When you're buying new wooden exterior door
, you think about things like ease of use and security for yourself and your family. But what happens when one or more members of your family are of the four-legged variety? One option is to install a pet door into your storm door, but you can also install them in wooden exterior doors. Installing an opening in your exterior door makes it much more convenient for your pet, and for you if you don't have an obliging storm door, but it does pose some unique challenges. Follow this guide to making your wooden exterior doors pet friendly and avoid some of the common pitfalls that many people encounter.
Determine the size of the opening
Of course, you'll need an opening that your pet can fit through. If you have a large breed, such as a Great Dane or a Saint Bernard, you may want to give your decision more serious consideration. With such a large dog, you'll need an opening large enough for a human to fit through, and that can pose some safety concerns. Also, keep in mind that larger pet doors are more expensive than smaller ones, so expect to pay a lot more for a large breed. Fortunately, since you'll be adding this to exterior wood doors, the one thing you don't have to be concerned about is stability. Because solid wood is sturdy and durable, you won't have to worry about compromising the door's structure as long as you're creating a standard-sized opening.
Choose a reliable brand
Your wooden exterior doors were built to last, so why would you bother installing a cheap, throw-away accessory? If you have to replace the flap later, you may end up having to rough out another opening or fill in space for an opening that is too large for your new doggie door. Instead of dealing with this hassle, just buy the right product from the start. Avoid soft plastic and opt for something that looks like it was built to last (metal or hard plastic are usually very durable). You'll spend more upfront, but it'll save you money and time in the future.
Think about the weather
If you live in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions, you're probably going to spend a little extra money on your wooden exterior doors to get a weatherized finish. You may even install weather-stripping at the door's bottom to keep the draft from entering the house. Don't stop there. If you choose the wrong pet door, you'll leave your home exposed to blistering drafts. Buy a model that allows you to cover or seal the door when it's not in use. The seal must be airtight or a draft is going to be inevitable.
Buying wooden exterior doors is an investment, so it stands to reason that any changes you make to your doors should be considered with the same level of importance. It's kind to want to give your pets free reign of the house, inside and out, but a doggie door shouldn't be an impulse buy. Research your options and ask as many questions as you have until you're comfortable that your purchase is going to enhance your exterior doors instead of detract from their value.
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