Dog house building kits
Building an attractive and safe dog house doesn't have to be a complicated project. Just keep a few basic principles in mind:
- The house should have a floor which sits far enough above ground to prevent water from entering on the rainiest days. Raising the floor will also isolate it from the cold ground in the winter.
- Consider your dog's habits. For example, some dogs like to sit on top of their house. If you suspect that this may be the case with your dog, don't put any roll roofing or shingles on the top of the house since they can get hot in the summer sun. Just use an exterior plywood panel, treated with a nontoxic preservative like linseed oil. (The doghouse in this how-to uses a traditional peaked roof design, but could easily be modified to incorporate a slanted roof.)
- The illustrated dog house was designed for an average sized dog. Feel free to scale the dimensions up or down as necessary to accommodate your dog. It should be large enough to allow your pet to turn around easily in it. Don't make it too large, since a smaller house is more easily heated by the dog's natural body heat-an important consideration in winter.
Make sure nails are accurately driven. You don't want the points of nails sticking into the living space of your pet. They could cause injury.
Finishing the Doghouse
Shingles are an inexpensive and attractive way to prevent a doghouse from leaking. If you wish, you can shingle the dog's house to match your own. They're not difficult to install.
For a doghouse, using roofing felt is optional. Staple the paper to the roof in a single sheet running up one side and down the other. Be stingy with those staples though. You just need to hold the stuff in place until you can install the shingles.
Run the first row of shingles upside down (split tabs up) along the bottom of the roof edges. Use short roofing nails. Starting directly on top of this row, begin nailing the shingles in place in the pattern you desire. Cap the ridge with cut shingle tabs to prevent leaking. Take a look at your own roof. It will show you how it should look.
If you choose not to use shingles, form a cap from a piece 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.