Thursday, September 23, 2010
If you have a dog or cat that is inside but enjoys going outside, you might get tired of going to the door to let them out or back in. Installing a pet door can make it easier for you, and is a great DIY project.
Choose a pet door that is appropriately sized for your dog or cat. Check the size recommendations on the pet door packaging.
To begin the installation, you will need to do some measuring. Start by measuring the height of your pet's chest from the ground. You don't want to position the door too high or too low. If the floor inside is at a higher or lower elevation than the ground outside, you will need to average the measurements to settle on a height that is comfortable for your pet. Use masking tape to mark the elevation on the house door. This will be the mark for the bottom of the pet door.
Measure and mark the center of the house door. Run a piece of masking tape from the bottom of the door upward to intersect the masking tape that marks the elevation of the pet door. Measure and mark the center point on the intersecting tapes.
The pet door will have a security panel frame. Measure and mark the center point on the bottom of this security panel, then match it up with the center point marked on the masking tape. Trace around the security panel to get the correct measurement and dimension of the pet door.
Use a drill to create starter holes in the corners of the traced rectangle. You may need to start with a smaller drill bit and then use a larger drill bit. To keep the wood from splintering, you can finish the pilot holes from the opposite side of the door.
Use a jigsaw to cut an opening along the traced lines. Be sure to use eye protection. Make sure you cut the corners carefully and at right angles (not rounded). You can now remove the masking tape you used for marking the opening.
Before putting the security seal of the pet door into place, run a bead of exterior caulking around the inside edge of the opening. This will create a watertight seal and help keep the wood of the door from rotting. Put the pet door frame into place, press and wipe off excess caulk. Use masking tape to help hold it in place.
Position the interior and exterior frames of the pet door. Make sure the hinge for the pet door is up, then screw the frames into place. Attach the pet door to the hinge and re-attach your people door. You can now introduce your pet to their new door; this article has some helpful tips on teaching your dog or cat how to use their new pet door. Be sure to install the security door at night or at other times when you don't want your pet to go outside or don't want wild animals to come inside.
Read more by Tamara L. Waters