How to install and modify an aluminum Ideal Pet patio door for smaller pets

Home Depot doggy patio doggy door, aluminum patio dog door

The new aluminum doggy patio door from Home Depot online

It took almost a year and a half to buy a real aluminum patio doggy door. We had searched in the beginning but the doors we had found last spring were over $200 and not in our budget. So with some prodding, I convinced my hubby to make one since we do not always work well together.

Home Depot aluminum patio dog door, Ideal pet door

The box and online says extra large dog door. Ha it is really for medium sized dogs

How many of you women out there have that problem?

Men just do not always understand what we are trying to say, do they!

Cocokitty for the first few days would just sit there staring in

Cocokitty for the first few days would just sit there staring in

Anyhow, the door worked for us but keeping out drafts was a bit of challenge in the fall and winter so this fall I decided enough is enough. The door served its purpose so early this November we went online and checked out doggy doors. We did find that description does not always match the real size of the opening or the animal! So check the openings and all measurements.

It took a couple weeks to get it but it was well worth the wait. No more blowing in cold air or rain. We had to adapt the directions to insert in the patio door opening and after wrestling with it for over 20 minutes because the door does not just slide in. (this will be shown in picture below) It was such a simple how to that I cannot believe it is not in the directions!

Home Depot patio dog door

There are 2 of these plastic pieces that are at the top which stopped the door from fitting and going into the patio door rails

They come out with a bit of pulling

They come out with a bit of pulling

Once you slide the door in you put these back in the door

Once you slide the door in you put these back in the door

This shows you how easily they go back in and this makes the door fit snug

This shows you how easily they go back in and this makes the door fit snug

Home Depot dog pation aluminum door

Sierra investigating. This is before we modified it. She could fit easily and she is a 44 lb Australian Shepherd

2014-12-08 20.37.35

After all that we are impressed by how it looks and our beautiful and spoiled Sierra (the Australian Shepherd) goes up to the door and at us with a look of “now what am I supposed to do?” We pushed the flap and it did not take her long to go in and out a couple times slamming the flap in the face of Gerdy Mae (Jack/Fox terrier). This made the door more frightening to her so she ran upstairs to bed. Then I say to my husband “this bottom is too high the cats and Gerdy will not climb over this”. His answer “they will learn to”. Wrong answer honey. So I threatened to fix the door myself which made my husband jump into action (Any other wives reading this know this trick too?)

We laid the doggy door down on the towels atop the kitchen island

We laid the doggy door down on the towels atop the kitchen island

There were no directions on how to modify the door but I noticed these holes where screws were on each panel below the flap. I asked him “do you think these come out?” He just grumbled because it is 10 pm and he just wanted to have ice cream. I am so glad my husband is full of so much common sense and he can understand the gravity of the situation. See the cats were sitting on the outside of door looking and meowing as if to say “what the hell did you do to my door?” I did not want to hear the meowing at 3 am because they could not get out. They are housebroke and they prefer to use the outdoor rather than the kitty litter box in the garage.

So out to the garage to get the Rigid drill and screwdriver to take out the screws and see what happens. Meanwhile I am irritating him by constantly asking ‘can I do anything?’ It did not take long for the screws to come out and then touching the panels to see that they easily pulled out of the frame. Yeah I was so excited. I posted the pics below with descriptions on what to do to modify this door.

The door now allows all 3 cats to come and go and Gerdy Mae now goes in and out with ease. Having a doggy door is the best thing ever! I spent so much time opening and closing the doors plus no cat litter to scoop (except in freezing temps). This door was online at Home Depot for less than $150. It says extra large but it is for a medium sized dog. No air blows in and all the animals can come in and out with ease.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

Home Depot aluminum patio dog door

The holes where the screws to hold the panels are. Philip screw driver

took all the screws out and the panels slid out

took all the screws out and the panels slid out

Modifying a HOme Depot aluminum dog door patio

The next thing to look at was the actual flap and you can tell there are many screws. Take out the farthest screws in the corners

Home Depot aluminum patio dog door modification

panels are out and then gently slide the flap out.

After the flap is out, take a panel and carefully slide it back in. then you slide the flap in and screw it in place

After the flap is out, take a panel and carefully slide it back in. then you slide the flap in and screw it in place

The flap is down one panel and you need to screw it in place because it holds the top panel in place.

The flap is down one panel and you need to screw it in place because it holds the top panel in place.

modification HOme Depot aluminum patio dog door

Now after you get the flap screwed back in, carefully line up the screws in the side for the panels and screw them back in place. You will have 2 extra screws because the top panel had no side screw holes

One panel is at the bottom and one at the top.

One panel is at the bottom and one at the top.

You need to fill in the air gap and we used bubble wrap. You can also take out the lock mechanism to the patio door. We chose to leave it in but make sure to use the foam strip that comes in the kit to go along where the patio door meets the dog door.

You need to fill in the air gap and we used bubble wrap. You can also take out the lock mechanism to the patio door. We chose to leave it in but make sure to use the foam strip that comes in the kit to go along where the patio door meets the dog door.

Home Depot aluminum dog door

The opening is narrow making it tough to carry things in and out but the dog door can be removed if need be

After a while the cats decided that if they wanted to eat, they best push the flap

After a while the cats decided that if they wanted to eat, they best push the flap

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