The work I do here at Portlandshojiscreen is considered “Fine Woodworking”. Therefore you would want to have the installation look as good as the doors. This may require a talented professional Finish Carpenter to do the install.
I know many of you have done your own carpentry for years and that’s great. If you can handle a hammer and saw, and feel confident that you can handle what might be a fairly complicated installation, then I can help with the details.
Right now, I am addressing the homeowner who has been weaned on IKEA.
I build Shoji and other doors like it’s a fine table and chairs. Correct installation of Shoji requires more than a big crescent wrench, screwdriver and a ball peen hammer to do it. And it isn’t just tools, it’s a good understanding of installation techniques that aren’t available from a book or website. Comes from experience.
If you feel you know which end of a hammer is the handle and feel confidant you can do it, I am available to give you some advice over the phone or by email. Sometimes the pros need to call me in the middle of an installation. I must note here that I always include installation instructions. These are geared for the pro.
“Within the opening type installation”; where the Shoji is trapped within the jambs on either side is complicated as everything must be level and plumb. Existing door openings are often way off in this respect, making a clean install difficult. If your project is “new” construction, you can make everything square and level as you go. Otherwise you will have to correct or at least adjust to “within reason” what is out of whack.
The “over the opening” or “wall mounted type” installation is much easier as you are not constrained by what is in place. But mounting the hardware or the valance box (containing the upper tracks) must be done in such a way that everything is supported. In other words: beams (called headers) installed within the wall, or studs need to be located to screw to … that kind of thing.
If you have any doubts, look at Houzz and locate a pro in your area. Angie’s List and Yelp are other resources for finding a “good finish carpenter”, as are friends and family who have recently remodeled.
Also, for design work, I suggest finding local architects and/or interior designers who specialize in Asian design. Houzz is really the best source for all this. You can also find Portland Shoji Screen on Houzz.