How to Improve Access to Closets

Man with cordless drill Installing track for bifold closet doors.
Installing track for bifold closet doors.

Many older homes have bypass closet doors, which limit your access to half the closet at a time. To make closets more accessible, consider removing bypass closet doors and replacing them with bifold doors or two hinged doors.

Carefully measure the existing closet opening before buying new doors. Bifold doors usually include an overhead track and mounting hardware for the doors.

To hang traditional doors on a closet, you will need to cut mortises for the hinges into both the door case and door edge, then use magnetic catches to hold the doors closed.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: People with older homes often ask how to get more usable storage from their closets, especially those with bypass doors.

Removing the bypass doors is usually best. But rather than leave the closet open, you can replace them with either bifold doors or two traditional doors. In either case it’s important to carefully measure the opening before buying new doors.

The bifold doors usually come with the hardware necessary to mount them. That consists of the track, which must be mounted to the header of the closet opening, and the pivot points on the floor at either side.

With traditional doors, the biggest challenge is adding a stop and mortising the hinges into the casing on each side of the opening.

Rather than a latch at the knob, you’ll need to use a magnetic catch on the header to secure the doors. In either case, you’ll have much better access to your closet.


  1. we have bedroom closet that has 4 doors that slide over one another to open up one half of eachside of the closet . they do not stay in their tracks. we have removed them, are installing floating floor. any suggestions on what type of closet door to replace them with to allow full access to closet and not take away much space in the bedroom. is there such a door that opens up like a french door, but each door can also be folded verticle in half if desired when opening up the door? thanks


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