The Master Bath Pocket Door Adventure. Part I.Monday, February 01, 2016
Ya know, heh, I think...I think a long time back, oh um two and a half years if that's long, when we first bought the house, moved in...the thing that catapulted this whole ginormous whoo-ha dealio of flipping this flip to life was the master bathroom door.
Well, that and a certain flipper's horrifying decorating "skills."
One day I casually said to Mike, "hey, ya know what we should do, yeah, and it would make life so much better in this weird room, is yeah put in a pocket door!"
You shoulda seen the look on his face. It was part hey that makes perfect sense, part panic hey does that mean I have to help, part hey whoa dude what the hell you're off your rocker. He sputtered an "Um. Oh. Yeah. Sure. Babe," then closed the bathroom door on me.
It has plagued me since, this door. Especially after installing the new vanity. While the vanity gave us an inch or two more space to maneuver, it's hardly enough. Mike wants to reconfigure the whole darn bath and came up with a way smarter layout. But will we get to it?
The toilet has to move over by where the shower currently is, the jet tub booted, the shower moves to along the ....
Wait, ok here, here's his idea:
|Ya know, something a lil' along these lines. Re.con.fig.ured! And so much better! Look at all the space in there!|
I'm not sure how much we could do ourselves. Or myself, cough. Plumbing and electric for sure not. And this much redoing might require a pricey permit. Hm.
|Before. Bedroom side.|
The pocket door.
I thought I could at least get the pocket door in all by my little lonesome. Ken, Mike's boss, who so kindly extended his reciprocating saw loan to me for this project said to Mike the other day, "man, she can do anything."
|Before. Bathroom side. Swinging door hits shower doors. Grrr. Start photo theme now.|
"Oh, it only takes half a day." "Oh, half a day is all you'll need for this project." "Oh, half a day..." says everything pocket door tutorial.
Right. If you know what you're doing. If you're really good. If you have a helper. If this is within your league. And you know what you're doing.
I'm on day three.
What they don't tell you is prepping the opening is the hardest, most time consuming part. So fyi, preparing the opening is the hardest and most time consuming part. So far. They must exclude that in the "half day" thing.
I bought the kit from Menards. Of course. The Marwin Pocket Door Kit. It was missing a piece so they gave me ten bucks off. Every little bit helps.
|Pocket doo....oh wait...|
|Pocket door kit and dog butt.|
Merry not so much anymore.
Math. My nemesis. It's gonna kill me.
Measure twice, cut once. This is not something you can screw the pooch on, be all willy nilly with. No, the math has to be Spot.On. The kit has to be plumb and level. Fit within..... OooOOooh, my head.
But first, I try to understand the woefully bad directions, then measure measure measure. Measure some more. Follow directions on rough opening, 4'-10" x 84" "off the subfloor" for a 28" door. Mmk, doesn't seem complicated.
It took forever to get the darn baseboard off. It was wedged between the floor and the drywall. For darn freakin' ever to get out. I almost packed it in then.
|So they nailed it in near the top and near the bottom. Then installed the flooring. Think about it.|
Well. Mmk. There's that outlet. The outlet. Ok. Not wired the way I speculated. What do I do. Pace and wrack my brain for a day and a half, that's what.
|Ok. Scary time starts now.|
Open up yet ugh more wall and finally conclude it might not be hard to move after all.
|More drywall removed. Wall cavity as construction garbage bin apparently. Wonder what else is in our walls. No wait. No I don't.|
(Do not try this on your own, fyi. Any of this actually. Always always always consult and/or hire an actual professional licensed person/people to do important big scary things. Like I wish to do right now. Do not try this. Please.)
|Must be good to be a Finn. Yes, he was working hard at his task while I was.|
|The opening based on the directions. Can't reach the header this way. 84" off the subfloor, meaning excluding the soleplate. Right, so do I leave the soleplate or omg remove it? Can I? Will the door hang correctly or be too high if I leave it?! The 2x soleplate is ~3/4" proud of the installed hardwood floor. What do I do?!?! Oh my head.|
|Ah ha. Header. Can't make existing math work with new math either. Besides, header needs to run the length of the top of the kit anyway.|
|Guess what. I know, you'll be sooooo shocked...Dumba** flipper's header isn't level. I suppose it doesn't matter too much but c'mon, if you can't do things right, don't do them.|
Yes. I said that.
Which is again drywall by the way, the shower. Not green board, not cement board, drywall. Half inch drywall. Just like the first floor bathroom. This is the shower we use daily. Greeeaaaaat.
And I don't know where the screws are or how many there are. Trapped, sandwiched between tile and drywall. They went a little haywire and random on the bedroom side with screws so, uh, bite nails? Can I even do this?! That's a rhetorical skills question.
|Here's a tip: if you have wood frame construction, use a strong magnet to find the drywall screws for removal. You may not catch them all but you'll catch most. It does take some time and patience. Yes, that's a shrimp.|
So I assembled the door kit. Hands go, brains follow.
|It doesn't seem like this would be hard but it was. There's a piece at the back of the frame that had to align too causing this to keep popping out, if I could even get one part of one side in.|
Once the kit was assembled and I admitted the math and processes were breaking my brain, I opted to draw it all up in AutoCAD. All the existing, the door kit, everything. And that helped tremendously. But then not enough.
|AutoCad. And thanks Microsoft for the horrible stealth update jacking up my new laptop. #macforlife. Figure out the furry theme? Seriously, he is always at hand, on the ready. Heh. Goofy guy.|
|Can I...can I just shove this in, right into the wall please? Just push, ooophff, be done? Ya know, skooch? Please?|
|Here's one photo I took of the store set up. Turns out, way not helpful.|
|List. v5.0, no joke. It probably reads vague and weird and might still be out of order but it makes sense to me.|
So you may be chuckling at me, thinking boy it's not that hard Becky, but there's a heap o' stuff going on in this wall, and a heap o' stuff to figure out.
Right. Oh. Ok. Sure thing. His faith in me is my only buoy at the moment.
Well. Here I am!
At the point where I want to curl up in a little ball, rock back and forth and cry a lot. Usually if I reach this point, a breakthrough happens and all the pieces fall right into place.
End of day two I could not fall asleep with that door literally looming over me. Nothin' like having a difficult project staring you down as you're trying to sleep....
Waking up to day three I had a minor epiphany on a way to get existing things out easier, hopefully, and I'm (probably delusionally) feeling a wee tiny bit (maybe?) better but regardless, the saw battery is outta juice so I'm in a holding pattern until the charger arrives.
Stay tuned. (Click here to read part two!)
*The 3" circular saw link is an Amazon affiliate link. Mwah, thanks! Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.