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How to build a pet patio door

Build a Pet Patio Door


In honor of National Pet Month (May), I decided to write an article about how I built a pet patio door for my four rescue dogs.

The project cost me a quarter of the price of a store-bought pet patio door. This wasn't the reason I decided to build it myself, however. Actually, I couldn't find a pet patio door at a height of 78.5 inches. My old home is strange that way, with doors in unheard of dimensions.

Here are the steps I followed to build a pet patio door. You can adjust the measurements to fit your needs. The basic concept is simple and smart.
 
build a pet patio door

Materials for Building a Pet Patio Door

The most expensive element in building a pet patio door is buying the flap and frame. I found a coupon for a pet store and managed to save 15% on the purchase.

I bought a pet door flap that was tall enough to accommodate my tallest rescue dog. In the picture above, you're actually seeing my smallest rescue dog racing in through our homemade pet patio door.

In addition, I used plywood and a strip of floor (base) molding. I also used a kitchen cabinet drawer knob.

Take Measurements for Building Your Pet Patio Door

When you build a pet patio door remember that the door will fit inside the frame of your patio door. In other words, the bottom of the pet patio door will sit inside the rail frame, as the top will sit in the top groove.

As to the width of the pet patio door you are building, just make sure it's wide enough to accommodate the store-bought pet door flap and frame.

Cut the Frame of the Pet Patio Door You Are Building

Build a pet patio door that's made of two sections. The bottom section will be about 75% of the height. The top section the additional 25%.

When you want to slip your homemade pet patio door in you start by placing the bottom section in. Then you slide in the top section on top of the first. This allows you to build a pet patio door that's taller than the outside frame of your patio door, but that fits perfectly inside.

Therefore, cut the plywood to the width measurement you want for your pet patio door. Then cut the height at 75% plus another 5 inches.

Finally, cut the top section of the homemade pet patio door to the same width and to the height of 25%.
  
homemade pet patio door

Complete Building the Frame of Your Pet Patio Door

Cut a 2 inch strip of plywood to equal the width of your homemade pet patio door frame, minus 2 inches.

Place that piece at the top of the bottom section of your homemade patio pet door. Now glue it in place 5 inches below the top. And align it to the right side (leaving the 2 inches bare on the left).

Note: This arrangement works for a patio door that slides open to the left. If yours slides open to the right align the piece to the left side, leaving the 2 inches bare on the right.

Now when you slip the top section of your homemade pet door above the bottom, the piece will have a place to rest (over this piece of plywood).

Next, cut the base molding to the height of the bottom of your homemade pet patio door and glue it over the 2 inch space to overlap on the side. finally, repeat this step for the top section of the homemade pet patio door.

The base molding will create an overlap when you close the patio door with the pet door slipped in place. You can then slip insulation beneath the base molding to create a tight closure (overlap).

Fit the Pet Flap into the Pet Patio Door You Are Building

Follow the instructions that come with the pet flap to install it in the pet patio door frame you have built. There's a piece of paper that comes with it to help you cut the right size hole.

Once this is done, you slip the pet flap and door in place and screw them tight. Than you're done. Your homemade pet patio door should delight your dogs and keep your home insulated.

Questions? Comments? Drop me a line.
 
 
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