Who Should You Hire to Install a Pet Door?

C.E. Larusso
Written by C.E. Larusso
Updated November 23, 2021
A white-ginger cat entering the house through a pet door
FurryFritz - stock.adobe.com

You should call a handyperson with carpentry experience to install a pet door

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Your new puppy is finally potty-trained, but now she keeps whining at the back door to go outside and play, causing unnecessary stress when you’re in the middle of perfecting your Sunday night bolognese. If it’s time to give your furry family member the freedom she desires while also reducing the number of times you have to get up to let her outside, consider installing a doggie door with the help of a handyperson.

Benefits of Hiring a Handyperson to Install a Pet Door

While it’s tempting to flex your drill skills, there are several reasons why it’s better to hire a professional for this project:

  • Speed: A professional will be able to complete this job in just a couple of hours, saving you energy and time.

  • Maximum energy savings: An experienced handyperson can install proper caulking and weatherstripping to prevent energy loss.

  • Expertise: Installing a pet door in a wall (versus a door) is more complicated, as is installing one in a glass door. A handyperson who specializes in carpentry should have no trouble tackling the job and will be able to advise as to which option is best for your home.

  • Safety: If you’ve never drilled into a wall before and don’t understand the ecosystem that lies within, you could run into some big problems if you hit a pipe or wiring. A handyperson will know how to check for any potential hazards.

Can I DIY the Installation of a Pet Door?

Generally speaking, the process of installing a pet door into an existing door, or replacing an existing door with a pre-installed doggie door, is not difficult for someone with a little bit of carpentry experience. However, hiring a professional handyperson can save you time and won’t cost you much. On average, a handyperson can complete the job within a couple of hours, costing around $75 to $300 (assuming you buy the pet door yourself). 

In addition, they can assess ways to make the door more secure, bug- and pest-proof, and energy-efficient.

How Does a Handyperson Install a Pet Door?

The process of installing a pet door depends on where it’s located and if it’s a pre-installed model.

In-Wall Installation

After determining the best location for your pet door, your handyperson will take the following steps:

 1. Cut out the drywall. 

 2. Build a header and its support and cut out the sheathing with a reciprocating saw. 

 3 .Patch the drywall and install the interior panel of the pet door with the kit’s screws. 

 4. Weatherproof the opening and flash the fill. 

 5. Apply spray foam to prevent water leakage.

 6. Install the outside frame and then cut and install the aluminum liner. 

 7. Install the head and side liners, and fasten the exterior trim to finish the project.

In-Door Installation

Your handyperson will complete an in-door installation by doing these steps:

 1. Remove your home’s door and mark the pet door placement.

 2. Drill holes for the mounting hardware. 

 3. Use a hand saw to cut out an opening for the pet door and sand down any rough spots. 

 4. Place the pet door frame, check for a perfect fit, and make adjustments as necessary. 

 5. Caulk the frame into place. 

 6. Place your home’s door back into its frame.

Pre-Installed Pet Door

A successful pre-installed pet door addition requires your handyperson to do the following:

 1. Remove the existing pet door and its hinge pins. 

 2. Use the existing door to mark the hinge points on the new door.

 3. Mark the lockset location and make any necessary adjustments to the new door using a saw or planer. 

 4. Install the hardware, which usually involves chiseling the wood and drilling holes for the lockset and latch.

 5. Paint the door in your requested color. 

 6. Allow the door to dry, and then prop it up using wood shims.

 7. Place the hinge pins. 

 8. Place the lockset and test the door to make sure it swings freely.

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