Picture of 1,000 Year Doghouse
Ferrocement is incredibly strong yet inexpensive and easy to build with. In this doghouse, I know my dog will be safe from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and small tonnage nuclear detonations.
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Step 1:

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Assemble a dense wire mesh in the shape desired. The surface must curve in two planes, as on a sphere or an egg. Flat plane, cylinder, or cone surfaces will not be strong. Use at least 4 layers of hardware cloth and/or chicken wire. The finished wire mesh should be mashed or laced to less than 3/4 inch thick with no holes large enough to stick your little finger through.

Step 2:

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Slap on the concrete, working it thoroughly into the wire mesh, removing all voids. Excess concrete will fall through the mesh to the inside. Scoop it up occasionally and use it on the outside again. When the wire mesh is completely filled and covered, smooth the inside and outside surfaces so the concrete layer is less than 1" thick from inside to outside. Apply all the concrete in one session, to avoid a weak seam between old and new applications. Keep the concrete damp for a week by covering it with wet towels and plastic. (28 days for maximum strength).

Step 3:

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Now Frisky will be safe and secure. When Armageddon comes, I'm heading for the doghouse!
jamiebeau5 years ago
How about using a hypertufa material composed of cement, perlite and peatmoss to make it light enough to move about? Actual concrete would be a very heavy base to move about.
dome_head (author)  jamiebeau5 years ago
Would not be as strong, since ferro cement gets its strength from the compressive strength of the cement.  Make it thicker to compensate, but this increases weight.  Each type of structure would have an optimum set of compromises between weight, strength, cost, etc.  The additives would improve insulating value.
iti6 years ago
ferrocement is not waterproof. You can add waterproof agents to the mix before applying, or you can use housepaint, or roofing paints or sealers to seal it. But as it stands? This little guy will be really wet if it rains. :) Nice job building the wire frame, and mudding it. Looks great.
I seriously doubt the water will pour through an inch of concrete. If the house were submerged it would wick through, but I'm sure mr frisky will be just fine in the rain.
lol. Actually, rain will pour through 3 inches of concrete.  Lookat any road, driveway, carport etc.  Concrete is porous. You mightlike to do a google search on ferrocement, there are several excellent sites.

It needs a sealer of some form.  Because the house is curved, therain will run off, but if it rained for a week, it will  obsorb thewater, and sooner or later the saturation point will be reached andwater will run through.

It has tiny fractures throughout, over time if not checked, they grow,turning into hairline cracks, then big cracks.  Any wire insidewill rust, and expand the cracks more.  etc etc.

Sealants are required.  Just do a test, try it yourself.

Even cement walls on a house must be sealed on the outside if you wantan fha loan. Why?  because they will do the same thing, absorb therain, water from sprinklers and then transfer it to the inside.

And in the case of a sprinkler? It doesnt take days, lol. I tried this one too.  It was fun to watch and see that thepattern on the inside was the same as the outside.  I nice curve.  
glorybe6 years ago
It is ferro-cement not ferro-concrete. The wire replaces the stone aggregate in concrete. Also to space the layers of wire some people make little slugs of cement to use as spacers between the layers. Ferro-cement can be super strong to say the very least. It is a wonderful medium and the world is just catching on to it. Homes can be built with this method.
Briguy96 years ago
I thought it only works when the dog is inside the house? lol.
This is a pretty cool idea. Are there any paints that can be used on this?
You can use regular water base paint or better yet the anti fungi type like the one regularly use in bathrooms, or even better get it paint while the cement is drying using diluted paint and when it dries it will be fix forever, Imagine a dog house with murals on the walls. How cool is that!!!