pocket door install - can I keep a wall?

We have a traditional doorway (that didn't actually have a door), with about 3 feet of open wall (ie no electric, plumbing, etc., not load bearing) on one side that we would like to put a pocket door in now. The drywall is out on one side of the wall (our bathroom, which is completely torn out right now). The drywall on the other side however (our bedroom) is still intact, and if I can get around it I'd rather not tear that side out. All the DIY articles on pocket door say of course the first step is to frame out the opening 2x the size of the door, which of course assumes that both sides of the wall are out. Is there ANY way to take out the 2 or 3 studs, the header, replace the header, put int the pocket door hardware, etc. without tearing out that other side of the wall?
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since the drywall on the bedroom side is attached to the studs that are to be removed, I would say you're pretty much out of luck. If you could get the studs and bottom plate of the wall cut away and removed, the nails/screws that attach the drywall would pull through, and the drywall would be hanging in midair. The odds of all this taking place without breaking up the drywall are remote.

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wrote:

OK - thanks. I saw some guys do it keeping the drywall intact at a family members house, but when I saw the framing job on the bare side of the wall it looked pretty unprofessional. They had shims, small bits of wood, etc. scattered everywhere where the headers was to be extended - I have no idea how they got everything out without screwing up the drywall.
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CB wrote: ...

If had access to it from the other side, at least one way would be to use a handy saw and cut the nails/screws off.
Overall, no more expensive than drywall is, it's still probably less trouble to simply cut out the area and redo it.
--
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CB wrote:

Can you hire the previous crew?
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Most likely it can be done with nothing more than a few nail head holes in the drywall.
It isn't worth the time and effort to do so.
Rip it out and put it back the right way.
Colbyt
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I've seen it done, but again, it's more work than replacing the drywall.
You'll need the longest metal cutting saw blade you can find for a Sawzall. Start at the top of each stud and bend the blade slightly so that it saws flat against the sheetrock. Then cut through the nails/screws the whole length of each stud. Use a smaller metal cutting blade to saw the toe nails at the top and bottom of each stud. You may hack up the back of the drywall, but that's not a big deal.
Cut out sections of the bottom plate as you go and install the pocket door wall supports as you go so the bedroom drywall isn't flapping in the breeze. Use construction adhesive to attach the drywall to the new wall supports.

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