Moveable walls/doors provide more variability in privacy and entrance/egress options. Whether fully or partially opened, or fully closed, wall position can change with hourly, daily and seasonal preferences. Moveable wall sections facilitate furniture moving, and people using mobility equipment are unimpeded. Closeable rooms and passages via easy-to-slide panels can limit light, noise and kitchen smells from the rest of the house and can be re-opened as needed. This works well for changing household composition, including the possible need for dedicated space for a caregiver. Finally, the sliding walls themselves can enhance the character of a space and add functional value such as a whiteboard or tack-able surface for various creative uses.
Some future renovation costs will be lower than standard homes due to minimizing needed renovations over time: doors and walls don’t need to be remodeled to be changed. Although the number of standard systems on the market is increasing and their use in residential settings is becoming more common, installation will still require coordination with manufacturers or vendors to ensure that all requirements have been met.
Some flexible wall systems can be quite heavy or may require specific structural conditions in the ceiling or floor, so be sure to request this information from the manufacturers or vendors early in the planning process. Consider acoustical requirements especially for spaces that require more privacy such as bedrooms. Many systems take this into account, meeting or even exceeding the acoustical ratings of a standard interior wall, but be sure to verify this with the manufacturer if the client makes this a priority. Make sure that wall sections slide easily without binding. Floor tracks need to be recessed to maximize ease of rolling and to avoid tripping hazards. It may be beneficial to use a modular material such as carpet tiles or acoustic ceiling tiles, which are much easier to modify and reduce construction waste.