For a quality pet door, mind the flap

For a quality pet door, mind the flap

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

If you're installing it in an existing wood door, a handyman should be able to complete the job in an hour or so, says Frank Ordakowski, owner of highly rated Honey Do Home-Tasking Inc. in Mount Prospect, Ill. "If it's a steel door, it's a significantly tougher job," he says.

Stan Roy, owner of highly rated Stan the Handyman in Glenview, Ill., emphasizes the need for properly sealed pet doors. "If it's going to the outside, you can't jut cut a hole in the [existing] door," Roy says. "You want to caulk it up and seal it to make sure moisture and bad weather can't get in."

Ordakowski says the doors he's installed have weather stripping around the sides. However, he adds that with Chicago's heavy rains, he doesn't see many pet doors that go directly outdoors.

"Usually they connect to a buffer zone, such as a screened area," Ordakowski says. "I haven't seen any pet doors I would trust to keep out a heavy rain."

Roy says a good pet door leading directly outdoors should have a heavier material so the flap will close more firmly. "You shouldn't lose a lot of heat or cold to the outside if it's a good material," he says.

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