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How to Install A Doggy Door Into a Wall
A dog door can be the perfect solution for alleviating you from your doorman duties, but sometimes there isn’t a good exterior door to install a doggie door in. So you may be wondering: can you put a dog door in a wall?
Yes, you can! An in-wall doggie door installation can be the perfect small cat door or large dog door solution for many pet-loving households.
But installing a dog door in a wall can be a daunting process. Unlike other pet door installations, an in-wall dog door has extra steps and difficulties involved.
That’s why we’ve made this guide to help you install an energy efficient, extreme weather Endura Flap in wall dog door that will be perfect for your dog or cat.
Note: Unlike other types of pet doors, this is not a beginner-friendly DIY dog door installation process. If you are unsure how to do anything described in this guide, we recommend hiring a professional with experience installing pet doors in walls.
How Big Should My Dog Door Wall Installation Be?
Before you even purchase your Endura Flap dog door for walls, you need to know what size you should order it in.
This is important because you don't want to get a doggie door in the wrong size. A door that is too big will be unusable while a door that is too small can lead to long term discomfort for your pet.
While we have our own guides for finding a dog door based on breed, we strongly recommend measuring your dog instead. Sizes can vary between dogs of the same breed, and you don’t want to risk making a mistake when dog doors for walls require that you cut a hole into your wall.
To find the right size Endura Flap for your pet, take a measuring tape and find:
- The height from your dog’s paws to their shoulders
- Their width at their largest point
A properly fitting doggy door installation will be at least 1” taller than the highest point of your dog’s back and 2” wider than your dog’s widest point.
If you have a puppy, do your best to predict how big they will grow to be before committing to a pet door.
TIP: You can measure your cat for a pet door the exact same way!
How to Install a Dog Door in a Wall Guide
- 1x Installation Template
- 8x Hole Plugs
- 1x Locking Cover
- 2x Frames
- 4x Tunnel Pieces
- 4x Threaded Rods
- 1x Tube of Silicone
- 1x Jigsaw Blade
- Drill with 3⁄8" (9,5 mm) drill bit
- Measuring Tape
- Jigsaw and/or Reciprocating Saw
- Phillips head & Flat head screwdrivers
- Rubber Mallet (or hammer + piece of wood)
- Safety gear, mask, gloves & clamps recommended
TIP: Make sure you read the instructions and notes thoroughly before installation.
Check the wall you want to install in for studs, wiring, pipes, or anything else that will get in the way of your pet door. You do not want to cut into a wire and hurt yourself. If the wall you have chosen is not clear, then you need to find a different wall.
We recommend triple checking for studs. Check the bottom, the middle, and the top where the cut out would be after hanging the template on each edge including the bottom.
Tape the template that came with your Endura Flap door onto the wall in the desired location. Use a level to straighten the edges of the template.
TIP: Check for baseboard height! We suggest your door’s step-over be around 3” – 4” (7 cm – 10 cm) when going through walls, so it may be necessary to trim. Step-over height needs will vary based on the pet’s size.
Mark the centers of the four holes using a pencil or nail, then remove the template.
Drill a small hole in the middle to peek into the wall to double check for wires/pipes. If you’re clear, move on to the next step to drill through the marked holes.
TIP: Before cutting the entire opening make a small square test hole right at the bottom part of the cut out. Use this to take a peek at the inside of the wall to ensure that there isn’t any wiring, plumbing, etc. in the way. Doing this means that if you find an obstacle inside your wall, you will only need a small patch job to fix it.
Drill the marked holes through the interior and exterior walls. If the drill bit will not go all the way through the wall, you will need to drill through each side separately.
Make sure you use a level to make your lines straight. It is a good idea to remeasure your outline to ensure dimensions are accurate. Then cut the opening out along the lines.
TIP: You can drill through both the interior and exterior wall, but you need a drill bit that is at least 6” – 12” (15 cm – 30 cm) long. This can be difficult to keep straight and level; a drill with a built-in level would help.
