How Do You Install a Doggie Door in a Block Wall? (Easy Steps & Video)

The steps to install a doggie door into a block or brick wall are:

  1. Trace an outline for the door
  2. Saw a hole in the inside wall
  3. Drill guide holes out through the brick wall
  4. Saw through the brick with plunge cuts
  5. Hammer and chisel through the mortar and remove the bricks
  6. Install the door hardware and seal with caulk

The rest of this guide will explain how to install a doggie door in greater depth.

Equipment You’ll Need to Install a Doggie Door Through a Block Wall

Installing a doggie door in a wall made of bricks requires many of the same tools as installing a pet flap inside a regular wooden door, such as a tape measure, a pencil, a level, a power drill, a circular or reciprocating saw, and a caulk gun with silicone caulking.

Items that you will need specifically for installing inside a brick wall include a drywall saw, a stud finder, a utility knife, a masonry drill bit, and a chisel or screwdriver. Because you are cutting through brick, your circular saw will need a diamond blade in order to effectively cut through the hard masonry.

Because cutting through brick or stone produces a lot of dust, don’t forget to wear appropriate protective equipment, such as safety glasses and ear protectors. Finally, you may want to use a drop cloth or plastic tarp to make clean-up easier.

Finding the Right Spot to Install Your Doggie Door

Avoiding Obstacles Inside the Wall

A few important considerations for the location of your pet flap include avoiding wall studs and any sections of wall that have obstacles like pipes or electrical wires running through them. Unless you want to reroute your utilities or install a wooden header, find a patch of wall that is clear of obstructions.

Use your stud finder to locate any wall studs near your desired placement area. If possible, center your doggie door between the studs. Visually check both the inside and outside of the house near your selected spot to make sure there are no signs of nearby wiring or plumbing that could get in the way.

Making a Doggie Door Hole Big Enough for Your Pet

You also need to find a space that is big enough to house a doggie door that your pet can comfortably use. A doggie door needs to be at least two inches higher than your dog’s height at the withers, and at least a few inches wider than the space between your dog’s shoulders.

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It is a good idea to make the space for a through-wall hole larger than you would for a pet flap that goes inside of a wooden door, because a through-wall door requires your dog to travel through a short tunnel. Making this passage too small will cause your dog discomfort and could even lead to long-term injury, such as hip pain.

Because you are installing a through-wall hole, either make sure that the doggie door you purchase has hardware for creating a walled tunnel or buy a pet door extension wall kit.

Cutting the Indoor Doggie Door Hole

Using a pencil and the template provided with your doggie door, trace an outline onto your inside wall. Use your level to ensure that the opening you traced is even.

Now, cut through the wall with a drywall saw. It may help to drill four guide holes at the inside corners of the template beforehand, but this is an optional step. Regardless, after you have cut out and removed the drywall, push aside or cut out any insulation in the way of your hole.

Cutting the Outside Doggie Door Hole Through the Block Wall

Determining Hole Placement on the Exterior Wall

From the inside of your house, carefully drill straight outward through the exterior wall at the corners with a masonry bit. Once you’ve cut these holes, go outside and confirm the hole placement on the brick wall. Trace the template onto the brick wall, doing your best to place the outer boundaries of the template along the vertical mortar joints of the brick.

Making a Plunge Cut

According to American Trade Masters, the standard width of a brick is at least 3.5 inches, whereas a saw blade will typically cut at a depth of about 2.25 inches, unless you have a masonry saw. To avoid burning up the saw while cutting through the brick, you’ll want to make what is called a “plunge cut.”

Begin your cut by sawing only partially through the brick along your traced outline. After your initial cut, rest the bottom guard of the circular saw, called the “shoe,” on your line, then tilt the rear part of the saw away from the wall so that only the front part of the shoe is touching. The saw should be angling away from the wall.

Turn the saw blade on, then slowly lower it against the wall so that it “plunges” into the initial line you cut in the brick. Once your saw blade has fully cut as deep as it can go into the brick, with the shoe now parallel with the wall, carefully pull the saw down the wall and cut a straight line through the brick.

When cutting a line through masonry, you should start at the top and cut downward so that the force of gravity can assist you. Whenever possible, cut along the mortar line.

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Knocking Out the Bricks

After cutting as deep as you can around the outline of the hole, use a narrow bit to drill holes through the mortar of the brick, starting with the bricks at the bottom row of the wall. Once again, this allows gravity to help you in pulling the bricks loose.

Drill your holes through the mortar running horizontally with the bricks in the bottom row, then make holes in the mortar running vertically, which you have already partially sawed through. You can then remove each brick either by hitting it directly with a hammer or by using a hammer and chisel to break through the remaining mortar.

If you don’t have a chisel, a flathead screwdriver should work. Whichever hammering method you use, take extra caution to avoid damaging the bricks in the section of wall that you’re leaving intact. Once you have removed the bricks in the bottom row, move up to the next row and so on, until you have made a complete hole in the wall, brick by brick.

Installing the Doggie Door Hardware

Cutting the hole in a block wall is the hardest part. Next, you’ll need to install the interior walls of the tunnel, either from the dog door you bought or an extension wall kit.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the walls of the tunnel, followed by the interior and exterior parts of the doggie door itself.

The final step is to use your caulking gun to seal the exterior part of the doggie door with silicone caulk.