Installing a Cat Door in Basement Window Opening
Having the ability to allow you pet to let them self in and out of the house can be a real convenience and even a necessity if you work long hour or are away from the house a bit. Installing a cat door can be a solution. In this article we talk about Installing A Endura Flap Pet Door. A client recently asked us to install a cat door in her home which had a field stone foundation that was 2-3 feet above grade. there were only two options for cutting in a cat door:
- Cut through her 200 year old doors with leaded and stained glass windows – NO WAY!
- Remove a basement window ash and install a cat door in its place
We chose option two as the path that cause the least irreparable damage and accomplished our task.
We needed to measure the cat and purchase a pet door. Cats can vary greatly in size and we wanted to make sure our cat would fit through the door. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a door that is 2 inches wider than the widest part of your pet. The opening height should be 2 inches taller than the length from the top of the shoulders to the chest, just behind the front legs.
Patio Pacific 03PP06 Edura Flap Pet Door
We chose a Patio Pacific model # 03PP06 1 from Endura Flap Pet Door. This door has a single flap for small animals and we chose it because of its reputation and our past experience with the company. Endura Flap doors have a few features worth noticing:
- They don’t leak,
- They don’t blow open
- They self seal out the weather with magnetic flaps
- They don’t pinch the pet
- They offer different sizes
- They make a quality product, are well engineered and quality materials
- Made in the USA
Endura Flap Pet Door Specifications:
- Designed for cats and small dogs
- Self-Framing for all doors
- Beefy aluminum frame construction
- Sturdy Locking Cover
- High Aspect Ratio design
- Provision to add magnets
- Environmentally friendly ‘Green’ flap material
Preparing The Pet Door Location
We chose an old single pane glass basement sash for our cat door location. The window we chose was located under screened porch and subsequently was not very useful for bringing light into the basement. This location also offered wind and weather protection to out pet door which meant no snow shoveling to keep the door accessible. Lastly the porch has a lattice skirt surrounding it which offers the cat a camouflaged and protected area to enter and exit the house. The first step was to remove the glass window sash and measure the opening. the Cat door needs a thickness of 1-1/4″ material [typical door thickness] to be mounted to. To achieve this thickness we sandwiched two layers of 3/4″ plywood together and secured it into the window sash opening by fastening screw through the plywood and into the window jamb. We used pressure treated plywood on the exterior and Birch plywood on the interior to receive paint if desired.
Installing A Endura Flap Pet Door
Most pet doors include a template for placement. We cut out the template and placed it in the desired location on the plywood. We kept it at least 3 inches above the bottom edge of the opening. Blue tape significantly helps keep the template in place while tracing and marking. Once the template was in place we:
- Used a pencil to trace the interior edge of the pet door template opening onto the door.
- Mark the screw holes for the door.
- Removed the template
- Drilled 1/4″ holes at each corner,
- Used a jigsaw to cut the opening. Start in one corner, inserting the blade into the ½-inch corner hole you drilled. Carefully cut along the pencil line. Continue around the outline of the pet door.
- Insert the outer frame with no flap into the opening from the exterior face of the door.
- Insert the frame and screw together
Training The Pet:
The next step for us was to train the pet to use the door. Some people leave the flap off for a few days and others use treats to coax the pet through.
The Endure pet door works great and performs as advertise. It is not as efficient as a double flap door. We’ve installed a double flap pet door though a 2×6 hose wall and were super impressed with the weather sealing and temperature holding capabilities. In our opinion if you have the option to choose between ordering a single vs a double flap door go with the latter! Take a peek at our detailed article and video on How to Install A Pet Door [Double Flap Door]