Pet doors risk insulation loss

Pet doors risk insulation loss

"I'm looking for a company or contractor that would install pet doors. Where should I have the door installed and what should I expect out of the job?" —- Angie's List member Hector Sosa

Most pet doors are made to be installed in a door rather than a wall, says George Dunn, owner of highly rated Let George Do It Inc. in Charlotte [N.C.]. Transition pieces designed for installing a pet door through a wall are available, but Dunn says it's easier to install a pet door in an existing entry door.

"Any handyman should be able to do the installation," he says, adding that the work, which involves taking the existing entry door down, cutting a hole in it and installing the pet door, takes about two to three hours.

Dunn says cutting through metal doors can present a challenge, and some panel doors can also be tricky because the bottom panels need to be removed.

He also adds energy efficiency and security are other considerations. "You'll lose some insulation depending on how well the door is sealed," Dunn says. "The magnets on the [pet door's] flexible plastic flaps do a good job keeping the door shut, but it's not as insulated as a wall."

Once installed, Dunn says it's important to make sure the pet door is properly caulked to prevent moisture penetration from damaging the door.

As far as security, he says homeowners shouldn't worry. "The doors have a locking mechanism for security and I don't think a person could fit through unless they're really small and have double-jointed shoulders," he says.

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