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?
Julie Anne says
“you can’t get all Arnold Schwartzenegger on it”
All right, John, WHY is the Governor of California going to come to your home and manhandle your pocket door?
Or is he going to make a vain attempt to balance the door’s budget in these trying economic times?
Poor guy, he’s been governor of the largest state in the union for nearly 10 years, and we all still think of him as Conan the Barbarian.
I wonder if Arnold and Maria pee in front of each other?
Don’t care how many times my husband has seen me naked (a few) or how many babies he’s seen me give birth to (3) or how many years we’ve been married (19), I do not approve of him seeing me on the toilet!
I actually don’t know a single couple that is comfortable using the bathroom in front of each other. People must be really modest in my area. :)
Lauren @ Meet My Ugly Baby says
Definitely think the hatchet job I’m-going-to-kill-this-before-it-kills-me is the way to go – whether or not you’ve got a clue what you’re doing.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s prescribed ‘1 thing a day that scares you’.
At worst, you’ll come away with a funny story & will be far more deserving of whatever tasty thing is waiting in the cupboards. Right?
showering = door open, using the toilet = door closed. I think my grandmother, father, older brother, and I are the only ones in my parents’ house who close the door when using the toilet. My mom and younger brothers think that it’s totally fine to be having a conversation, walk into the bathroom, sit down on the toilet, and keep talking at you. Disturbing. My husband and I have a strict doors closed policy for potty-time, there’s no romance in watching someone else do their business!
I do no like pocket doors at all. Ours had been broken for 4 years and I finally decided this past summer I was not going to stop until I fixed it. The hardware was actually broken inside and I had a guy come look at it and tell me the whole cut a hole in the wall solution for about $200. I decided not to try this and pried the top molding off just enough so I could do the same thing you guys did. I found some new hardware at Home Depot and was very surprised at my success! The other option the guy told me was to buy some molding and just stick the door back in the wall and cover it up and install a regular door for the doorway. That was going to be my next option because I do not like pocket doors!
I know this was really a pocket-door post, but … just the other day I was telling my husband how happy I am that in 18 years together and 14 years married, we have never EVER toilet-ed in front of eachother!
Best of luck for your move and Happy 1st Christmas to Clara.
I cannot believe that there actually are married couples who would pee in front of each other. I actually can’t believe that men can use urinals while other men are in the bathroom, either.
I congratulate you on your door repair!
We’ve been married for six years and living together for eight…and we still maintain the closed bathroom door policy. Privacy is a good thing, even in the context of marriage. (I also don’t read his email, or check his phone messages, or know his passwords.)
I thought we were the only couple who didn’t use the bathroom in front of each other! Glad to hear you’re normal like us.
We’ve been married almost 5 years, and we would never consider using the bathroom in front of each other. :o)
Mrs Lemons says
You are not alone – we have a “no public peeing” rule in our house too. :)
We just broke out the WD-40 to un-attach our old kitchen faucet. Great minds go for the same home improvment materials :)
We do NOT pee in front of each other. It’s a strict “When the doors closed walk away” rule around here. I think a little not knowing all in a marriage is A-OK.
You may not be able to see the person peeing anymore but you’ll probably still be able to hear them! We have a regular door on our separate toilet with a gap at the bottom that big and you can hear EVERYTHING. Sadly the house isn’t big enough to get away from the sound.
We still won’t pee in front of each other though.
We always use the toilet with the door open – I guess it’s a combination of laziness and not being at all shy. In 10 years of marriage we’ve seen every inch of each other before, cleaned up each other’s vomit, even put butt cream on each other! There’s really nothing to be shy about after that! It’s great being so comfortable with each other. I didn’t grow up that way though, I wouldn’t even let my parents see me undressed.
Have never commented here before, but have had your blog in my reader for several months.
Celebrated my 12th wedding anniversary in August. Husband has NEVER seen me in the w.c. and vice versa and NEVER will. Period. Ever. Marvel at this: I have two children (5 1/2 and just-turned-10) and neither child has ever seen me in the restroom. Ever. And never will. Baffled by people who feel free with their potty habits. Not everything needs to be shared.
I like your painting walls tutorial. I’m glad to see that someone else paints without dropcloths, etc. Makes me feel better about the devil-may-care way I paint.
I love a pocket door. I wish my 100 yr old house had a few.
