Stabilizer Bar Kit for Screen Model Pet Door Installation
For our screen model pet doors, Size Tall Large and above, we recommend adding the optional Stabilizer Bar Kit for additional stability for your pet door and people door alike. The Stabilizer Bar Kit contains a spreader bar, 2 aluminum clips to attach the bar to the frame of your screen door, 2 metal screen retainers to attach the bar to the top edge of the pet door and a drill bit to drill the holes into the spreader bar for the retainers.
The spreader bar is designed to be installed as a brace across the screen door directly above the pet door to add rigidity and strength both to the screen door itself and to the unsupported edge of the pet door. This can be especially important for very large or very active dogs.
Step 1: Install the screen door as normal. The stabilizer bar kit can either be installed at the same time as the pet door or can be retrofitted to an existing pet door. If it is being installed at the time of the screen door installation, we recommend leaving some excess screen mesh material during installation. It can be trimmed after the stabilizer bar installation is complete.
Step 2: Measure the width of the screen door from the side containing the screen spline. This measurement should be the visible opening between the screen frames.
Step 3: Using this measurement, Measure and mark this distance on the stabilizer bar.
Step 4: Cut the stabilizer bar to the proper length. It is easiest to accomplish this with a hacksaw. After you cut the bar to length, make sure you de-burr your cut to allow the aluminum clip to fit in properly. Test fit the bar to the screen door frame to check for proper width. Re-cut the bar shorter if needed.
Step 5: On the side of the screen door containing the pet door, with a screwdriver, carefully pull a short amount of screen spline out of the screen spline frame or raceway directly above the pet door. Repeat the process on the other side of the screen door frame at approximately the same height above the pet door. Take care not to scratch the finish of the screen door or poke a hole in the screen mesh fabric when removing the screen spline. Also do not pull out too long a distance of screen spline as it will be more difficult to push back in place later.
Step 6: Making sure that both clips face the correct direction to fit over the screen door raceway, carefully slide one aluminum clip into each end of the spreader bar. Take care not to push them too far into the spreader bar or there may not be enough clearance for the raceway.
Step 7: The spreader bar is generally installed on the side of the screen mesh opposite the spline. On the same side of the screen fabric as the pet door, carefully insert the spreader bar into the frame opening of the screen door, sliding the curved portion of the aluminum clips over and onto the edge of the raceway on the screen door. Depending on what type of screen door you are installing in (i.e. a sliding screen door on a patio door, you may have to work at getting one end of the spreader bar positioned correctly. Take care not to push the end of the spreader bar through the screen material if there is a slight obstruction where you are working.
NOTE: Depending on the exact construction of your screen door and the placement of your screen fabric and screen spline in relation to the pet door, the next instructions may be done in reverse order. If it is easier to complete the installation and then put the screen spline back in place, feel free to do so.
Step 8: Making sure the screen mesh is taut, carefully push the screen spline back into place. The easiest method for this is to use a screen spline roller. However, you can use a screwdriver or other flat tool to accomplish this if you do not have a screen spline roller. The pressure from the screen spline against the edges of the screen raceway will hold the aluminum clip firmly in place against the screen frame on both edges.
Step 9: Slide one metal retainer over the top edge of the pet door screen spline frame. This retainer should be close to the outer corner of the pet door. Slide the second metal retainer onto the pet door frame approximately halfway between the exterior corner and the edge of the pet door attached to the screen door. (This second retainer will provide added stability but its positioning is not critical. Anywhere along the top edge of the pet door is acceptable.) If desired, you can attach the retainers on the top edge near each corner. The exact placement depends on your screen door and the size of pet door you are installing. When you are happy with the placement of the retainers, carefully push the spreader bar down flush against the top of the pet door. The edge of the retainer clip with the hole should be alongside the edge of the spreader bar parallel to the pet door.
Step 10: Depending on the layout of your screen door, the retainer clips may be between the screen mesh fabric and the spreader bar or on the side opposite the fabric. No matter where the holes are located, the clips need to be attached to the spreader bar with screws. If the screen mesh is not an issue, simply screw through each clip into the spreader bar. If the clips are underneath the screen mesh, you have two options.
- Option 1: If you did not press the screen spline back into place (step 8 above) you should be able to carefully pull the screen fabric upwards and out of the way to install the screws. Then pull the screen mesh back down to cover the area and install spline.
- Option 2: You can screw directly through the screen mesh fabric to attach the clips. (This is the option shown in the below pictures.)
For either option, once the screw has started, reach through the pet door and press the spreader bar firmly against the retainer clip to ensure a good connection between the two.
Step 11: Check the overall installation making sure everything is straight and level and the screen mesh is taut. Double check that the screen spline is pushed securely back into place on both sides of the screen door as well as along the top edge of the pet door. If this is a new installation and you did not previously trim the screen mesh fabric close to the pet door, do so at this time. Remove drop cloths and do any necessary cleanup, including cleaning the pet door frame and flaps if needed.
The installation is now complete.
The stabilizer bar kit is a great addition to a screen model pet door used by very large or very active dogs.