Benefits of Installing a Pet Door for Your Dog or Cat You owe it to yourself - and your dog or cat - to install a door that gives them the freedom to come and go. Some of the benefits of providing pet doors for your furry friends: Easy access to the outdoors for your pet. With a pet door, your dog or cat can easily head outside when the urge arises, avoiding an indoor accident. Also, animals that are cooped up inside all day can become bored and listless. A dog or cat with access to even a small yard or outdoor area will get exercise and stimulation even when you’re away from home. Who let the dogs out? Not you. A pet door means you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night or during a favorite TV show to open the door and let the dog or cat outside. A pet door also takes the worry out of being at work each day and unable to let the animals out. Less reliance on kenneling. Leaving pets at a kennel while you are on vacation can be expensive and traumatic … [Read more...]

Sliding Doors Make Life Better. Here’s Why Designers and architects are discovering what early-20th-century homeowners understood: sliding doors can make life better. Here’s why: Sliders make ingenious room dividers. Many homes built in the early 1900s were outfitted with sliding doors and pocket doors. Homeowners used the doors to quickly and easily change an expansive room into a cozy, private space. The concept still works today. Want to take a quick catnap, away from the rest of the family? Leave the clatter behind by closing off your own area. Quality sliding doors, when shut, are excellent at blocking sound. Families with children can block a room full of toys from visitors, or let the children be as noisy as they wish. Conversely, opening sliding doors joins two rooms, making it easier to accommodate a large dinner party or any other type of gathering. Pocket-style sliders are space-savers. An overlooked benefit of sliding doors is the fact they take up less space … [Read more...]

Sliding Doors Take on a New Look as Partitions Sliding doors aren’t just for entering or leaving the house anymore. Designers, architects and property owners are increasingly employing sliding doors as partitions, with great success. While open-concept spaces for living and working remain popular, there are times when closing off sections of a home or office is useful. Perhaps you need an extra bedroom when company arrives. You might want a quiet space when consulting with an important client. Sliding doors, which come in many sizes and may run the length of a building’s interior, are the flexible solution. In a few seconds and with minimal effort, you can open or close sliding doors to change dramatically the appearance and feel of a large space. Transform a large hall into several conference rooms, and then quickly return to the larger, more open space after the meetings are over. Sliding doors used as partitions have several advantages over folding doors, another … [Read more...]

Soft Closing Systems for Sliding Doors Soft-closing systems are one of the most popular innovations in sliding doors in recent years. Homeowners appreciate how quietly soft-close doors work, especially when children or guests are present and they are opening and closing doors a lot. Dampers positioned at either the top or bottom of the doorframe slow down, and then act to close the door softly. You’ll often find soft-closing sliders outside of residences, too. They’re ideal for any location where quiet is valued, such as hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices, conference rooms, and hotels. Here are a few more reasons that property owners are choosing soft-closing systems for their sliding doors: Easy operation. Soft-close doors require very little force - in fact, just a gentle push - to close completely, a small benefit that you will appreciate more over time. Less wear-and-tear. Continued forceful closing over a long period damages doorframes, tracks, … [Read more...]

Myths about Pet Doors Part 3 With this third blog post on myths about choosing pet doors, A-1 On Track tries to clear up the confusion about purchasing and installing a door for your dog or cat. Some common misconceptions we hear about pet doors: Any door type can accommodate a pet door. As sliding door professionals, we are sometimes asked to install pet openings on doors that are not suited for them. Thin or hollow-core doors are often not sturdy enough to accommodate a pet door. Before you buy a pet door, check to be certain it will work with the type of door you have. My dog or cat won’t be able to push the door. A newly installed pet door may intimidate smaller pets. Most of the time, your animals will manage with no trouble after a little training. Use treats to encourage your pets to go in and out of the door until they become comfortable with the flap touching their bodies. In some cases, the attached magnets may actually make the flap too heavy for a small pet. … [Read more...]