Ensure the weather-stripping is firmly pressed in the groove on both Endura Flap pet door frames.
TIP: When installing the weather stripping make sure to not stretch it out, because it compresses over time and you want it to keep the wiggle room.
Assemble the tunnel onto the interior frame, without bending tabs, to understand how they will fit together.
Trim the four sheet metal tunnel pieces so that they are 1⁄4“ (0,6 cm) shorter than the thickness of the wall. We recommend using a jigsaw, but you could use other metal cutting tools instead.
Be careful to trim the correct side. Do not trim the side of the short tunnel pieces that attach to the top and bottom of the flap frame. Also, do not trim the side of the long tunnel pieces with three small holes in them that attach to the sides of the flap frame.
To reduce vibration, the pieces should be firmly clamped to a piece of wood.
TIP: Cut the tunnels one at a time, by clamping them down tightly to a board to avoid vibration. Use a wooden block to guide the jigsaw for a straighter cut.
Bend the frame attachment tabs on the two smaller tunnel pieces 90 degrees upward along the perforations.
Be careful to bend the tabs in the right direction. The tabs will break if bent more than once. Single flap tunnel pieces have a joggle (offset). Bend these tabs as shown with arrow. Tunnel pieces for double flap models can be bent once in either direction.
TIP: If you do not have a partner to help you guide the rods through the opening to the other frame, you can put your hand through the door and hold a mirror or smartphone facing the hole on the outside to help you see.
Remove the two screws at the top and two screws at the bottom of the Interior Flap Frame (the frame that has a locking cover). If you removed the cover already, the OUTSIDE frame screw holes have threaded nuts in them and you can see them shine.
Attach the smaller tunnel pieces to the top and bottom of the Interior Flap Frame using the two screws.
Slide the larger tunnel pieces onto the finger tabs on the small top and bottom tunnel pieces. Bend the finger tabs down as shown. The handle of a screwdriver works well for bending the tabs.
Apply a bead of the provided silicone sealant along the inside of the tunnel where it mates with the interior frame, and along the tunnel seams.
Place the Interior Frame, with the tunnel attached, into the opening in the wall from the inside of the building. Place the Exterior Frame into the tunnel. A partner can help you hold the Exterior Frame. For really large dogs you may wish to support the bottom of the tunnel with a piece of wood.
Insert the threaded rods with the barrel nuts into the four holes in the Interior Frame (the frame that has a locking cover), and screw the threaded rods into the Exterior Frame finger tight. Check that the pet door is level and tighten the threaded rods until the weather stripping compresses fully. Be careful not to overtighten.
With the pet door leveled and all four threaded rods tightened, wiggle the end of the threaded rods that are protruding out of the exterior frame until the ends snap off. If the rods are not long enough to grip, you can use a pair of pliers to bend the rods until they snap off.
Apply a bead of silicone sealant along the inside of the tunnel where it mates with the exterior frame. In addition to sealing inside the tunnel of the pet door we recommend that you also seal the outside frame around the pet door. This is especially important on the exterior frame to prevent any water from leaking into the wall and causing damage.
Tap the hole plugs into the Interior and Exterior Frames. You can use a rubber mallet, wood block and hammer, or a similar non-metal tool.
We hope this helped explain how to install dog door in wall for a great home improvement project. Now your in-wall pet door is fully installed and ready to be used. Your dog and cat can enjoy their newfound freedom of access to the outdoors while you can relax and not worry about doorman duties ever again.
Make sure you check out these other helpful pet door guides:
- Door Mount vs. Wall Mount Pet Doors: What’s the Difference?
- Top 5 Reasons Why Endura Flap Pet Doors is Great for Cats (and Not Just Your Dog)
- Adjusting the Magnet Strength of Your Endura Flap Pet Door
- Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Pet Door
We hope you feel well-versed in how to install dog door in walls. Installing a dog door in a wall requires some skill, but can be done as a DIY project with the right tools and instructions. Check out our installation video archives to learn more about pet door installations.