Knowing how to remove a pocket door can be a useful skill. You may need to take the door down to paint or you want to replace the hardware for the pocket door. Certain adjustments to the door may also require that you remove it.
If this is not your problem, you want to see the article 'Troubleshooting Pocket Doors' for other pocket door topics.
Pocket doors are installed differently than conventional doors. A regular door has hinges on the side that have pins in them. All you have to do is remove the pins and the the door will come off.
A pocket door is similar, except that it is supported by hangers at the top of the door.
Releasing Pocket Door Hangers
The pocket door hangers are attached to rollers that glide along a track that allows the door to slide back and forth. The jambs on each end of the door keep you from rolling it out the end.
The hangers are designed with a retention clip that holds the door hanging clip onto the bolt for the rollers. Unfortunately, every manufacturer uses a different type of hanger and clip. You will have to determine where the release for the clip is before you try and remove the door.
You may need a screwdriver to push the release lever. Some of the clips require that you hold them open until the door is take off the hanger.
Removing a Pocket Door
Make sure you have some help before you attempt to remove the door. The door is probably not too heavy unless it is a solid core door. Even a hollow core door can be a little awkward to handle. Just having someone to steady it will help a lot.
To remove the door you want to slide it until it is within three or four inches of being closed. Even when the door is closed, part of the door is still inside the pocket, making it seemingly impossible to remove the door.
With the door almost closed have someone hold the edge of the door while you release the clip that is closest to the strike side of the door. Once the clip is released carefully set the door down.
Pick the door up at the edge and slide it as far toward the strike as you can. Then pull the door toward you until the edge of the door is past the jamb. With the door at an angle, you can pull it completely out of the pocket.
Have someone hold the door and release the second clip. Carefully remove the door and lean it against the wall. That is all there is to it.
You put the door back on in reverse order of the way you took it down.
Putting the Pocket Door Back On
Similar to removing the door, it is a bit of a trick to get the door back on. See the article 'Replacing a Pocket Door' for instructions on what to do.
Removing a Pocket Door - Summary
Hopefully you were able to get your pocket door removed without too much difficulty. This job is not too hard, especially if you have handled doors in the past.