The Home of DIY Handyman: How to install, hang and fix a pocket door

The Home of DIY Handyman: Pocket door repair by Bud Spofford.

For anyone who has a pocket door it is a frustrating experience when it falls off the track. It usually hangs up in the opening and cannot be opened or closed. And it is always better if you are not locked in the room when the door decides to fall off the track.

What is involved in re-installing a pocket door? The repair itself is not too difficult. The challenge is in finding the parts, if any may be needed. Installing or fixing a pocket door is a fairly ambitious project for the DIY home handyman. It is one of those projects that may be done once in a handyman lifetime, except for someone like me who does at east 4-5 of these repairs annually. With every call I make it seems the fix, or the repair is always a different challenge. No two doors seem to be the same. The reason for that is because the design and hardware of the pocket door has changed over time, plus each manufacturer has a different idea on how to best hang a pocket door.

The tricky thing from a DIY home handyman viewpoint is where to begin. Let me offer some suggestions so that your experience is worthwhile and rewarding.

The first thing is to never wrestle the door out of the opening. Chance are that will damage the door even further and if the door has a nice finish it may be marred or bruised in the wrestling match-better to go nice and easy from this point forward.

One trick is to get a flashlight and shine it in the opening to see what it happening in there. You may observe a few things, such as; is the door off the track, or did the track come down? Did the roller come off the door and still in the track or did the wheels of the roller come off the track? The idea here is to find a way to carefully remove the door from the opening, that is unless it is a matter of simply raising the door and placing it back on track. It may seem the obvious answer is to simply lift the door and place back on the track, and yes sometimes that is the case. However, if it fell once it may fall again. Better to find a permanent solution instead of a quick fix.

Assuming you will find a permanent solution to once and for all fix the pocket door for good it may require a complete removal of the door from the pocket. By design a pocket door does not simply come out of the pocket. There are pieces of trim (wood casing) in place from the original installation. These pieces hold the door in place and must be removed to get to the door.   On our website you will find a step by step tutorial. Take a look and come back here with any questions.