How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
Kennedy
Posts: 589
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:47 pm

How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by Kennedy »

I found the perfect, used exterior door that has a built-in doggy/pet door. It's exactly what I want except that my existing door handle on the interior is on the right, and the new door's interior door handle is on the left. Because of the room orientation, I really need to keep the interior door handle on the right. I can't just flip the door around because the lock-out panel for the doggy-door part would now be on the exterior instead of the interior.

I can't figure out how to remove the doggy door part and just flip that part around as there doesn't seem to be any screws I can just take out to remove the doggy door part. Any suggestions?

The other option is to remove the existing hinges on the right (looking from the interior), mount them on the left, drill a new hole for the handle on the right side of the door and fill in the existing hole for the door handle on the left. This project is waaaay above my skill level. If I can figure this out, it would save me almost $1000 to buy a replacement due to the existing door's large size.
curmudgeon
Posts: 2090
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:00 pm

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by curmudgeon »

There's a reason most people use "pre-hung" doors when replacing; taking the door trim off and fitting the door complete with jambs into the rough opening. Hanging doors, and getting them to swing and fit right, is surprisingly difficult.
Topic Author
Kennedy
Posts: 589
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:47 pm

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by Kennedy »

curmudgeon wrote: Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:16 pm There's a reason most people use "pre-hung" doors when replacing; taking the door trim off and fitting the door complete with jambs into the rough opening. Hanging doors, and getting them to swing and fit right, is surprisingly difficult.
So do you think even if I can figure out how to reverse the doggy door, flipping the door around would not be a good option because everything might not line up since I would be using the existing trim/jam with the new (to me) replacement door?
curmudgeon
Posts: 2090
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:00 pm

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by curmudgeon »

Kennedy wrote: Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:21 pm
curmudgeon wrote: Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:16 pm There's a reason most people use "pre-hung" doors when replacing; taking the door trim off and fitting the door complete with jambs into the rough opening. Hanging doors, and getting them to swing and fit right, is surprisingly difficult.
So do you think even if I can figure out how to reverse the doggy door, flipping the door around would not be a good option because everything might not line up since I would be using the existing trim/jam with the new (to me) replacement door?
Yes.

I've personally only hung one door from scratch, but have installed six or eight pre-hung doors. Huge difference in the effort to get them to fit properly, even though you do have extra work in redoing the casing trim after installing a pre-hung. If the house is older than 60-70 years, the situation may be a bit different. Maybe watch a few youtube videos of doing this before you get too far down a path.
JoinToday
Posts: 905
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:59 pm

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by JoinToday »

Why not just cut a hole in the existing door & buy a new doggie door?

You are better of either cutting a hole in the existing door, or buying a new door. The work required to flip a door around is much greater than installing a new door, and the flipped door / door trim will have issues with the hinges, door lock/latch, etc. Not worth the effort IMHO.
I wish I had learned about index funds 25 years ago
Swansea
Posts: 966
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:16 am

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by Swansea »

I advise re-thinking using a doggy door at all, as pet safety can be compromised. The two rescue groups with which I volunteered would not adopt if there was a doggy door at the home.
RadAudit
Posts: 3914
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Second star on the right and straight on 'til morning

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by RadAudit »

Swansea wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:21 am I advise re-thinking using a doggy door at all, as pet safety can be compromised.
IIRC, a couple of months ago I read an article about a coyote chasing the family dog from the back yard through the doggie door and in to the house. The result wasn't too good for the dog. YMMV.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.
MotoTrojan
Posts: 10652
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by MotoTrojan »

Swansea wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:21 am I advise re-thinking using a doggy door at all, as pet safety can be compromised. The two rescue groups with which I volunteered would not adopt if there was a doggy door at the home.
Is the above mention of a 4-legged intruder the reason? Interesting.
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 11738
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by Sandtrap »

Install door
Remove and flip doggy door, if you break the doggy door then install a new doggy door
Done

j🌺
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
chevca
Posts: 3473
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by chevca »

Kennedy wrote: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:49 pm I found the perfect, used exterior door that has a built-in doggy/pet door. It's exactly what I want except that my existing door handle on the interior is on the right, and the new door's interior door handle is on the left. Because of the room orientation, I really need to keep the interior door handle on the right. I can't just flip the door around because the lock-out panel for the doggy-door part would now be on the exterior instead of the interior.
Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but that doesn't sound very "perfect". :wink:

Find another door.
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5204
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by lthenderson »

Kennedy wrote: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:49 pm Any suggestions?
This video from Ask This Old House will give you step by step instructions on what is required to swap the swing of an exterior door if it is exterior ready on the current interior side.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GHemgvXccY
inbox788
Posts: 7582
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by inbox788 »

Kennedy wrote: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:49 pmI can't figure out how to remove the doggy door part and just flip that part around as there doesn't seem to be any screws I can just take out to remove the doggy door part. Any suggestions?
Pics? I doubt there's a DIY forum dedicated to dog doors, but there are dog or DIY forums or websites that might have some tips if it's a common model. Do you have brand or model information? Look carefully at both sides of the door to see any identifying markings. There might be some removable trim that exposes screws or other fasteners, or if it's a custom job, it might be nailed or glued. A handyman might be able to do something with it.

Also, what's the difference between the inside and outside? Doesn't the door and the dog go in both directions? Is there a lock or latching mechanism?

https://www.homedepot.com/c/ah/how-to-i ... 90baa35578
Swansea
Posts: 966
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:16 am

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by Swansea »

MotoTrojan wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:38 am
Swansea wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:21 am I advise re-thinking using a doggy door at all, as pet safety can be compromised. The two rescue groups with which I volunteered would not adopt if there was a doggy door at the home.
Is the above mention of a 4-legged intruder the reason? Interesting.
Just a secondary reason. Doggie doors create a situation where the pup can go outside when the homeowner is gone. Dogs can dig out under a fence, exit through and open gate, and sometimes be stolen.
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 20649
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by Watty »

curmudgeon wrote: Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:16 pm There's a reason most people use "pre-hung" doors when replacing; taking the door trim off and fitting the door complete with jambs into the rough opening. Hanging doors, and getting them to swing and fit right, is surprisingly difficult.
+1

I once had to have a double door replaced after it was kicked in and it took a pro from a door company an entire day to install them. He was a pro that does it every day and had all the right specialty tools.

There is also a risk that you could trim off a bit too much and make the door unusable.

Some steps will also be hard for one person to do so you it would be best to have a helper.

Interior doors are much easier because it is OK if there are small gaps and they weigh a lot less.
Spirit Rider
Posts: 13441
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

Post by Spirit Rider »

Most of the downsides of a doggy door raised in this thread can be mitigated.

There are relatively inexpensive electronic automatic doors triggered by the dog's microchip and/or a standalone RFID. This prevents any unwanted "visitors". Many models allow the creation of schedules/curfews and more expensive models can even be SmartApp controlled from a phone/tablet/computer.
Post Reply