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Do It Yourself or Not: Install a pet door

Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

If your pet likes being outdoors some of the time, you know how much they appreciate having their own private door to go outside and come in at their whim. So, a pet door makes everyone happy. The only downside is a pet door may invite animals other than your own inside your home, which can be especially troublesome if a raccoon or other unwelcome critter wanders in. There’s a pet door for that, and a variety of styles of doors with features worth knowing about if you’re considering installing one. You’ll find them sold online and at pet stores.

Pet doors are usually designed and sized for pets either less than 100 pounds or less than 220 pounds. You’ll find pet doors made for thick doors and walls, raised panel doors, sliding glass panel doors, electronic smart doors activated by a pet collar and those with interior locking doors. We found a good source of what’s available at www.petsafe.net.

To get the correct size door for your pet, know its width, height and weight.

If you’re handy and have basic carpentry tools and experience, you can buy a good quality pet door for a medium-sized pet and install it yourself for $120. A handyman or carpenter will charge $300 to install the door, including the door, labor and installation.

If you’re intimidated by cutting a hole in your door, we suggest hiring an installer. But it’s a good first-time project if you have an electric drill, a screwdriver and a handsaw to cut the hole, using a paper template taped to the door.


Pro Cost: $300 — DIY Cost: $120
Pro time: 1.2 — DIY Time: 2.5
DIY Savings: $180 — Percent Saved: 60%


To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com and m.diyornot.com on smartphones.

©2023 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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