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  • Katie Tanner

DIY Sliding Door

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Since we moved into our home, we hated the laundry room set up. It is a small space about 5’x7’, the entry way from our garage, and it has 2 doors opening inward. It such a small space that the doors could not be fully opened without hitting one another. The door swing spaces are right in front of the washer and dryer, making it very difficult to carry anything inside from the garage. Between everything happening, you could NOT have more than one person in that area. Overall, it truly was a cluster of a room.

After internally cussing the builder of our home for several years, I decided to fix the problem on my own. I went through several options prior to landing on my door design. I had to consider the space available and cost. Sure, a pocket door is the most ideal option. However, pocket doors were outside of my budget along with everything else needed to patch the wall and I have very little knowledge of drywalling. It probably would have taken me a month to complete the project. Which would mean no dryer due to the location. I estimated ~500 to 1000 dollars for DIY pocket door and 2-3 grand for paid installation. Waaaay out of my budget.

Next, I considered a barn door. Barn doors are 200-300 dollars, so I quickly searched how to modify the existing door for less. Even if I cut cost with modifying the existing door, the kits are too wide for the narrow space available between the dryer and the wall. I actually purchased a kit, put it together and stared at it for several days to see if I could solve the problem. I decided that it was not worth the possibility of not working and went back to the drawing board.


Finally I settled on my design! After searching Pinterest for hours, I found this photo. Click on the photo to follow the link to her original post! Seeing that picture made me think about using a pocket door track outside of the wall. The more I thought about it, it was the perfect solution for several reasons:

  • Cost effective

  • Sleeker, more cohesive design

  • Matches the overall house vibe

  • Narrow enough for the small space

  • Less ways to screw up lol

Before going to the store, I made a list of needed items and priced out everything:

​Tools Used

  • Circular Saw

  • Jig Saw

  • Power drill

  • Nail Gun

  • Sander

  • Clamps

  • Counter Sink drill bits

Supplies used

  • Wood: 3 2"x2"x8'; 3 1"x2"x8'' 1 2"x4"x8'; 1 1"x4"x8' $20.50

  • Pocket door track $38.00

  • Door Guide $12.00

  • Inset door pulls $7.20

  • Quarter round $7.00

  • 3 1/2" screws, 2 1/2" screws

  • Paintable Caulk

  • Drywall Putty

  • Paint

Links for Products used:

Step One:

First, I built a bracket to mount the pocket door track onto. I cut a 2x4 and 1x2 down to 6'2"( the length of the pocket door track plus 1 inch on either side to create a blocker for the sliding piece on the track. After making the bracket, I realized I miscalculated the width needed to cover the entire width of the track. I added quarter round with the nail gun to increase the width. I actually like how the bracket turned out with the quarter round! I think it added a nice touch to the finished product.

Step 2:

After building the bracket, I attached the track to the bracket. I located 4 studs on the wall for the bracket to attach, using the counter sink drill bit, I anchored the bracket into the wall and hid the screw heads with putty (yes I used drywall putty not wood filler, but whatever works and is free right?).

Step 3:

Second, I removed the door from the hinges to make it wider and taller. Originally, I added 2"x2"s to the top and bottom and 1"x2"s to the sides using wood glue and screws. I attached the hanging device to the door and checked out my handiwork. Unfortunately, it was wayy to narrow. I ended up adding extra 2x2"s to both sides and it was the perfect width.

Step 4:

Once I realized that the door ACTUALLY WORKED, I started on the finishing aspects. I caulked all of the cracks, filled in all of the holes from the counter sink drill bit, and painted! The bracket is painted Sherman Williams Alabaster to match our walls for a seamless look. The door is painted an ultra white in semi-gloss. I puttied in the holes from the door hinges and jam.. (maybe one day I'll fix it and use wood filler lol).

Step 5:

Finally, I attached the door pulls. All you have to do is push them in! Nothing complicated. Last I added a door guide at the base of the door to prevent the door from swinging outward and bumping the drying. Some door guides anchor to the floor however I found one that anchors to one side on the wall and can change widths.

Overall, I love the door! It is the perfect solution. Let me know if you have any questions!

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