Removing Cat Flap/Door

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  #1  
Old 02-04-16, 07:01 AM
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Removing Cat Flap/Door

We have a cat flap on our interior wood panel basement door I want to remove and cover. I thought it would be easy: using sanded plywood and gluing the fitted pieces in place on both sides, followed by some filler and paint. However, looking online I've gotten the feeling the project may be more difficult than it appears.

What's involved?
 
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Old 02-04-16, 07:16 AM
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Could be as easy as you describe. Can you post a couple pictures of what you have now?
 
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Old 02-04-16, 08:16 AM
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Can you post a couple pictures of what you have now?

Here it is:

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Old 02-04-16, 08:23 AM
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Not what I was envisioning, that could be a little tougher. What kind of hole do you have with the door assembly removed?
 
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Old 02-04-16, 09:03 AM
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If the hole is as large as it appears the integrity of the door was compromised by the cut. I'd say replace the door.
 
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Old 02-04-16, 10:15 AM
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"What kind of hole do you have with the door assembly removed?"

The hole is a rectangle, 6" wide and 7" tall. There is 1" of door remaining under the hole, so the hole does not go to the bottom of the door.

I'm somewhat familiar with structural integrity, but don't follow what is meant by, "it appears the integrity of the door was compromised by the cut" in the context of a door unless you're thinking about stiffness / rigidity. If that's the case, perhaps I can add a piece of 1/4" plywood (similar to a kick-plate) to the entire bottom panel on the basement side. When I'm done, the door will be stronger than it is now.

I assume the door would cost me $200 to replace vs almost nothing to repair it and I'm cheap.
 
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Old 02-04-16, 11:13 AM
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The bottom piece of wood [that the door was cut out of] helps hold the door together. It's not often that you see that much of it cut away ...... but since the door hasn't spread apart thus far - it's probably ok.

Just to be clear, are you wanting to just fill in the hole versus covering it up? It won't be an easy task to fill the hole and make the repair disappear.
 
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Old 02-04-16, 11:37 AM
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Yes, I meant structural integrity. I would never cut that much out of a door. The panels float so provide little structural support. So all that is left at the bottom is a very small amount of wood. Right now the cat door frame is probably supplying some strength to the rail. That will be lost when you remove the cat door.

You need to find or make a piece of wood as thick as the rail then use a router to make a step cut on the patch and rail and glue in place.

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Last edited by ray2047; 02-04-16 at 11:59 AM.
  #9  
Old 02-04-16, 03:16 PM
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Someone had no clue when they cut out that door.
Just how good do you want this to look?
 
  #10  
Old 02-05-16, 05:07 AM
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Thanks to everyone for their help. When I bought the home a year ago the cat flap was there. I believe the cat was 10 years old so I assume the door's been like that for 11 years.

I'm confident the door will be fine aesthetically. I've decided to treat this as two projects: the living area side and the basement side. On the living area side the hole will corrected and won't be noticeable when I'm done.

My plan is to improve the rigidity on the basement side by adding 1/8 plywood over the bottom panel. I may even put a Simpson or similar mending plate under it for insurance. For years the cat apparently went in and out without effect on the door. My guess is that the door will be strong when I'm done.
 
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Old 02-05-16, 05:31 AM
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I have a "cat portal" I installed much the same way for Douglas except that he wouldn't push on the flap so I removed that portion. I installed it under the panel rather than between the panels but otherwise just like the picture. It has been in place for about 14-15 years and not one single problem with the door coming apart or any lack of strength.
 
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