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How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf | Ask This Old House

Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva is in Salem, MA, to help install a bookshelf that doubles as a door. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf:
– Scrap piece of 1×4 poplar wood [https://amzn.to/2Fpkded] – Murphy door [https://amzn.to/2Xs1B7s] from kit
– Shims [https://amzn.to/2J3KIqD] – Finishing nails [https://amzn.to/2IWY8EK]

Tools for How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf:
– Hammer [https://amzn.to/2Fp3xU6] – Nailset [https://amzn.to/2Fp0NWX] – Pry bar [https://amzn.to/2WZul84] – Levels: 1or 2-foot and 6-foot [https://amzn.to/2Rv9Zhd] – Scribes [https://amzn.to/2Rtv63g] – Circular saw [https://amzn.to/2WRVh4Y] – Wood glue [https://amzn.to/2Y4uR1g] – Drill/driver [https://amzn.to/2JcVevV] – Utility knife [https://amzn.to/2XpBMVx]

Steps for How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf:
1. Remove current door from its hinges by popping up the pins with a hammer and nailset.
2. Remove the old jamb and casing with a pry bar.
3. To level the jamb, place a piece of poplar on the floor and make it level. Set your scribes the overall width of the filler and drag the scribes along the piece of poplar.
4. After marking the poplar, cut it with the circular saw, following the scribe line you traced.
5. Using wood glue, glue the poplar filler piece to the underside of the doorjamb to fill the gap.
6. Repeat the same steps to fill the back side of the jamb.
7. Move the jamb from the door kit into place. Using a 6-foot level, check that it’s plumb; if it needs adjusting, place shims between the jamb and the wall studs until the jamb is plumb. Drill through the jamb and shims, and secure with screws.
8. Using a utility knife and a hammer, remove the excess shims on either side.
9. Lift up the bookshelf and place in the pre-fashioned pivot-point pinholes on the top and bottom of the jamb.
10. Glue trim to the jamb and secure with finishing nails.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf | Ask This Old House


  1. The only issue is now her door is no longer hidden LOL. thanks for another good video

  2. This is awesome, I want one as my room door but I want the shelves inside the room and have the outside looking like a dead end!

  3. looks like a door with all that wide trim around it

  4. What if door can't be pushed open but instead pulled?

  5. 1:51 Please do not put any body parts near any power tool

  6. Fits well into my space, I painted the back green. It's very easy to customize just the back if that's something you want to do. I would suggest sanding it first before painting, I got a little impatient. The shelves https://www.youtube.com/post/UgkxM8H4CjCb79vzeyvgaFMdzmLm88oVFPMkare pretty small so keep that in mind if you're going to have it horizontal that some books won't fit. I like the snug look that it has. Good small shelf if you don't have much space, but not too small. Simple to put together, though you'll need your own tools, a screwdriver and a mallet/hammer, it's easiest to do with another person.

  7. What’s the name of the company that sells these door please? Thank you

  8. Nice work but why did Wendy put her fingers in front of the circular saw? 🙀

  9. Such a gorgeous book – each shed is unique and inspiring, and I love all the tiny details Kotite features to help readers imagine how to create their own She Sheds https://www.youtube.com/post/Ugkxe9yi0sulKgsp0VJJCIrLWWkvVqcU7LFR . The feature on Dinah's Rustic Retreat is like something from a fairy tale. It's really inspiring to see how creative all these ordinary people are in making beautiful and useful spaces on a modest scale.

  10. Lady was wanting her finger cut off

  11. there a cabent in the wall very strange oh yeah it looks like a door

  12. A typical woman let's paint all the wood.

  13. They want over $1000 dollars for this so called ,"hidden door" that looks like a hidden door! One can build an actual hidden door for far less and then actually have a "hidden door!"

  14. IDK her hands were in a bad spot when he was cutting.

  15. Can’t believe that lady is going to paint all the wood!!

  16. Hello there. Great job!!!👍. Where would I buy the hinges?

  17. This looks like a big PITA for a room or area that is used regularly. No thanks for that application, give me a regular door. But for a room that is seldom used, like a storage area, this would be fun.

  18. Great video, you forgot to show how many times I have to go back to the store because I forgot something…

  19. Seems like it'd be alot easier to just make the door swing out and attach any old bookshelf to the door itself..

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