Install a pet screen

Two ways to help your four-legged friends come and go

By Brian Towie

dog door

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If you have a dog or cat, you already know that they can be pretty tough on the screen in your door. From time to time you’ll need to repair it. When you do, replace it with the new pet-resistant screening that’s now available at most home centres and hardware stores.

To install a new screen, you will need a utility knife, a special screen installation tool and enough screen- retaining spline to go around the perimeter of the frame.

Remove the old screen material and stretch the new screen over the old frame, leaving about an inch of overlap on all sides.

Next, trim the right-hand side of the screen margin from 1″ to 1/4″, and then hold the screen firmly in position as you use the convex end of your screening tool to roll the screening into the groove over the full length of the right-hand channel. Repeat on the left side, then along the top and bottom of the frame. Make sure that you have all the screen sides trimmed before you roll.

Next, starting at any corner of the frame and using the concave end of the screening tool, insert the plastic spline into the channel. Trim the end of the spline as you go. Cut off any excess screen and, voilà, a new paw-proof screen for your door!

Install a pet door

If you want your cat or dog to be free to come and go as it likes, a pet door might be the answer. Installing one is quite easy.

After choosing the appropriate size of pet door, trace the template that comes with it into position so that it’s centred on the door and about four inches off the ground.

Use a jigsaw to cut out the hole, then mark your holes and predrill for the fasteners. Install the fasteners through the pet door frame, then into the full-size door.

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