How to Install a Doggie Door in a Wall

Learn the easy and faster way of how to install a doggie door in a wall by following these step by step guide for installing a pet door.

Give your dog a grand entrance by installing a pet door in a wall. A pet door is one of the valuable assets if you have pets at home since it allows them to enter and exit on their own.

So, if you are tired of letting your cat or dog in and out every time, then a pet door is a better and efficient way.

how to install a doggie door in a wall

A pet door, also known as a dog door or cat door, offers better solutions and greater efficiency at home for your bets to move in and out freely.

Therefore, it imperative that you learn some essential tips on how to install a dog door in a wall to be able to do it yourself and at a limited cost.

Here are the tips to help with that.

Tips on How to Install a Doggie Door in a Wall

One of the top essential things when installing a wall pet door is careful carpentry. This important mainly when you are cutting through the exterior wall.

The good thing is you don’t have to have excellent skills to cut through. Just moderate carpentry skills with careful cutting are enough for a quality installation.

That said, let’s now have a look at the steps for installing a dog door.

Install A Dog Door In A Wall


Step 1: Know how skillful you actually are

This is usually the first step in almost installing anything in your home. So, how good are your carpentry skills?

Can you make an almost perfect cut as well as make the right measurements? Remember, If you have doubts, hire out!

Step 2: Find the Best Location for Installation

Before you do any cutting, first double-check both sides of the wall to ensure they are free from electrical or cable wires, pumping pipes, and load-bearing studs.

Generally, these are the things you should consider when searching for the perfect location.

1. Ensure there is no cables, studs, and pumping pipes

2. Determine how high from the ground should the pet door be installed

3. Or, check if the bet door will fit between the studs or if the studs can be easily and safely be removed

If you have a back garden, then the ideal wall to install a pet door will be the one that will allow direct access to that garden.

Therefore, knowing where the installed studs and wires reside in your walls is the first step to preventing damage and, more importantly, injuries.  

After marking the perfect location to install your dog’s door, mark the wall for where to drill or cut.

Using a template paper if given, you should cut or drill 4 inspection holes on the wall where you want to install the door and as shown in the paper. The best way is to stick the template paper on the perfect wall location then drill it.

Step 3: Cut out the wall

Using a reciprocating blade, make a fine, straight cut from one hole to another. Most of the pet’s doors come with their installation template that guides you on installing with regards to size, shape, and several other things.

So, it is essential that you follow the given sizing to have a correctly installed door. If there is any insulation after cutting out the wall’s inner part, save it because it may come in handy later or someday.

If there are studs in your chosen location, remove them, but this is better and safely done by a carpentry expert.

If there are some places or voids left after cutting out the drywall, use insulation to fill them up. And for the unsupported edges, you should put 2x blocking behind them by screwing each to the sheathing to offer sturdy support.

Step 4: Add New Header (if you removed any stud)

If you happen to have removed any stud, it is recommended that you build a new header to offer proper support.

Screwing 2x6s to the sheathing will help support the cut stud, which can also be incorporated with a 1-inch foam insulation filler strip. This is ideal if you want the header to flush with framing.

After adding the header, you will also need to add support to both sides of the framing using a short 2×6. The added support should always fit tightly between the header and the bottom plate, and you can do this by hammering.

Step 5: Cut the sheathing and trim the opening

For this, you will need a reciprocating saw to cut out the sheathing and also to trim the opening.

After removing the outside siding and house wrap of the marked area, carefully cut out the sheathing by ensuring you makes straight lines between the holes you made earlier.

When you are done removing the sheathing, then proceed into cutting/trimming the door’s bottom side such that it slants towards the outside. This is a much easier step since drywall will easily guide your blade.

Step 6: Installing the door

This is pretty the last step, but it involves several mini-steps like:

1. Flashing the sill

2. Waterproofing the opening

3. Attaching the interior

4. Exterior door panel or frame

5. Fitting the side liners and sill liners

These steps are pretty easier but have to be done in a particular sequence to avoid having a roughly installed door or screwing and unscrewing the frames.

So, to help with that, you should therefore start with waterproofing the opening, fitting the inside panel, then flash the sill, installing the exterior panel, and finally, the liners.

Furthermore, when it comes to fitting the liners, start with sill liners then side liners.

Conclusion on How to Install a Doggie Door in a Wall

Overall, these steps are generalized ways of how to install a doggie door in a wall, and it applies to almost all doors.

But to be honest, some doors may not have liners or other components. But the most important thing is knowing the general principle of installation, which is accurate cutting and proper checking of the installation space.

That’s all on how to install a pet door in a wall; I hope it was useful. You can also check our other article on how to install a magic gate here.

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