Screen door with a DIY doggy flap

doggy flap invention screen door Ross Costa

When red squirrels beckoned beyond the screen door, Juniper the chocolate Lab liked to make a dramatic exit. Right through the screen. 

“I was constantly fixing that door,” says Pointe au Baril cottager William Masters. “Finally, I decided to solve the problem and make everyone happy.”

The result is a rapid-transit doorway for cottage canines. Using fibreglass screening, William stapled a layer of screen to both the inside and outside of the door’s crosspiece (using half-round wood trim to hold it in place), and left enough screen for an overlapping edge of one centimetre on the sides, and three centimetres on the bottom. The double-layer of mesh deters mosquitoes but allows pooches to proceed unhindered. At dusk, when the skeetters get too persistent, William shuts the main door. 

Juniper is now chasing red squirrels in the Great Beyond. But 20 years after William first installed the flap, the breakthrough door design is appreciated by Dusky, the bearded collie (above), and his four-legged friends. “Whenever a new dog comes up and sees Dusty use the door, it knows right away what to do,” William says.—Ray Ford

This Great Invention appeared in the June 2009 issue of Cottage Life.

Read more: 7 tips for a well behaved dog

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