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Side clearance for a pet door

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  • Side clearance for a pet door

    I'm always nervous when it comes to clearances for the doors - I've got a pet door to build and I've taken off 3/8" clearance total for the door. Is that sufficient for the hinges and expansion/contraction purposes? The customer is in Toronto, so will be subject to our regular winters. Her door is going on the inside of the door frame like what I've got pictured. Click image for larger version

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    I've also attached a photo of the hinge part, although I don't think it's necessary as I'm assuming all hinges require the same clearance
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  • #2

    Re: Side clearance for a pet door

    Originally posted by maisieinforestburg View Post
    I'm always nervous when it comes to clearances for the doors - I've got a pet door to build and I've taken off 3/8" clearance total for the door. Is that sufficient for the hinges and expansion/contraction purposes? The customer is in Toronto, so will be subject to our regular winters. Her door is going on the inside of the door frame like what I've got pictured.
    I've also attached a photo of the hinge part, although I don't think it's necessary as I'm assuming all hinges require the same clearance
    3/8" is pretty tight. It all depends on how you mount your hinges. I would attach a 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" stop and hinge mount to the sides of the opening. Then you can leave at least 1/2" or more and attach the hinges to one of the boards and let your gate stop against the board on the other side which will give you 1 1/2" to play with. This will give you a firm stop for the gate and save the latch hardware at the same time.

    Click image for larger version

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    • #3

      Re: Side clearance for a pet door

      Originally posted by Wally in Calgary View Post

      3/8" is pretty tight. It all depends on how you mount your hinges. I would attach a 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" stop and hinge mount to the sides of the opening. Then you can leave at least 1/2" or more and attach the hinges to one of the boards and let your gate stop against the board on the other side which will give you 1 1/2" to play with. This will give you a firm stop for the gate and save the latch hardware at the same time.
      The hinges will be folded over and the butt end will attach to the inside of the opening so you won't see them except for where the pins go into the hinges......
      On the latch side, I am attaching one of those black latches, so won't need the stop bar... Click image for larger version

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      So if I leave a total of 1/4" clearance on each side, I think that should be ok?

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      • #4

        Re: Side clearance for a pet door

        If you don't put a timber strip down the catch side and only rely on the catch to stop the door it will quickly push those 2 screws out of the wood on the catch arm.
        I have seen this happen so many times but then its a long time since I have dealt with this kind of catch so maybe its different in 2019.
        I guess if the door is always closed carefully and never with any force the catch will survive but if it ever slams shut the damage will begin.
        Also consider hanging the door so it can open right back against the wall 180 degrees then it is out of the way when not needed and less likely to slam shut.
        Wally in Calgary likes this.

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        • #5

          Re: Side clearance for a pet door

          Looks like you also need a brace on the gate to stop it sagging.
          maisieinforestburg likes this.

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          • #6

            Re: Side clearance for a pet door

            Originally posted by bkrits View Post
            Looks like you also need a brace on the gate to stop it sagging.
            Yes, am building this one with an x brace

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            • #7

              Re: Side clearance for a pet door

              Originally posted by maisieinforestburg View Post

              Yes, am building this one with an x brace
              Is the opening finish drywall?? If it is it won't last a couple of weeks before it's ready to fall off. You need the positive stop and you also need something else to screw the hinges to. You can still make it flush to one side like this.

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              • #8

                Re: Side clearance for a pet door

                Originally posted by maisieinforestburg View Post

                Yes, am building this one with an x brace
                One half of that X has no useful purpose, on a wooden gate / door it needs to go from the bottom hinge up to the catch and not the other way unless its a welded steel gate.
                An X type brace is because people don't understand just how a brace works, or is it fashion.
                Wally is right anything fixed to dry wall won't survive long the drywall is far too soft and crumbles below the fixings.
                maisieinforestburg likes this.

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                • #9

                  Re: Side clearance for a pet door

                  Is a 1/2" thick x 3/4" wide strip on the hinge side good enough? Or would the screws jostle out of it? I know there's wood underneath the drywall (which will crumble) unless that strip is added as suggested. I'm wanting the strip to be as wide as the boards (3/4" wide lumber) for looks.........or does the strip have to be wider, like 2" ?

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                  • #10

                    Re: Side clearance for a pet door

                    Originally posted by maisieinforestburg View Post
                    Is a 1/2" thick x 3/4" wide strip on the hinge side good enough? Or would the screws jostle out of it? I know there's wood underneath the drywall (which will crumble) unless that strip is added as suggested. I'm wanting the strip to be as wide as the boards (3/4" wide lumber) for looks.........or does the strip have to be wider, like 2" ?
                    I would suggest that it be at least 3/4" x 1 1/2" so the screws wont split it and the hinge has room to fit on. Make sure to pre drill the holes. The stop side could be 3/4" x 3/4" if you like. That is the least I would do but it's up to you to do and learn the consequences.
                    maisieinforestburg and bkrits like this.

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