Keep up the swell blog. Y’all are adorable, and I mean that in the good Southern way, not the stab-ya-in-the-back/bless-yer-heart way.
Michele Daggar says
My husband and I have been together for 25 years, married for 17 & we definitely DO NOT PEE IN FRONT OF EACH OTHER. Sorry for shouting.
My friends think we’re the weird ones. Just wait until Clara is potty training (a ways off I know!) Sherry, you’ll never be in the bathroom alone again. For some reason the kids always thought they could barge in when Mommy is in the potty, but never with Daddy!
You are obviously not alone (except in the bathroom) on the peeing issue. We’ve got 8 years of private pottying behind us and many more to come! If only I could convince the two-year-old that I don’t need or prefer an audience…
I do think it’s funny that you won’t pee in front of each other. but quite honestly, you’re not missing much! in fact, you’re probably better off!
All the doors in our little cottage are pocket doors, so I’m sure this will be very helpful if any of them ever jam! Thanks in advance!
Jacinta @ modelmumma says
Well, although my hubby has seen me give birth twice (and probably will continue to do so… ) I prefer NOT to watch him pee or whatever in the loo. And vice versa. If the door is closed then please go away thank you!!
We have a rule, no pooping while the other one is in the shower. Other than that everything goes. I think it’s weird that people don’t feel comfortable using the toilet in front of their spouse–shouldn’t their be one person with whom you can share everything?
17 years and 5 kids later – we still don’t use the toilet in front of each other. Some things just need to remain private. Unless the toddlers are around and then I can’t seem to scoot them out of any room.
We don’t floss our teeth in front of each other either. I know that’s weird but flossing is not attractive.
Another married lady here who has had her husband in the delivery room while giving birth twice, but absolutely no pottying in front of each other in all of our 13 years together. Some things are okay not to share. :)
My husband and I pee in front of each other all the time and it doesn’t bother us one bit. We do shut the door for #2 but since that’s the only time we do we always know when it happens – it isn’t gross, it’s normal human behavior! It’s really nice to have that one person with whom you are that comfortable.
That’s funny, the first thing I thought of when I read this was “Huh, why would they have to yell at each other? Doesn’t everybody leave the door open?” Literally from the first day my husband and I moved in together we’ve been open door pee-ers. There was never even a conversation about it, it just seemed to make sense to both of us. It’s weird when people are over and we actually have to close the door! Whatever works I guess!
Dear huband has no issue peeing while I’m in the room. Me, only if I’ve had a few and am desperate (and feeling no pain). As for the other? NEVER, NEVER, NEVER! We agree with you both. You need a little mystery in a marriage. :)
And now I know why my marriage failed! Next time, no peeing in front of one another. (joking).
But the seat of your pants googling thing worked for me in the context of removing old vinyl flooring from my front porch. I used wet towels and an iron to loosen the glue so it could be scraped off. That vinyl glue is stubborn stuff. I never would have figured that out without the internet. The porch then got sanded and the wooden boards painted with porch paint. It’s a lovely, traditional-looking porch floor now. No old vinyl in sight. Go google!
Really pleased to see that my fiance and I are not alone.
We too don’t want to see each other using the toilet. Our family and friends think we are the weird ones but, I totally agree with you guys. Its nice to keep some mystery in a relationship.
Did you hear about that poor woman in Paris who got stuck in her bathroom for 3 weeks before someone found her? She survived, but was very weakened. My mother-in-law lived alone and had a pocket door on her bathroom, which kept falling off the track. We all worried she’d get trapped. We told her to either leave the door open (why would you shut it when you live alone anyway???) or to take the phone with her every single time.
My hubby and I have been together for three and a half years now, and we don’t pee in front of each other either. :-)
So you know how babies are comforted by their mother’s voices because they hear them in the womb? Of COURSE Clara sleeps through hammering and banging sounds! :)
The hubs pees in front of me all the time. I HATE THAT! His family will pee in front of the mailman (figuratively), so he thinks it is fine. I insist on the door being closed if I do anything in that room, pee, poo, shower, eyebrow plucking, everything. I just don’t want that last frontier breached, ya know?
Love love love you guysand your blog! I do have pocket doors, no probs yet. Had them put in last year into the bathrooms and linen closet of my 70’s rancherdoodle. That’s what I call it cuz its a mishmash of styles. The builder must have wanted to show he knew lots of ways to build a hosue all at once.
