how to adjust a pocket door

modern pocket door with glass slightly open
Tools Needed
1 Screwdriver
2 3/8 Inch Wrench
3 Utility Knife
4 Pry Bar for Painters
5 Thin Wood Piece
6 Nails
7 Nail Setter
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Materials Needed
1 Hammer
2 Putty
3 Sandpaper (220 Grit)
4 Paint
5 Ladder
6 Flashlight
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Total Cost
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
1-2 Hours
Skill Level: Advanced
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

side view of an sliding pocket door showing the handle and locking mechanism

Pocket doors are handy. They slide easily on tracks into the wall cavity. They are put into the upper portion of your door frame. These are great for saving space since they go into your wall instead of swinging outwards. This way you don’t need to have extra space in your room.

You can put your furniture wherever you see fit since the door won’t swing out to the wall. If you have a dragging pocket door or it won’t close correctly, it is time to adjust your pocket door. It can easily be raised so this isn’t a problem any longer. This home improvement project is quite easy and you don’t need much time to get it done.

Step-By-Step Instructions


Closing Your Door and Inspecting It

a person looking at a contemporary pocket door

The first step to adjusting a pocket door is closing your door and then inspecting it. You will need to look at the top of your door. See if you can get to the rollers which are on the top area of your door. You may need a flashlight and ladder to look at your rollers.

It may depend on what equipment you have but the rollers might be adjusted by using a 3/8 inch wrench or a screwdriver. If you can’t get to the bolt or screw, you might need to take off the casing at the top of your door. The trim may need to be removed as well. You will only want to take the casing off in the area where you will get to the bolts or screws.


Cutting Paint or Caulk

person inspecting a pocket door track

The next step is to cut the paint or caulk that goes along the door’s top edging. This is alongside the casing and near the wall. You will take this off with the utility knife. You may need to put the painter’s prying bar into the upper casing of the pocket door and your wall. You can put a thinner wood piece or thick cardboard in between the wall and pry bar as well to protect the wall from getting scraped. Be careful when you are prying up the casing.


Adjusting Screws

finger pointing to the screws on a pocket door track that could be adjusted

Now you should be looking for screws on the top area of your door. You will hold your trim up to your railing and carefully take out the screws. When you take off your railing be sure you pull carefully so it doesn’t crack. When you take off the railing, you can see the screws so they can be removed.

You can now turn the screws in clockwise direction so the door can be raised. If there are bolts instead of screws, these should be rotated counterclockwise so you can lift the pocket door to the height you want it to be at.


Replacing The Trim

two people holding a pocket door slab and walking towards the pocket door frame

The next step will be replacing your trim. This is near the railing. Once you have gotten the height to where you would like it to be, the trim can be replaced. Put the upper casing from your door back on using the finishing nails. It is now time to make sure you get all the finishing nails into your casing. This is done using your nail setter and placing it on top of the finishing nail heads. You will lightly tap your nail setter so that the nails get pushed fully in and straight as well. If you hit them too hard, it could crack the casing.

Finally, it is time to place the putty into the holes where you inserted the nails. Once you have done this with each hole, you will want to smooth out the putty by using your fingers. You may want to sand each spot over using the 220 grit type sandpaper. Don’t sand it until you have let it fully dry though. If you would like to, you can paint the trim around the pocket door. This adds a great finishing touch to your adjusted pocket door so it looks brand new.


One of the easiest jobs to do around the home is to adjust a pocket door. If you are having trouble getting your pocket door to close all the way or if it keeps getting stuck, it may need a height adjustment. As long as you are able to follow the steps brought to you here today, you should be able to get this home improvement project done quickly.

Make sure you have the proper tools and hardware before you begin this project so that you don’t need to leave to go get anything once started. Once you have finished this project, with these steps, your pocket door should be in full working order once again.

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