Buying a pet door? Consider energy loss and security

Buying a pet door? Consider energy loss and security

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

Call a handyman with carpentry experience, says Ken Bennett, owner of Home Experts, a highly rated handyman service in Indianapolis. "I would also ask the company if they've installed pet doors before to ensure you get top quality," he says.

Homeowners who purchase the pet doors themselves can be more assured of getting a correctly sized unit. Customers should follow the product's guidelines for their pet's size and measure the installation site's thickness against the product's requirements.

Bennett says the job takes about two hours and usually costs from $120 to $150.

Most pet doors are designed to form a weather-tight seal using an existing entry door, but the installation kits can also be altered to fit a home's exterior wall. To prevent possible moisture infiltration, Bennett recommends sealing the edges with a silicone caulk.

Consider two additional factors: energy loss and security. "With a new pet door, there will be some heating and cooling loss," Bennett says, adding that models featuring magnetically sealed flaps may reduce this effect.

Pet doors can also be a possible entrance for intruders, animal or human, so look for products with locking flaps, panels or other security features.

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