Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to Build a Doghouse

To dog owners, a canine is more than a pet; it’s a family member. You obviously love your four-legged friend, and having a good house built for them to sleep in after a hard day of playing outside is important. Have you never built a doghouse before? No worries. From the planning stages to the finishing touches, this handy step-by-step guide will help you build a home for your beloved dog in no time at all.

Preparation

Before you go launching into the building, you need to make certain you have the woodworking tools necessary to complete a build. You can construct an entire doghouse using nothing but hand tools, like a saw and hammer, but you might consider using an electric or battery-powered screwdriver or circular saw to save you some time.

Plan to build the doghouse to fit your dog after it is fully grown. Some dogs grow very quickly, and you don't want to replace doghouses like you'll have to replace collars.

Also note that pressure-treated woods are treated with chemicals that can be toxic to your dog. If you must use pressure-treated woods, make sure you don't use them on any part of the house that your dog can come in contact with.

Step 1: Foundation

When you measure the wood for the foundation, plan to give your dog enough space to go all the way into the house and turn completely around. Then, using 2x4” boards, piece together a frame for the foundation that will keep the whole house together. Nail or screw these boards together at the corners. Cut a piece of plywood to act as the floor of the house, and then secure it over the frame using nails or screws. If your doghouse is particularly large or your dog will be heavy, consider using 2x4” boards as support beams beneath the plywood.

Step 2: Walls

Again using 2x4” boards, build a frame for the two sidewalls. Use a 2x4” board in the center of each wall for support. Make sure to secure each piece of wood with either nails or screws. When building the rear wall, place the center stud about 2 inches off center to allow for the roof strut.

Now, build the frame for the front wall. Since there will be a space for your dog’s entrance on this wall, do not use a center stud.

Measure, cut, and fit 1/2” plywood over the wall frames. On the front wall frame, use a saw (preferably a jig saw) to cut a hole large enough for your dog at full-size to easily enter.

Attach these walls to the foundation using screws or nails through the bottom of the wall frame.

Step 3: Roof

Using 2x4” boards, place and center the front and rear roof struts at the top edge of the front and rear wall frames. Nail or screw these into place. Determine how much overhang you want with the roof, and cut the top ridge board for the length of the doghouse plus the desired overhang. Position it and nail it on top of the struts.

Cut three rafters per each side (a total of six). They will need to be mitered to fit the angle of the roof. These rafters will be notched to fit on the wall frame of the house. Using the front edge of the house and the ridge board overhang, mark the notches with a pencil, and then cut them with a saw. Attach the rafters where they meet the wall frame. Measure and cut the overhang rafters. Attach them to the top ridge board. Cut two pieces of 1/2” plywood to fit the roof, and then attach using nails or screws.

Shingling a doghouse roof will keep the house in better shape for a longer amount of time. Overlap the shingles neatly as you attach them to the roof.

Step 4: Customize

The hard part is finished! Decorate the doghouse to your pooch’s personality, with paint or any other decorations. Add some straw or some carpet to help your dog stay warm at night. This is your opportunity to make the project your own.

Guest Article Author Bio: Maire is an animal lover and home fixer upper. She enjoys writing too, especially on behalf of Sears and other brands she trusts.

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