Create a Home Office with Pocket Doors

Steve Watson and the Don't Sweat It crew turn a cramped workspace/laundry room into an office with great home office design ideas.

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The reconfigured home office space lends itself to better focus and a more pleasing work environment.

Gary and Allison Greco have a busy lifestyle, made more complicated by the fact that Gary works from a home office that serves double duty as a laundry room. And with his combination office right next to the kid's playroom, his conference calls sometimes have an unwanted audience.

The Grecos are in desperate need of help in finishing some home improvement projects and creating more useable space in their home.

For the first project in this makeover, Don't Sweat It host Steve Watson and his team help remedy the home-office situation by relocating a wall, expanding the work space and adding open shelving and a new floor. Below is a summary of steps, as well as a list of tools and materials used, as seen in this Don't Sweat It project.

Materials and Tools:

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A cramped combination home-office/laundry room serves neither intended function well.

pocket door and installation kit
10' 2x4s (2)
8' 2x4s (16)
4x8 wood paneling (10)
3/4" black pipe (10 linear feet)
light fixtures (2)
baseboard (30 linear feet)
casing (30 linear feet)
air compressor and hoses
caulking gun
circular saw
hammer
pry bar
reciprocating saw
stud finder
concrete fastening gun with charges and fasteners
safety glasses

Steps:

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Open adustable shelves provide easy access and versatility.

1. For this project, demolition of the dividing wall is the first step. Carefully remove the old wall, being certain to avoid damaging the ceiling or any existing wiring that runs through the wall.

2. Use a stud finder to mark the ceiling joists so you know where to nail the top plates. If the basement floor is concrete, use a powder actuated nail gun or concrete anchors to secure the floor plates.

3. Once the top and floor plates are attached, start framing out the wall with studs on 16" centers. Use a framing nailer to attach the studs at the top and bottom.

4. Skin the walls with drywall first to give adequate backing for the wood paneling.

5. Attach the wood paneling with wood panel nails.

6. Repeat the above steps to build the wall that will enclose the washing machine and dryer area. In this case, the dryer line is gas and needs to be shut off when we move the unit. Contact an HVAC or utility specialist to take care of this step. The ¾-inch black pipe gas lines for the dryer will need to be re-run.

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Pocket doors facilitate privacy, but can be pushed out of sight to open up the space.

7. Install track for sliding doors that will separate the laundry area from the office. Attach the doors to the sliders and hang doors from track following the manufacturer's instructions.

8. Begin the floating floor by laying down a moisture-resistant underlayment. Begin laying the wood planks, starting at the front door and working your way back. Use the off cuts from the last piece to begin the new row. Doing this insures that the seams from each plank will not line up and it prevents buckling. Be sure to leave no more than a 3/8-inch gap at the wall so it can be covered by the baseboard.

Tip: An electric miter saw is a great tool for cutting straight edges for accurate fits.

9. Most floating floors have matching thresholds to fill the space between any doorways that connect to the room. The thresholds can be cut to length and stapled into place using a finish nailer. Before the baseboard can go down, the door and casing must be installed.

10. The pocket door comes in a kit that is the same thickness as the 2x4 framing studs. The pre-assembled door kit makes for an easy installation. Simply measure, level and screw into place, following the kit instructions.

11. Add baseboard trim.

12. Prime and paint.

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