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Pet Doors to Install in Exterior Walls
A wall mount pet door can be a great choice. While installing a pet door in a door effectively ruins the door, a wall mount pet door can often be removed and the wall patched leaving no trace of the dog door or cat door. Stucco exterior and dry-wall interior is the perfect example since both sides can be patched and painted-to-match if the pet door must be removed later. Read more about the frequently asked questions below.
Will it be weather proof?
Some pet doors guard against the weather better than others. A well made pet door will keep the weather outside while letting your pets inside, as well as be durable enough to withstand the elements! Top choices for weather-proof doors for walls would be brands like Endura Flap for Walls, Hale for Walls, or PlexiDor for Walls.
How will the pet door handle home security?
Pet doors come with a way of closing the flap when you want to prevent access to your home. The higher quality pet doors will have more secure locking covers with stronger material than less expensive pet doors. You can also purchase an additional steel security cover by Watchdog Security to fit over your pet door for increased home security.
Why would I pay hundreds of dollars for a pet door?
You pay for quality, so when you buy a more expensive pet door you are buying a higher degree of energy efficiency as well as durability. Better insulated pet doors will save you money on your AC/heating bills. Higher quality pet doors require less in replacement parts, and usually carry better warranties than lower quality options. If you are going so far as to cut a hole in the wall of your home, you might want to consider the quality of the pet door you will be installing!
What if I want a good pet door but I’m on a budget? Is there a mid-range pet door?
There are pet doors available that will do a decent job while sticking to a tighter budget. They may need parts replaced after a rough season, but many customers have these pet doors last for years! Take a look at the Ideal Ruff Weather or PetSafe Wall Entry pet doors.
Will I have to replace flaps and parts every year?
Depends on the pet door you choose! Higher quality pet doors may not require replacement parts for your pet’s entire life, while less expensive pet doors might need new flaps after every rough season. If you don’t want to replace flaps, investing in one of the more expensive pet doors can pay off in the long run.
Can I install the pet door myself, or do I need to hire a professional?
If you will be cutting a hole through your wall, we usually do recommend a professional since there are factors like electrical wires and pipes to be careful around. Cutting a hole in the wrong spot can be dangerous, so if you don’t know what you’re doing you probably want to hire some help.
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|Recommendations||Manufacturer Return Info||A Great Security Idea!|
When installing a pet door in a wall, the wall must always be 'framed out'. That is, after cutting the hole, the inside of the wall must be sealed off so that moisture cannot penetrate into the interior of the wall. The 'self-framing' pet doors and wall kits listed here will help to do this step for you and make the job much easier.
However, if you can frame the wall yourself, you can choose any pet door for wall. For example, if you wanted a Pride pet door in your wall, you'd have to frame it yourself as there is no wall kit for that in wall pet door.
All of these pet doors come with a locking cover, or other method of locking the door shut, unless otherwise noted. Be alert to the possibility of an overhang above the wall pet door which could interfere with the operation of a locking cover. Each brand has notes regarding this point. Hale Pet Door, in particular, may be ordered with a 'side-loading' locking cover which avoids this problem. Other pet doors have 'front loading' locking covers which is also an effective solution.
Important Don't confuse these with self-framing door mounts! The adjustment range for a self-framing wall mount must be much greater than for a door mount.
A second important consideration in a wall mount pet door is whether to have a single flap or a double flap (flap on both sides of the wall). The air-space between the two flaps of a double flap wall mount will insulate much better than a single flap pet door and the double flaps will stand up to wind much better also. Finally, it will look more finished to have the flap on both sides of the wall.
We haven't encountered any additional difficulty for the pets in using a double flap provided that a reasonable flap size is chosen by the customer.
Most of our wall mount pet doors sales are for double-flap doors. However, when installing in a moderate climate or in an unheated garage or shed, we'd suggest that a single flap may be adequate. On the other hand, the Endura Flap based pet doors seal so well that we think a single flap is adequate for all but the most demanding climates.
In choosing the size, keep in mind that your pets will be negotiating a short tunnel. For that reason, we like to see a little more clearance vertically than would be the case for a pet door installed in a door. As always, try to mount the pet door so the top of the flap is at least as tall as the top of the shoulder of the tallest pet (the 'withers'). For more information about measuring your pets, see our Measuring Guide.
Q. What are the advantages of installing a pet door in a wall?
A. You may have no other convenient locations for your pet door, in which case it is handy to know that the wall is an option.
A pet door in a wall can always accommodate a double flap version of the pet door you want if that is available. The double flap version will always insulate, seal, and stand up to wind better than a single flap version.
If you want to remove the pet door at some future date (say you sell the house and the buyer doesn't want the pet door) and you've installed the pet door in a door, then you'll be buying a whole new door which can be expensive. On the other hand, depending upon the type of construction, a pet door in a wall may be removed and the wall patched pretty inexpensively.
Q. What are the disadvantages of installing a pet door in a wall?
A. Installation through a wall can be dangerous! If you cut into electrical conduit or pipe you can be injured or even killed. We recommend a licensed contractor for this type of installation.
If the siding is practically anything other than stucco, it can be difficult or impossible to remove the pet door and patch the wall so that it looks "like new." Brick siding, rock siding, wood or shingle and vinyl siding all present problems when removing a pet door from a wall.
The same consideration is true for the inside wall. Drywall is easy to patch, but wood paneling may not be. If the wall is thicker than about 8" (not very common but it happens) the selection of "self-framing" pet doors diminishes greatly. If the wall is thicker than 16" there are no "self-framing" options except for a few cat-sized pet doors.