Can’t wait to see the new house!
haha–it makes me laugh to see everybody on here casually chatting about their bladder/BMs..what an inspiring blog post to generate such a discussion! In an effort to participate…I refused to “do my business” in front of my husband when we were dating/engaged…I was too shy. But marriage quickly left zero room for shyness…
p.s. I’m a new follower of you two (John and Sherry), but I’m already a huge fan…I love a good DIY project, and you’ve already inspired a few in my mind. Can’t wait to enjoy more of your posts…
Oh yes! Bathroom is private time. My husband especially would be appalled at bathroom time in front of each other. Who the heck are these people who are interested in sharing?
As for the fix-em-up gene, some folks have it and some don’t. And some – like my husband – were fortunate to grow up with a Dad who liked to teach his son all about everything. So my husband knows how to fix, refinish, renovate, innovate, and so on … and most importantly he knows what he doesn’t know and not to get in over his head. He knows when a pro is required, but he also knows how the pro should do it. Which helps prevent us from being ripped off by a less than competent “pro”! Now, if the universe could just remove his arthritis, he could do more of what he likes and wants to do in the renovation arena.
Haha! You guys crack me up. My boyfriend and I are typically pretty laid back together. Very casual. But one thing I can’t seem to shake is the nerve to yell “Don’t look! I’m peeing!” when he’s taking a shower and I just HAVE to go. I agree, it’s good to keep at least a little mystery. ;)
[email protected] says
You ask the funniest questions. After we got to know each other well, my boyfriend and I used to try to half-heartedly not pee in front of each other by closing the door only sometimes. We did catch each other peeing a few times, so it got to be old news. Even now, if we walk by a bathroom and find the other peeing, we’ll just go “oh, you’re peeing”, and leave us to it.
As far as projects, I’ve adopted a similar attitude, that I’m going to figure it out if it kills me. I’ve changed the front door lock for the first time recently, and I’m gearing up to redo the powder room as the first real project of the house. It’s helping to read books about the hows, first. I’m nervous, but I’m going in. I figure if I screw up, I can always call someone in.
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Ana Brightful says
These comments were hysterical! I had no idea so many couples don’t pee in front of one another. I guess I never really thought about it. I’ve always peed/changed in front of my close girlfriends so it just seemed natural to pee in front of the hubs from the get-go. I guess we’re just pretty laid-back with one another. As with everything else, whatever works for those involved!
So happy to know of another couple that doesn’t go to the bathroom in front of on another!
I’m the youngest of seven and I’ve have seen it all (at least where bathrooms are concerned). Peeing in front of my S.O. is nuthin!
Great job on the door fix!
Not sure if you guys have ever discussed this but how do you plan your posts? Do you accumulate topics over a certain period of time and then post them later or what?
We try to keep things as real-time as possible, but if we get backed up with posts we save them and post them asap so they still get shared instead of getting lost or super old.
This is the greatest post with the most unrelated comments ever. Every post is about doors or peeing. I love it. I was starting to think the hubby and I were the only modest ones left!
I just saw your cute “P” newpaper print in 100 Room Ideas of BHG! So cute! Page 32 if you haven’t seen it yet!
Sweet! We’ll have to check it out!
this post has been hilarious to read! To all the modest pee-er’s- have you ever found there was no t.p. and had to call in the spouse?
I’m all about modesty and prefer privacy, but I learned quickly that my husband grew up differently, and we’ve found middle ground. But I’d make sure bathroom doors were fixed immediately, just so there were no excuses to push the boundaries. :-)
No worries. We’ve been married 38 years, and we both still close the bathroom door. It’s a respect thing…..
i had no idea that couples DIDN’T pee in front of one another until now. this blog post parked a convo with the boyfriend that brought some new information to light:
me: “did you know some couples don’t pee in front of each other?”
him: “yes, actually. in fact, i was surprised that you were so quick to pee in front of me.” (said in a way that leads me to believe he’d be okay with never seeing me pee again).
i guess i have no shame ;)
My husband and I don’t go to the bathroom in front of each other either…and we’ve been married for 10 years. Glad we aren’t the only ones. Well, unless one of us is in the hospital and has labored for 27 hours only to have a c-section and can’t get up and down by herself.. But toher than that, never. :)
This doesn’t have anything to do w/ the great fix on the pocket door…
I was perusing The Nest dot com…and came across this:
That is your bedroom – right???
Yes! They actually shot our house a while back for the mag. So much fun!