Why Pocket Doors are Featuring in Home Project Extensions
David Newton, general manager of Allegion subsidiary, Brio UK, considers the rising use of 'pocket' doors by employees and families adjusting to the demands of remote working.
It seems an eternity since the pandemic first struck, sidetracking plans and keeping many of us inside our homes in the process. Though, throughout this time, people have found solace in various activities, from getting fit and improving skills to spending more time on household jobs such as DIY and gardening.
If one thing’s for sure, plenty of homeowners have found themselves spending more time at home. And with most of that time being spent inside, it’s no surprise that those DIY projects have multiplied in their numbers and even evolved into larger scale home improvement projects.
In fact, according to 2020 reports, the average UK homeowner spent £4,035.70 on home renovations in the first lockdown alone. And on the 4th January 2021, it was announced that the construction sector should continue to operate amidst the latest set of lockdown restrictions. This has been the ‘green light’ needed for this year’s home improvement projects, with predictions now showing households are expected to increase on last year’s spend, to a new average of £6,351.
So, with home improvement spend increasing and creativity truly unleashed, what can we expect to see from these newfound projects? Well, over the years, open plan spaces have often found themselves at the forefront of home improvement plans. Typically, the removal of partition walls in rooms has offered homeowners a larger, lighter, more social feel to their rooms, and is commonly effective in living room and kitchen spaces.
However, with the changes our modern homes are facing - think the requirements of hybrid workers and their home office spaces - are we likely to see a swing away from open plan living? It could be that more people choose to opt for what’s known as a 'broken-plan' style - a new alternative to open-plan living. With this, adopters can reap the benefits of open plan spaces while still being able to create distinct areas or rooms that can offer that additional privacy when necessary.
To make this style work, broken plan designs often make use of what we know as ;pocket' doors; an aesthetic but functional alternative to knocking through walls - and a huge space-saver when compared to traditional hinged doors. Instead of opening outwards or inwards, internal pocket doors are designed to simply glide into a cavity that’s made into the adjacent wall. This gives users an option that’s hidden and doesn’t impede on access in smaller or tighter spaces, thus maximising floor space.
Pocket doors are growing in popularity and much of their growth can be linked to their space-saving credentials. In fact, pocket doors can create around 8% more space in a room by reducing into their cavity walls and disappearing completely when open - creating that contemporary, streamlined look that so many modern homeowners are searching for.
However, their rise in popularity has previously left homeowners with a headache when choosing the correct hardware for their project. Today, there are different variations of pocket door kits, of which can be installed as a single door or in pairs (known as bi-parting). The choice is usually dependent on the size of the opening in question and it’s therefore key to ensure homeowners, and subsequently installers, are aware of those requirements beforehand.
Despite the several styles that are now readily available, homeowners no longer need panic over their selections. Specialists in door hardware now produce accommodating kits that are supplied in one standard size and that can be adapted on site to suit all panel sizes - making the entire process far easier than knocking through a wall.
Once installed, these pocket doors can offer great convenience and versatility in a range of rooms and spaces - think ensuite bathrooms, home offices and utility rooms. By widening the entry point for example, a finished pocket door can offer users increased ease of access with minimal effort required - particularly useful for elderly residents and wheelchair users, especially in those tighter space rooms such as bathrooms.
The many benefits a pocket door can offer, alongside their charming, aesthetic finish, is why we’ll likely see the continued adoption of 'broken-plan' styles in homes moving forward.
Pocket doors are a more practical option than the alternatives, and with their sleek, stylish finishes, it’s an option that’s becoming increasingly difficult for modern homeowners to ignore. Whether the living room, home office or bathroom, the pocket door is truly perfect for any home improvement project - and with more time being spent inside, has there ever been a better time to get started?