It's so nice to customize a door for your dog. So, how could you install a dog door in a cinder block wall? What are things to consider? We did comprehensive research to answer your questions.
Making a door for your dog requires time to assess the area and effort for the actual installation. However, you can follow the steps below:
- Assess the area.
- Prepare the tools.
- Find the best door to use.
- Measure and cut the wall.
- Fit the door into the hole.
- Trim the edges and seal the gaps.
In this article, we'll share with you the steps in installing a dog door in a cinder block wall. You'll understand what are things to consider, and when to start the installation. We'll also discuss other relevant topics about dog doors. Let's not waste time. Read until the end!
How to Install Dog Door In Cinder Block Wall
It seems useful and feels accomplished to see your dog using a personal door. However, you'll go through a lot from assessment to installation and finishing before you can make it happen. Remember to seek help from a professional if you're uncertain about this DIY project, as some of the steps include altering your house's wall.
See the steps below.
1. Assess the Area
First of all, familiarize yourself with the interior and exterior of the wall. You should not drill holes through any weak, damaged part of the wall. Avoid cutting near the wiring and waterpipes. So, choose the safest spot in making a dog door.
Considering that the dog door is on a lower level of the wall, ensure that the area is not prone to flooding. The rainwater could pour into your house through the dog door.
Check also if the space in front of the dog door is open. You don't want your dog to struggle to go out if there's another obstacle in front of the door.
2. Prepare the Tools
It's important to know the tools. You may need to buy those tools that are not available in most homes. Aside from the door you'll install, see the list of tools below:
- Hammer and nails
- Safety gloves
- Tape measure
- Wall cutter
- Silicon caulk
3. Find the Best Door to Use
Dog doors differ in size, style, and surface compatibility. Some of them are made for glass doors or other door surfaces. That's why we're sharing with you some door types you can use in a cinder block wall. Refer to the list below.
A flap door has a rod on the top portion to allow a swinging motion when your dog walks past it. You can choose either a one-way or two-way flap door depending on your preference.
- A one-way flap door lets your dog exit or enter the house, restricting your dog to go back to the opposite direction.
- On the other hand, a two-way flap door allows your dog to go in two directions.
Most flap doors have a lock. This is to prevent other dogs from entering, especially while sleeping or when you're away. There are also options on the frame such as wood and aluminum, that are both compatible with a cinder block wall. So, consider the specifications of a flap door before having one.
An electronic dog door is usually activated by a detection device. This will automatically open once it detects a programmable collar on your dog. That's why, there's no other dog that can pass through the door.
Electronic doors are expensive among other door types. However, you can also install it on a wall. Just check the instruction of use to see if it will fit your needs.
Also, electronic dog doors require maintenance. You should check the wires or batteries to let the door function continuously. It's best to ask the manufacturer to assess your house before installing an electronic door. It's crucial to keep the area safe, especially when wires are included.
Tunnel doors are similar to flap doors, except they have an extension protruding a few inches away. Its purpose doesn't differ that much, but it can add appeal to your home and give more space for the dog. You can even decorate the tunnel to personalize its look.
However, you need to consider the protrusion distance when installing the tunnel door. Make sure it will not be an obstruction to your house, deck, or walkway. Check also the size, as tunnel door is not made for all dog sizes.
See this example on how other people decorate the tunnel door for their dog:
4. Measure and Cut the Wall
It's ideal to bring your dog with you when buying a door to test the door's height. The door should be an inch higher from the dog's shoulder, and two inches wider on the sides.
So, measure the door and trace it on the wall with a pencil. Align the door on the ground with a level. Allow a step-over at least one-third of the dog's height. This is to keep the dog comfortable when stepping in and out.
After tracing the door, drill into the corners. From there, start cutting the wall with a grinder. Remember to wear your safety gloves. Use a hammer to break the wall faster. Continue until you outlined the hollow.
5. Fit the Door into the Hole
Mount the door frame into the hollow. Screw the corners and edges. If the frame is made of wood or aluminum, you can use a hammer and nails to mount the frame. You may also refer to product instructions of use for accurate installation.
6. Trim the Edges and Seal the Gaps
Use a silicon caulk to seal the gaps between the frame and the wall. It also helps stabilize the frame to prevent unnecessary movements.
Test the door with your dog.
This video used a brick wall, but the installation steps are similar and relevant. Watch the video here:
How to Install Additional Lock in a Dog Door
You can install another lock aside from the lock that's included in the dog door. An easy option is a hasp latch that has a plate for screwing. Latches may differ in design. Just make sure the hinge will match the size of the door.
To do so, you can follow the steps below.
- Make sure you're inside the house when installing the hasp latch.
- Use a pencil to mark the screwing holes on the door frame.
- Drill holes on the marked spots.
- Screw the plate tightly in place. Check also the product's intended use guide.
- Test the door and the lock.
Why Your Dog Doesn't Use the Dog Door?
Your dog may not like the door on the first day you installed it. It's important to give the dog time to recognize and understand the purpose of the door. See below for some reasons why your dog doesn't use the door, and what to do about it.
The Dog Is Confused
Not all dogs can understand instructions when you tell them to go through the door. They might be confused about what you're trying to do, or why they need to use the door. Try giving your dog a treat going outside. Do this until your dog gets comfortable from going in and out of the door.
You can also roll a toy ball through the door. The dog's instinct is to follow the ball and give it back to you. This will make the dog memorize the door's purpose.
The Dog Outsized the Door
It's possible that your dog is getting bigger either by fattening or natural aging. If it's the case, you need to replace the door with a bigger size as well. However, installing a new door can be costly.
We're glad you read up to this point. You learned how to install a door in a cinder block wall. We shared the steps from assessing to finishing the door. Remember to keep the door safe and in the right size.
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