Since wall studs are usually 16" on center, a pet door requiring a "rough cut" wider than 14 ½" will probably not fit between your existing studs. There are ways to solve this problem but, again, only a licensed contractor should attempt them.
Q: In a single flap wall mount, which side is the flap on?
A: Insulation wise, it is best to have double flaps for wall mounts, but if you live in a more moderate climate or the door will be under a covered area than the single would be a good option. Most will have the single flap on the inside and a trim frame to finish out the opening on the outside. As in the case of the Endura Flap or Plexidor. Hale is a bit different, as the single flap goes on the outside.
Q: Do the large cat doors for walls have tunnel sections?
A: No, unfortunately the large cat doors do not have tunnel sections. This is one of those cases where you can still use the door, you just need to have your licensed installer build the tunnel and supply the proper hardware.
Q: Do you have wall doors that are electronic? What are they?
A: Yes, we have several electronic dog doors for walls. Plexidor Electronic Dog Door, SureFlap Dual Scan Cat Door, High Tech's Power Doggie Door, PetSafe Smart Doggy Door doggy doors for walls and all Cat Mate and Dog Mate pet door models are manufactured electronic doors for walls.
|Plexidor Electronic Dog Door||SureFlap Dual Scan Cat Door||High Tech's Power Doggie Door||PetSafe Smart Doggy Door|
Q: Which side does the locking cover go on?
A: Typically, you want to put the locking cover on the inside of the house so outsiders cannot unlock it. Also, when there is bad weather you will not be forced to go outside to close off the dog door in wall.
Q: Is it easy to install a wall mount?
A: There are many steps that must be taken to ensure that a wall mount is safe and secure so that internal wall damage doesn't occur and so that a safe tunnel can be built. For this reason, along with the framing that must take place, it is not easy to install a wall mount. We highly recommend you hire a licensed and insured professional. Cutting a power line or hitting a pipe with power tools could cause injury or even death.
Q: What is a telescoping tunnel?
A: Telescoping tunnels fit in walls with varying thickness and don't require any cutting. They are made of separate plastic parts where one fits into the other allowing for the framing of a certain wall thickness range. PetSafe, High Tech, and Ruff Weather doggie doors for walls all have this tunnel type.
|PetSafe||Ruff Weather||High Tech|
Q: What if my wall is thicker than 8"?
A: If the wall is thicker than 8", the selection of self-framing pet doors for walls goes down. At this point, you can get an in wall dog door mount and frame the door yourself to create a tunnel (using plywood, aluminum, etc.); if this is what you decide to do you must make sure you seal everything tightly. However, there are still several options with wider tunnels such as Hale, Plexidor and the cat doors with tunnels can be added together to make it as long as you want, like with the Cat-Mate 234 and 235 Wall and Framing Kit. If you are ever unsure on what to do for installation for wall mounts, please contact a licensed professional for help.
|Hale||Cat-Mate Wall and Framing Kit||Plexidor|
Q: Do you have an entry wall cat door? Which ones?
A: Yes, SureFlap offers the Microchip Cat Door and wall liner kit and the Dual-Scan Cat Door and Wall Liner kit. PetSafe offers a magnetic Cat Door and wall liner kit and Cat Mate offers a 234 or 235 cat door and wall framing kit. You could also try and frame the door out for yourself with a door mount.
Q: Can I install wall mount dog doors in wall with siding? If so how would I do that?
A: Yes, you can install wall mount dog doors into a wall with siding. There are several of ways to install the mount, and this depends upon your particular installation situation. Some customers choose to lay the door on top of the siding and other recess it into the siding for aesthetic reasons. The main thing would be to make sure that everything is properly sealed up.
Q: Do you have wall dog doors with aluminum tunnels?
A: Yes, Plexidor, Hale, Endura Flap, and Carlson all offer tunnels made of aluminum. You'll want to double check that the self-framing range will accommodate your wall thickness as they vary depending on the manufacturer you select.
Q: What if there is a ridge or shelf that is directly above where the in wall doggie door will be?
A: The ridge or shelf could get in the way of a top loading locking cover. Hale offers a side loading locking cover. Plexidor and Carlson offer a unique key locking mechanism that also would work perfectly.
Q. What does it mean to "frame out" a wall?
A. A wall installation pet door must always include a tunnel through the dog door wall. The primary purpose of this tunnel is to ensure that water cannot penetrate into the interior of the wall-- a leak into a wall if not quickly discovered and repaired would have very serious and expensive consequences. As a secondary issue, the tunnel provides the pet with stable footing.
There are two ways to accomplish this tunnel. The first and easiest is to purchase a "self-framing" wall mount pet door. This type of pet door will be provided with its own tunnel which is typically adjusted by cutting to fit the depth of the wall in the case of the sturdier wall mounts with aluminum tunnels. Or telescoping for some of the more economy style plastic models.
The second way is to frame the wall yourself (or have your contractor do it) typically using lumber to build a wood tunnel through the wall. In either case the tunnel is carefully caulked to ensure water-tightness and any wood used is sealed.
While framing yourself is probably going to involve more work and expense, it does have the advantage of allowing you to use virtually any pet door for your wall installation. That advantage is largely offset by the fact that there is a very good selection of "self-framing" wall through pet doors to choose from.
Q: What is the difference between a door mount and a wall mount?
A: Wall mounts must always have a tunnel through it for support and structural purpose, while a door mount does not. The hardware will also vary depending on the manufacturer and model, and also some will come as a complete unit with tunnel and hardware included like the Endura Flap for Walls. Where with others, like the Ideal Ruff Weather, you have to purchase the door mount and the additional wall kit.
|Ideal Ruff Weather: Wall||Endura Flap Dog Doors for Walls|