Buy your own pet door kit, but make sure it fits

Buy your own pet door kit, but make sure it fits

I'm looking for a company or contractor that would install pet doors. What kind of company should I be looking for, and what should I expect out of the job? Angie's List member Hector Sosa

Look for a licensed handyman, says Bob Vecchio, owner of highly rated The House Doctors, a home improvement company that services Mayfield Heights, Ohio, and the Cleveland area.

"Most people prefer to install a pet door directly into a door, rather than a wall, so you don't have to cut through and repair the vinyl siding or brick," Vecchio says.

The ideal door would be made of solid wood, he says. "If it's a steel door, forget it!" Vecchio says. "Cutting into a fiberglass door is also a bad idea, because you'll get pieces everywhere. If that's the case, opt to cut the hole into a wall instead."

Vecchio suggests homeowners purchase their own pet door kit, paying special attention to the size that will fit their cat or dog. Sealing the space around the door with a high quality silicone caulk will help reduce energy loss, he says, adding that the caulk can match the trim of any house.

For homeowners worried about security, Vecchio says a bar can be installed to brace the interior of the pet door to keep out intruders.

The cost of a pet door kit itself ranges between $80 to $200, while installation labor costs around $150. "Keep in mind that if you have an entrance door and a storm door, you'll have to cut and install two pet doors," Vecchio says. "It can get quite pricey."

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