How to Build a Locking Pet Door

What You'll Need
Wood for the door frame
A suitable pet door flap
A suspension hinge for the pet door flap
Sand paper
Screw driver
Small nuts and bolts
Jig saw

Building a locking pet door is a good way to give your pet some freedom while retaining the ability to ensure that it remains in the house when you want it to.

Measure Your Pet

Measure the width and height of your pet. The height should be measured to just above the shoulders from the bottom of the chest.

Decide where to position the pet door

Since this will be a home made door you will probably want to position it at the back of the house. A back door would be ideal if it has a base panel you can cut a hole in.

Check the possible locking mechanisms available

The way you cut the pet door aperture can be decided by the style of locking mechanism which you decide on.

The simplest locking mechanism

The simplest locking mechanism is a solid board that can be slid and secured over the pet door.
Before cutting the door build the pet door.

Make The Frame

The frame will be a rectangle that is slightly wider than your pet and a little deeper than the height of your pet. The frame can be nailed together but make sure it is perfectly square.

Position The Suspension Hinge

Make a mark to identify the top of the frame and the side that will be against the door. Lay the suspension hinge so that it is positioned centrally on the top bar and draw the outline.

Cut a rebate

Cut a rebate in the frame to a depth of the thickness of the hinge.

Mark the Door

Using the frame as a template, draw the position of the pet door on the door. You will mark the internal dimension of the fame.

Drill the Corners

Drill holes in the four corners of the outline you have drawn on the door. Using the jig saw carefully cut out the panel in the door keeping precisely to the pencil lines.

Attach the pet door flap to the hinge

You can use small nuts and bolts to attach the pet flap to the hinge.

Attach the hinge to the frame

The hinge will be fitted into the rebate you have cut in the frame. Raise the flap through the frame so that it is at 90º. This identifies the position the hinge will be connected to the frame.

Attach the Frame to the Door

The frame can be screwed to the door exactly in line with the aperture. It can also be glued if you want added security.

Check that the flap swings through 180º

Make sure that you pet door will open both ways.

To lock the pet door the section that you cut from the door can be fitted into the frame and secured by bolts. This is a basic key-less lock.