Two dogs – no doggie door. My dogs are used to having free access to the back yard – but in this case, there’s no door directly from the house to the back yard (a situation to be remedied later). The solution was to buy and install a through-the-wall dog door.
First off, choose the appropriate-sized dog door and order it. I bought a fairly cheap one, and I think I’d advise buying a middle-of-the-road one instead. Mine has some cheap materials and may need to be replaced in the future. Once you get the door, unpack it and read the directions carefully to make sure you position it and make the cuts correctly. Here’s how mine went:
First I cut through the drywall. I used a drywall saw, a cheap little tool that makes cutting through drywall easy. This was probably the easiest part of the project, once I got over my paranoia about cutting into my wall!
Then I had to do the same thing on the outside! I have wood siding, so it was pretty easy to cut with a jigsaw. If you have a different type of siding, make sure you choose the right kind of saw. And use eye protection!
I added an interior support at the bottom, according to a suggestion in my directions. It’s just a piece of 2 X 4 cut to fit the gap and attached with wood screws at the ends.
When I was done, it was obvious I was going to need to create a ramp for the dogs on the outside due to the difference in floor (ground)-to-door height between outside and inside (see next post). I improvised temporarily by making steps out of pavers.
Here’s the door from the inside. Notice the outlet nearby. I cut a small hole before cutting the big chunk of drywall and looked to make sure the wiring didn’t run through the area where I was planning to place the dog door. You also need to be careful of plumbing. I centered mine between two studs, but you could put it closer to one stud or the other if you wanted. Use a stud-finder to locate the studs – they’re cheap and easy to use once you get the hang of it.
I also used silicone sealant around the edges of the dog door on the outside to make sure it wouldn’t channel rain into the wall space. i think this is a good idea.
So that’s my first DIY! I’ll be more specific in future posts, but I thought I’d show you something not too hard to begin with.