I have a closet opening that has never had a door on it (has had a curtan on a rod for 30+ years). I'd like to install a bi-fold or similar closet door. The problem is that the door opening is 44 inches and all of the doors I have seen are 24" or 36".

My plan is to narrow the opening by 8" on one side, or 4" on each side. Is this a good idea? If so, what is the best way to do this? Also, the wall is textured so what would be the easiest way to make this look nice with the existing wall?

This is for a house I'm trying to sell, so the cheapest/easiest solution (that isn't terrible) would be ideal.

  • 1
    You might be able to fit a pair of sliding doors made for a 48" opening without modifying the opening. Apr 10, 2013 at 1:01
  • That would be great, but would they fit? I haven't seen 48" doors, but I can get 2 24" doors. I assumed it would be too wide though..
    – NotDan
    Apr 10, 2013 at 1:07
  • @NotDan ArgentoSapiens is talking about (2) 24" doors They are also known as bypass doors. The loss of 4 inches means the max opening will be 44-24 or 20". I think it is a great idea.. Post it Argento, and I'll vote for it
    – HerrBag
    Apr 10, 2013 at 1:11
  • Yeah, you'd use a pair of 24" doors; they'd overlap 4" when closed and the maximum opening would be 20". This is not ideal but is way easier than changing the size of the opening. And narrowing the doors is always an option. Apr 10, 2013 at 1:12
  • "cheapest/easiest solution" = buy a fancier curtain to hang. (IMHO, bifold doors are cheap feeling and would much prefer a nice curtain)
    – DA01
    Apr 10, 2013 at 17:10

3 Answers 3


Instead of changing the size of the opening, use a pair of 24" doors in the "bypass door" configuration. They'll overlap 4" when closed and you'll have a 20" opening when they're open.

If you want to increase the 20" opening, you can cut the doors to make them narrower and this will still be less work than changing the size of the doorway. Even garbage MDF doors can be narrowed almost an inch on each side, especially if you're not attaching hinges or real doorknobs.

  • Did this today, it worked great and was really easy. 20" was plenty of an opening, too.
    – NotDan
    Apr 13, 2013 at 5:47

You can get custom made doors of almost any size that you need. Even if they cost a little more than the low cost standard sized units from big box strores you are likely to come out better off than trying to get into a lot of work modifying an existing opening. (Saving that pain is worth something too).

For your sized opening I really recommend that you use bifold doors. When you use sliding by-pass type doors on a narrow opening you end up with a situation that is horrible to use. Imagine trying to get a big suitcase in and out of a closet with a 20 inch opening.

Before you order custom sized doors make sure to completely plan if you need to be adding any type of door jamb that may end up changing the overall size of your opening.

Kestrel Bifold Doors

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Disclaimer: I have no affiliation what so ever to the door supplier linked and pictured here. I found this in a Google search to support custom door size recommendation.


I have done this twice in my house. It isn't a huge deal but the door is the easiest part.

  1. Remove trim on both sides.
  2. This depends on your floor. With all floors you can cut out the area that you want to frame on. You can use a Dremel Multimax or something similar. For nailed down hardwood you could frame on top of it. Do not nail framing on floating floors or carpet.
  3. Add additional framing to the side(s). Should be really easy if they had created the header right on the old door. Now you should have bought a door already and should be framing to what the door specifications tell you to.

The following section is the tedious part that may want you to get bi-fold doors...

  1. Add drywall to your new section.
  2. Tape, mud, sand drywall to existing drywall.
  3. Paint as needed.
  4. Buy new trim to match existing floor trim - remember you will be extending the wall... Now you could possibly get a decorative piece to put here (fancy rectangles I call them). This could work well if you are moving each side in. This is all about the look of your house.

  5. Install new door.

  6. Cut top door trim piece to match new opening - or just use trim that came with door.
  7. Cut bottoms of front side trim pieces if you are using a rectangle dealy.
  8. Install trim - install floor trim if needed.
  9. Repaint, re-caulk as needed.

This job can be done for under $100. Say $60 for new door, $10 for 2 rectangle trim pieces, $25 for 2x4s and a sheet of drywall.

Moulding - http://www.lowes.com/pd_219282-81562-EV1403PBOAK_4294715698__?productId=3086763&Ns=p_product_price|0

Door - http://www.lowes.com/pd_13430-77999-13430_4294858069__?productId=3406664&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=

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