Plexiglas dog door easy to install but reduces security

Q: We have a new puppy and we need to add a pet door for him. I really don’t want to cut a hole in the wall for the door. Anyway, I saw a pet door insert that fits into the sliding glass door, so that there is no cutting necessary. Is this type of door a good idea?

A: While the Plexiglas insert sounds like the greatest thing since sliced bread, it does have its drawbacks. I would be concerned about security. If I were a burglar and were surveying a house for entry, the easiest way in would be through that insert.

The insert is a piece of Plexiglas with a thin metal frame around its perimeter. At the bottom of the insert is an opening with a rubber flap so your dog can go in and out. You can install the insert and go beyond what the instructions tell you and screw it to the surrounding metal, but it still will be the easiest way in. It is, however, better than having stained carpeting.

Although it depends on the manufacturer, the instructions will typically tell you to install the insert in between the strike jamb and the sliding door. If you choose to use this method, be aware that you will have to remove the locking mechanism from the jamb and mount it on the side of the insert. Also, if you use this method and have a security alarm on the door, you will have to move the alarm contacts.

On a sliding glass door, you have a piece of stationary glass that is secured to the top and bottom jambs and the sliding glass door that allows passage.

I would suggest avoiding the aforementioned hassles and installing the insert between the stationary glass and the side jamb.

The insert itself is easy to install, but moving the stationary glass away from the jamb may not be. The stationary glass has a metal frame, and it will have an “L” bracket at both the top and the bottom. Remove the screws that hold the brackets to the top and bottom jambs.

You will have to pull the glass along the track to give you enough width to install the insert. The width of the insert will vary depending upon the size of the pet door opening, but you shouldn’t have to move it more than a foot or so. The glass may need some prodding to move. Once you get it free, it will slide easily along the track.

Install the weatherstripping (included with the insert) along the sides of the insert. Just peel the backing off and stick it on.

The insert is held in place by spring tension at the top. Place the bottom of the insert into the same track as the stationary glass. Push the insert all the way over to the side jamb so that the weatherstripping is compressed.

At the top of the insert will be two knobs. Loosen the knobs until the springs push the top of the insert against the top jamb. Give the insert a final push against the jamb and tighten the knobs. Push the stationary glass back against the insert so that the weatherstripping is compressed against it. Predrill holes for the “L” brackets and screw them into place to resecure the stationary glass.

It’s a good idea to secure the insert as much as possible along the perimeter (on three sides anyway). The insert will have a void between the Plexiglas and the edge of its metal frame. Use self-tapping screws and secure the frame of the insert to the lip of the door’s track. Space the screws about every foot along the vertical side and at each corner.

It won’t be burglary proof, but then again, if you have a big, hungry dog, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about anyway.

Mike Klimek is a licensed contractor and owner of Las Vegas Handyman. Questions may be sent by email to Or mail to 4710 W. Dewey Drive, No. 100, Las Vegas, NV 89118. His web address is

Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
World Holidays Exhibit At The Natural History Museum
Migratory Bird Day teaches adults and kids to celebrate birds
Different organizations offered activities for kids and adults to learn about birds and celebrate their migration journey at Sunset Park. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Interfaith Amigos speak in Las Vegas
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home and Garden Video
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like