Because there are so many mistaken ideas about pet doors, A-1 On Track continues its series of blog posts with more myths about pet doors. A-1 On Track, the sliding door professionals, wants to dispel those mistaken notions and help you pick the best pet door for your dog or cat. These doors offer security and convenience to animal and owner alike. Here are a few more common myths about pet doors: Lockable pet doors can be opened from the outside. In our experience, covers for pet doors that can be locked are very effective and cannot easily be pried open. In fact, most locking covers are metal or tough plastic. The better the pet door cover quality, the better the barrier against bad guys.  Adults can break into my house through the pet door. It’s true that burglars have entered homes via pet doors, but that should not stop anyone from installing a door that gives their dog or cat convenient access to the yard. There are many burglar-proof doors available that are … [Read more...]

Dispelling Myths about Pet Doors We’ve seen far too many pet door fails. Often, owners simply don’t do their homework but instead believe the many myths about pet doors. The result is continued inconvenience to both owner and pet. A-1 On Track wants to dispel those myths to help you pick the best pet door for your dog or cat. Here are a few of the top misconceptions about pet doors: Purchasing a door based on typical breed sizes ensures a proper fit for your animal. Don't buy a pet door without carefully measuring your own dog or cat. A door that should supposedly accommodate beagles, for instance, may be too small for your rotund pooch. Measure both width and height, and base your choice on those specific numbers. If the animal is young, anticipate additional growth and weight.  Pet doors can only be installed in exterior doors. Today, owners are placing pet doors all over the house to make it easier for their animals to enter bedrooms, closets, mud rooms, even … [Read more...]

As a longtime sliding door contractor in the Bay Area, homeowners often ask A-1 On Track, which sliding doors are best? Selecting the right sliding doors for your home need not be complicated. Our recommendation is to stick with the major manufacturers, which include Jeld-Wen, Anderson, Pella, Milgard, and Marvin. By purchasing a name brand, you have reasonable assurance of quality and prompt warranty repairs, if necessary. Major brand products are also easy to find in stores or online. However, you’ll probably want to consider these other factors when choosing sliding doors that are suitable for your home: Pick the type of sliding door that matches the look of your home. For instance, ultra-modern doors may seem out of place in a craftsman-style home. Good news: There are so many styles of sliding doors available; it’s easy to find doors that complement your home. Vinyl is the one of the the most popular door materials because it’s easy to clean, and durable. Wood … [Read more...]

How to Clean Sliding Screen Doors Sliding screen doors get frustratingly dirty, what with all the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies between the screen and the glass door. However, keeping the doors relatively clean is important. Rollers can become worn from dust, dirt and debris in the track, making a slider difficult to open and close. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to clean sliding screen doors: There’s no way to avoid it - a thorough cleaning requires removal of the screen door. Loosen the screws at either the top or the bottom of the door just enough to be able to raise the door slightly within the frame, then pull the door out of the frame. Clean the metal wheels on top and bottom of the screen door with a wire brush. A toothbrush may not get the job done. Spray each wheel with silicone spray. Roll the wheels with a finger as you spray, to make sure the wheels are well coated. Use only a spray is silicone-based. Other lubricants leave gunk on … [Read more...]

  How Do You Size A Pet Door? It’s a reasonable question. As a homeowner, you don’t want to spend time and money on installing a pet door that Rex or Muffin can’t fit through. First, measure the width of your dog or cat at the widest point. Then measure the height of your pet. Animals lower their heads slightly when going through the door, so measure your pet from the top of the shoulders, not the head. Your pet should be able to pass comfortably through a door that reflects the animal’s measurements plus two extra inches each way. Most pet doors have a “lip” at the bottom that animals must step over, so remember to account for that when calculating the dimensions of the door. If your animal has trouble stepping over a lip, doors can be custom-made without a lip. Owners of puppies or kittens should take into account that their animals will grow. You may have to guess how large your dog or cat will eventually be, then size the door accordingly. It’s best to estimate … [Read more...]