Install pet doors on entry doors, not walls

Install pet doors on entry doors, not walls

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

"Hire someone with experience in wall and door construction, such as a knowledgeable handyman," says Drew Jameson, owner of highly rated Jameson Remodeling & Home Repair in Prairie Village, Kan.

He recommends installing the pet door in an existing entry door, rather than a wall, because any potential moisture penetration would create a larger problem with a wall installation.

Once installed, Jameson says sealing the outside of the pet door with a high-quality waterproof polyurethane caulk is an important step in preventing leaks.

"The best results are achieved when the customer consults with the contractor and purchases what meets their needs," Jameson adds. He suggests looking for pet doors with metal frames and lockable panels, which can keep out unwanted pests such as raccoons. He estimates most installations cost about $300.

He adds that any pet door will introduce a draft and some resulting energy loss to the home. Installing two pet doors, one from the home to an attached garage and another to exit the garage, can reduce this effect.

Security concerns with pet doors are negligible, Jameson says. "A 12-inch-by-12-inch or smaller pet door opening will be difficult for an adult to crawl through," he says.

"But most exterior doors have soft pine frames and undersized fasteners, which would make forced entry a breeze, with or without a pet door."

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