Need a pet door? Consider where you're installing it

Need a pet door? Consider where you're installing it

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

A handyman with experience installing pet doors is your best bet, says Karen King, marketing director for highly rated DogGoneHandy in Atlanta.

"Ask them how many they've installed and if they're knowledgeable about the issues with that project," she says.

Depending on the individual customer's needs, King says pet doors can be installed in an existing metal or wood entry door in about two hours or through an exterior wall in about four hours. Her company charges a $75 per hour fee.

She recommends that homeowners buy the door themselves to ensure the proper size and fit, but advises that through-the-wall installations may require the additional purchase of a sleeve transition kit to accommodate the wall's thickness.

"You also want to make sure there's not any plumbing or electrical in that area," she adds.

With a pet door, your home will lose some energy efficiency, but using a rubberized membrane, weather stripping or caulk to seal the newly installed pet door's edges will help reduce air infiltration and prevent water leaks.

"We also remind customers that dogs or cats aren't the only things that can come through the pet door. A human could fit through a larger-sized door and we've heard stories about possums or raccoons," King says, so select a high quality door with a slide-in security panel, latching mechanism or other security features.

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