Install a Pet Door in a French Door
Installing a dog or cat door in a true French Door can be an attractive and versatile location for the pet entrance. Because the pet door can be installed at different levels from the floor, it can better fit the pet’s leg length which is great for short-legged as well as tall dogs.
Get the Glass Out
One of the most challenging parts of this installation is removing the removable molding from the door in order to remove the glass without breaking it or damaging the door. After cutting the seal of paint or varnish with a razor knife, the standard operating procedure was to pry the molding up with a putty knife until the molding could be removed. For more details see Step 7 of our Installation instructions
Use a Multi-Tool
There’s a new kid on the power tool block that makes quick work of this part of the job. The Multi-Tool is an oscillating tool with changeable heads for different purposes.
Once you determine that you have a true French Door with wood stops, you can use the Multi-Tool with a fine tooth blade to cut through the adhesive that holds the molding on the glass. Use window cleaner to keep the glass wet, so it doesn’t get scratched. After you’ve cut through that adhesive, you can carefully use the Multi-Tool along the frame side of the molding to break that adhesive seal as well.
There’s probably a myriad of ways to use this handy tool that is now readily available in a wide range of prices. Here’s a helpful article that compares several brands ProTool Reviews
Thanks to Eric Baldwin of Desert Star Pet Doors Desert Star Pet Doors.com for sharing this installation tip.
If you have found a new tool (or a new way to use an old tool) to help you install pet doors, please comment below with your tip.
2 thoughts on “New Solution to an Old Installation Problem”
I use a multi-tool only sparingly when removing an IGU and only if the adhesive is solid and won’t accept a putty knife. It’s important to be sure the tool won’t jump out of the cut and mar the door (it’s easy to do, jump out of the cut). Also these tools can become very hot, too hot to hold in fact. Plus they’re noisy.
It’s worth pointing out as well that the removable stops on a wood framed door are generally not adhered to the glass by anything but a bead of paint. The glass is usually adhered to the non-removable side, not both.
I use a series of putty knives to remove stubborn IGUs (ie; anything not held in with tape); one curved and flexible, very thin; the second a 1″ rigid, the third a 1-1/2″ rigid, and the fourth what I believe is called a painters knife. Just be sure to cut through the paint with your knife first! The same process goes for the removal of the stops as well.
All that said a multi-tool is a good tool to have in your quiver, and when I need it you can bet I use it.
Thanks for the input, Stuart. We always love hearing from our experienced installers with current real-world experience. Doors and windows have changed a lot over the years so there is a huge variety of situations out there and it’s great to have more information about what works for you.