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In the past, the pocket of pocket doors had to be at least 6 in wider than the door itself? Does that need to happen anymore? What kind of structural clearance is necessary?
I have a pocket door in a 2x4 wall, so I don't think your rule applies. The wall has to be framed in such a way to allow the pocket door to slide inside the wall, and at the same time the wall must be strong enough to support the door and the track.
Pocket doors are commonly installed into 2x4 framed walls, which in actuality are only 3.5" wide, add drywall to either side and the total wall thickness is 4.5 to 4.75", depending on thickness of the drywall. As DJ said, the framed opening for a pocket is a little more than twice the width of the door, so if you've got a 30" pocket door, then the framed opening will be roughly 60" wide.
If you're installing a pocket door, make sure you watch the length of screws and nails you use to attach drywall and trim, so that you don't accidentally penetrate the door or door cavity and damage the door panel.
Thank you so much for your advice. It is very helpful and believe me. OCD is good for our business.