Besides the screwdriver, self-framing pet doors can be one of the most useful tools when it comes to installation. These types of frames can give your DIY project a clean, finished look. For hollow core doors or thin material, before installing a pet door, these materials need to be framed out. Without a certain saw, this can be difficult. If you have an existing hole in your door or wall that needs a door replacement, a self-framing option can make the selection process easier.
So, what exactly makes a door “self-framing?”
These frames wrap from the inside of the door to the outside of the door. This type of frame results in your rough cut out being hidden. When looking at size charts of self-framing doors, you will notice how the outside frame dimension is bigger than the rough cut out. Depending on your surface material, this can reduce the amount caulking necessary. In any case, we do recommend not to overlook caulking even with self-framing doors. Although these frames fit closer to walls and doors, caulking can ensure no moisture gets through a seam. You will not want to risk damage to your wall or door, so be sure to do some precautionary caulking!
It is important to know that self-framing doors have their specified installation location. Certain models have a wall mount version and a door mount version. Be sure to choose the right one! Each self-framing door has an adjustment range to show how thin or thick of a material it can be installed in. Check the thickness or your door first to make sure the pet door will work. Interior doors will most likely be hollow core. An exterior door is typically solid core. When checking for door thickness, you want to measure the thickest part of the door, rather than the thinnest. Pocket door installations can also pose some challenges as the frame of the pet door will protrude on both sides. While the pet door will frame out the hollow interior you may not have the clearance needed to open the pocket door fully with the pet door installed.
For Hollow Core Doors
For Solid Core Doors
Note: Some of the options above are not limited to either solid core or hollow material installations. Products may go into either type, even storm doors.
Out with the old, in with the New
A door purchased years ago may not suit you or your pet forever. Replacing a door when there is an existing hole cut can be tough. The first thing to do is measure the existing width and height of the rough cut . Using specs on prospective pet doors, try and find one that has a comparable cut out requirement. Even though finding another door with your exact dimensions may not be possible, self-framing models can make the project easier. Self-framing doors are able to cover minute gaps in the event you purchase a slightly smaller model. After covering the gaps, you can caulk or fill in the extra space to stabilize your pet door.
While most frame and flap assemblies sold are self-framing, we recommend sizing your potential pet door, as well the door at home. None of the doors in the “For Doors” section are compatible to frame out a wall. If you are looking for self-framing wall mount, check out our pet doors for walls! These options include manual and electronic items. Self-framing doors can be a great way to start your selection process with installation already in mind. There are many options available, so make sure your pet’s new companion is suitable for your home as well!