4 hours. An added bonus was finding two 2X4s on both sides of the opening that the frame was attached to. More wall supprt than expected. My friend was right, the frame was nothing more than an insert with no supporting factor.

There are 2 short pieces of oak flooring needed where the wall existed and have to insert these before trim. Lucky catch at Restore/Habitat, they have some oak flooring which are already finished and match existing floor to do this. Also thinking of creating an arch to match the one in living rooom, but dependant upon my motivation during the final steps.

What a difference in the layout, there is so much more light and both rooms look much larger. The kitchen is an L Shape with one full wall not being used. Before enlarging the opening there didn't seem to be enough room to utilize this wall. Now it feels like I have enough area to add a table and chairs if wanted and can see more possibilities in the kitchen layout. A separate post needed for suggestions on what to do with what I've done.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 8:05AM
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