Archive for November, 2010

Fixing A Finicky Pocket Door

I’ve got one hand in my pocket door… and the other is prying off trim.

Okay, so I’m no lyricist (I’ll leave that up to Alanis) but here’s an example of our scrappy, learn-as-we-go, figure-this-out-if-it-kills-us approach to home improvement. We usually don’t know what the heck we’re doing, but diving in and giving things the ol’ college try is usually the road to success (and that way we get to gain experience as we go, so we might have a smidge of know-how the next time something needs work).

This is our half bath. It has a pocket door.

The pocket door has been jammed for, oh, about six months. So long that the phrase “Don’t look, I’m peeing” stopped sounding odd and gross. That’s right, it became the normal courtesy warning around here when one of us was too lazy to walk across the house to the full bath (with a functional door to block the view). Yup, we don’t pee in front of each other like nearly all of our married friends who think we’re weird for being so shy. Gotta keep some mystery around here.

Anyway, we knew we had to remedy the door issue before moving in the next few weeks, but why we decided to start it one random Wednesday night at 8:30pm I’ll never know. But we did. Even though we didn’t have the first clue what needed to be done. Thank goodness for Google.

The all-knowing Internet gave us an assortment of potential attack plans. Many of them involved cutting large holes in the wall to diagnose the problem. Sigh. We really wanted to avoid having to re-drywall anything. So we decided to start slower. Like maybe-some-grease-will-do-the-trick slower:

The WD-40 helped, but mostly because it helped us better understand the issue. The wheels seemed to keep popping off of the track because the door wasn’t hanging level anymore. It looked like it sat lower at the back, meaning when you slid it into the wall the bottom corner would catch on the floor, jamming the door and causing the wheels to jump the track.

We noticed there was an adjustable screw on the front set of wheels that could raise/lower that end of the door, helping with our it’s-not-level issue. Only problem was that we had to pry off the trim on the top of the door to access it.

This is where the project started to go crazy and we got tunnel vision when it came to the task at hand (thereby forgetting to take good photos or make any attempt at containing our mess).

We ended up having to take off the side trim too. Just so we could remove the door entirely from the track so that I could walk it out to the garage (in a rainstorm) and saw off about an inch of door on the bottom. Apologies to our neighbors for using a circular saw at 10pm (hopefully the rain and the closed garage door drowned me out).

With the slightly shorter door back inside, we popped it back on the track and… voila! No more sticking. No more jamming into the floor. No more falling off the track. Now we just had to reinstall the trim, caulk some nail holes, and touch up some paint. Our reaction was as follows: did we really just fix it? Without even waking the baby?

Well, I’d say it’s 95% better than it was. If you get all Arnold Scwartzeneger on it and push or pull it too hard/quickly it still jumps off of the track. BUT, now that the door is shorter it’s a zero-tool, three-second fix to lift it up slightly and place it back on track. No trim removal necessary. And the baby didn’t wake up once during deconstruction or reconstruction (even though we were prying and hammering our hearts out). Why didn’t we discover that she’d sleep through noise like that sooner? Either way, good to know.

It’s so nice to have the ol’ pocket door back in business after months of broken-ness (so we can now close the door instead of screaming the ol’ “Don’t look, I’m peeing!” refrain across the house).

And that, my friends, is no small victory.

So that’s really how we problem solve around here. Googling, trial and error, and crossed fingers. Here’s another post about gaining DIY confidence with zero experience as you go. Have you guys had success with the same fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method? Any other pocket door issues or coups going on? Any other couples who don’t pee in front of each other, or are we the only ones?



Thank You

We have about a million things to be thankful for, and you guys are at the top of our list. Thanks for caring to drop in and see what’s going on at our house. Much Turkey Day love coming atcha. Especially from Burger. He always looks so dapper in a photoshopped pilgrim hat.

Now go stuff your face and stop messing around on the computer. The challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to be unable to button your pants by the day’s end. We’re already hard at work on that over here…

Psst- We just announced this week’s lucky giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you (and to snag a sweet discount even if it’s not).