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CHAPTER THREE 

 

Building a Dog House 

 

 

Your four-legged friend also wants a home to be proud of. You have the option to either buy him a dog house or build one yourself. The building isn't really hard to do, particularly for those who are good with their hands. You can give your pet a getaway from the elements that also suit your home. 

 

With this chapter, a novice level, DIY-er will be able to finish this project in just a weekend, making use of common household tools. 

  

You'll need:  

 

 Tape Measure  

 Hammer  

 Square  

 Circular Saw  

 Table Saw  

 Paintbrush  

 Dust Mask  

 Goggles  

 Hearing Protection  

 4 x 8 Set of 5/8-inches Exterior Siding  

 8-ft. 2 x 4  

 10-ft. 2 x 4 (rated for outdoor use)  

 Nails (16d for base, 8d for house and short roofing nails for shingles)  

 Shingles  

 Paint or Stain  

 

First Step: Planning 

  

Constructing a nice-looking AND safe dog house needn't be a complex project. Just maintain a couple of basics planned: 

 

1. The dog house needs to have a floor which sits far enough above ground to stop water from getting inside during the rainy/snowy days. Elevating the floor will likewise separate it from the cold ground in the winter months.  

 

2. Take into account your dog's behaviors. For instance, some canines prefer to sit on top of their house. If you feel that this may be the case with your pet, don't put any roll roofing or shingles on top of the house since they can get hot during the summer time. Just use an exterior plywood panel, cured with a non-toxic additive such as linseed oil.  

 

3. The sample dog house in this chapter was created for an average sized dog. You can scale the dimensions up or down as required to cater to your pet. It must be big enough to allow your pet to turn around easily in it. Don't make it too big, since a smaller house is more quickly warmed up by the dog's natural body heat-a vital consideration in winter.  

 

4. Ensure nails are precisely driven. You wouldn't want the points of nails sticking into the living space of your pet as these tools can result in injury.  

 

Cutting Out the Your Dog House's Parts  

 

The model below provides measurements for the panel elements of t dog house. The house is meant to maximize the use of a single sheet of plywood siding. See that the illustration has two floor panels; this is so it is possible to double the thickness of the floor for hardness. 

Step One  

 

Set down the panels on the back of the siding (like in the drawing). Then, cautiously cut out the panels on the lines. Cut the entry hole only big enough to permit your dog easy access.  

 

Step Two  

 

Cut your 10' 2x4 into the following:  

• 2 pieces 22-7/8" long (platform sides)  

• 2 pieces 20 3/4" long (platform front and back)  

• 4 pieces 6" long (platform legs)  

 

These cuttings will be utilized to construct the platform on which the dog house will be constructed.  

 

Piecing Together the Dog House Platform 

Step One 

  

Round the bottom of the 6" platform legs.  

 

Step Two  

 

With tops aligned, nail the legs flush from the inside edges of the 22-7/8" long side pieces of the platform.  

 

Step Three  

 

Put together the frame by nailing the 20 3/4" front, back and side pieces in place as shown. The front and back parts overlap the ends of the side pieces.  

 

Step Four 

  

Lastly, line up the first floor panel with the frame. It should align with no overhanging edges. This will ensure that the frame is square and that it was correctly constructed. If the floor and frame don't complement, double-check to ensure that you have correctly assembled the frame. If the frame is assembled correctly but there's a little overhang in a place or two, trim off the extra with a circular saw. When everything's done correctly, nail each floor panels in place. 

  

Building the Dog House 

Step One  

 

Rip the 8' 2x4 into 2x2 stock to be utilized as frame elements.  

 

Step Two  

 

From these, cut 4 pieces 12 1/2" long.  

 

Step Three  

 

Nail these parts flush against the short edges of the sides. One frame piece must be positioned starting on top of each side corner, leaving a 3 1/2" space at the bottom to allow the side panel to overhang the platform. Also affix frame pieces to the inside roof line of the front and back panels. 

 

The frame pieces should meet at the top, and extend along the roof line to approximately 2 1/2" from the sides.  

 

Step Four  

 

Put one of the sides in place (the edges of the side should align with the front and back of the platform) and nail it to the platform at the bottom. Do this step for the other side.  

 

Step Five  

 

You may attach the back of the doghouse. Line it up with the sides, and nail it in place, first against the platform, then into the 2"x 2" frame members in the corners. Do the same for the front. 

  

You now have a dog house without any roof. While you still have the opportunity, examine meticulously inside the house to ensure there aren't any exposed nail points. Cut and file down the sides of any exposed nails that may injure the dog. 

  

Putting on the Dog House Roof  

 

Step One 

Nail a 22" long piece of 2"x 2" flush against the top inside edge of one of the roof panels (along the 32" axis). The piece should be centered, 5" in from the edges of the panel. When both roof panels are installed, this piece will run across and support the ridge cap. 

  

Step Two  

 

Put the first roof panel in position (the one with the frame piece along the top inside edge), and nail it to the frame attached to the top of the front and back of the doghouse. Take care not to miss with the nails. You won't want to leave exposed nail points inside the dog house. You might not be able to get inside once it's completed to deal with any problems. 

  

Step Three 

  

Nail the rest of the roof panel in place. 

  

Polishing off the Dog House  

 

Roofing shingles are an affordable and appealing way to stop a doghouse from leaking. If you want, you can shingle the dog's house to suit your own. They aren't difficult to install, and a dog house -unlike your own home - is flexible of errors. 

  

For a dog house, using roofing felt is elective. For those who have some available, or if you are just quite diligent and extremely love your pet, staple the paper to the roof in a single sheet running up one side and down the other. Be measly with those staples though; you need to simply hold the stuff in place until you can set up the shingles.  

 

Run the first row of shingles inverted (split tabs up) along the bottom of the roof edges. Use short roofing nails. After that, starting off right on top of this row, begin nailing the shingles in place in the style you want. Cap the ridge with cut shingle tabs to avoid leaking. Check out your own roof. It's going to show you how it should look. 

If you decide on not to use shingles, form a cap from a bit of aluminum flashing to run along the joint where the two roof panels meet. Run two beads of roofing cement, or silicone caulk, along the bottom of the cap and nail it in place. 

  

Round and sand any rough edges of the doghouse that could injure your dog. Some people prime and paint their doghouses to match their homes. Others treat the wood with linseed oil only, in case the dog tries to eat it. If you do paint your doghouse, use a good quality exterior latex house paint. 

  

** Steps and illustrations via: http://www.lowes.com/cd_Build+a+Dog+House_939249501_

 

Chapter Four 

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