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Measuring for Sliding Glass Door Insert

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How to Measure for a Patio Pet Door

Patio Pet Doors are designed so that they can fit most all sliding door systems. There is not a guarantee that they will fit every brand. To determine if these units can fit with your sliding doors, you must understand how these units fit and what measurements are needed.

Measuring your Sliding Door Opening

Illustration of Center Guide Rail in a Sliding Glass Door

Open your sliding door and measure the overall height of the track that the sliding door moves in. This will be a measurement greater than the actual height of the sliding door. You need to measure from the very bottom of the channel on the floor to the very inside of the channel at the top of your opening.

Special Comments: If your center rail is wider up to 5/8": then the Ideal VIP is the only Insert that will fit. If the rail is wider than 5/8", then you have a sliding door system that will not accept a Patio Pet Door). Patio inserts are made with differing height ranges. There are no "Standard" or a "Regular" heights for sliding doors. Every manufacturer has different heights. Some Patio Pet Doors are called Standard or Regular, however, you still must measure your slider opening to find the appropriate height range.

The thin rail in the bottom channel of your slider opening is what the Patio Insert sets on and straddles, thus keeping your insert centered in the opening. Most times these rails are 1/4 inch or less in you are looking down at it. All models will fit on rails 1/4" wide or less.

Close Up of the top portion on the Patio Pet Doors Measuring your sliding doors for a Patio Pet Door

Selecting the Correct Patio Insert Height Range

When you have an accurate measurement of your sliding door opening height, then you will see that the Patio Pet Doors offered come in different height ranges. These ranges are the minimum and the maximum that the the insert will expand and contract. It is very important that you determine that the Patio Pet Door Range you select will allow you to clear the height of the sides of the channels (if any). In other words, the Patio Pet Door must contract enough to get into the track of your sliding door and then be able to expand enough to fit your overall opening height. Most all Patio Pet Door when viewed from the side, have an "H" design on spring loaded tension rods. (Exception is the VIP which has the "H" top portion made of vinyl).

Special Comment: In circumstances where the adjustment range is slightly too tall, the customer can trim up to 3/4 inches off the top of the insert with a lower the adjustment range. Using a hacksaw works very well for this trimming. Make sure to file any burrs off the edges prior to installation.

Selecting the Correct Patio Pet Door Opening

Examples of Step Over Rise options for sliding glass pet doors Pet Opening of the Patio Pet Door

The pet opening of a Patio Pet Door can be elevated by selecting the rise that best fits your pet(s).
For Example: If you select a pet opening of 15" wide x 20" tall; and choose a 4 " rise...the top of the pet opening will be 24" inches off the floor. Make sure your dog is 24 inches in height to the shoulders or less...otherwise he will have to crouch down and is danger of hitting his back. On the other hand; if you selected a 2.5" rise with the same 15x20" opening because you have cats that will use the same pet door...then you run the risk of the dog having to crouch to use the opening. Choosing a pet opening that is positioned high enough with a low rise is optimum.

Special Comment: It may be that the options given for a particular Patio Pet Door do not allow for the very best optimal sizing for your pet. We encourage you to consider a slightly larger size if possible in these scenarios as the extra space is easier on your pet than an opening that is too small.
Special Considerations
Examples of 'included' locks that come with patio pet doors1. INCLUDED LOCKS Some Patio Inserts will include their own locking device, some do not include a locking device. Please see the information provided for the Patio Pet Door you are interested in. Some units include a pin lock mechanism or an adjustable brace bar that is mounted on the back of the sliding glass door. This allows for the brace bar to wedge against the opposite wall. Most customers will use a fitted dowel or "stick" that is placed into the track on the floor behind the sliding door for the same results

See our high end security locks for Patio Pet Doors, and all Window Pet Doors ......Accessory Locks
Optional Locking Bar - Charley Bar

2. PLACEMENT It is recommended that your sliding door is on the Interior side of the fixed panel, if it is not, then their can be problems with locking your sliding door and also with the adhesion of the weatherstripping that comes with each unit.

3. SPACE REQUIRED The width of a Patio Pet Door will vary with the size of pet opening you select. The rule of thumb is that that you can add 4 or 5 inches to the width of the pet opening selected to determine the overall width of your panel. This will mean that you will lose this amount of space in your sliding door opening. Sliding doors are on average have 3 foot opening, so after the installation of an insert; you may find that there is little to no room left for pedestrian traffic. Customers who like having the ability to put in and take out a Patio Pet Door very frequently (even every day) choose any of the Single Pane Models.

4. FRENCH PANEL DESIGNS Sliding Door Systems that have a French Panel design on the main glass will not work with any Patio Pet Door. It is impossible to achieve a decent weather seal between your sliding door and the fixed panel with this type of glass design These are most often found with Pella brand doors.

5. MEASURE ACCURATELY The more accurate your measurements are the more likely you are to receive the correct unit. Patio Pet Doors are expensive to ship and return if they do not work. Take the extra time and effort to make sure of your measurements.

6. PATIO PANEL THICKNESS Most Patio Pet Doors are not the same thickness as the frame of your sliding door. Some units are thinner (5/8" thick) and others are 1 1/2" thick.

Have more Questions about Patio Pet Doors?....See our Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions about Patio Pet Doors

If you have any questions or would us to help you in determining the appropriate sized pet door for your situation, please call us at 800-829-7876.