This is my first instructable! yee haa!
This instructable will detail the dog house I built this summer. This dog house was built for two itty bitty fragile dogs as a safe haven from the bigger dogs and features:
-an air conditioner
-exterior conduit electrical
-large "people" access doors
-small "doggy" window and door
-treated lumber stilt foundation (no termites allowed)
"Rough" (some say lazy I say rough and efficient) construction methods were utilized, but dog house is durable and easily supports myself (190lbs).
Step 1: Designing and costing
The first step was designing the dog house. The dogs using this house are very small so the major factor in this design was my size. This dog house is about as small as possible while allowing space for me to get inside and perform maintenance (filter changing, clean up, dog beds, etc.) or hide. These design sketches have pretty minimal dimensioning and consist of random presentation views, so they should be easy to tweek. If planning on going much larger, stilt (column) supports should be added in grid-like layout at least every 6ft in length and width directions.
Also included in this step was my cost analysis. This dog house cost about $300 (including the air conditioner) and 3 gray hairs.
Step 2: Column Foundation & Floor Frame
After designing and obtaining material, the next step is building the column foundation and floor frame. This seems like two steps, but I built the floor frame first so I could more easily tell where to dig the post holes. The floor frame was built to sketch with support studs at least every 16 inches. This floor frame was positioned on ground where dog house will be located and 1ft deep holes were dug at the left and right of it. The front 2 hole were dug back a bit from the front of the frame to allow for a small porch. The treated post were left a bit long to be trimmed later and the frame was elevated, roughly leveled, and fastened to posts. Frame is not very stable at this point, but additional fasteners will be added at wall frame and plywood steps.
Step 3: Rear Wall w/ Air Conditioner Support
The next step was building and installing the rear wall. The wall plywood was cut to sketch. Determine the height of the wall frame as shown in the 1st picture. There must be enough unsupported plywood extending above the wall to attached the roof supports later. Decide where to position the air conditioner while considering how the filter is removed. In this case the filter slid out the right side of the unit so it was easiest to make the supports hold the unit in the top left of the wall. In the second picture the rear wall frame is rotated 180 degrees for ease of measurement, cutting, and building. Then the wall frame was fastened between the 2 rear posts and the extra post lengths were cut off to the top of the wall. Next the window for the air unit is cut out and the plywood fastened to the posts and frame.
Step 4: Front Door and Window
Since the front wall contains the door and window, the plywood was cut first so the frame could be built around the geometries. The window frame overlaps the window by at least 1 inch with a cut-out slightly smaller than the wall cut-out to stop the glass from falling through. The window frame is fastened to the wall plywood and the glass placed in and fastened with silicone.
Step 5: Floor Plywood
The plywood for the floor was cut-out and fastened to the floor frame as shown. A few of these cuts were not square due to the "rough" construction methods utilized for this dog house, but the dogs have not complained.... yet
Step 6: Remaining Wall Framing
The next step was framing in the remaining walls. Clearance was checked for the front window and door and the vertical side studs were widely spaced to allow for access doors later.
Step 7: Wall Plywood
Next the plywood for walls were finished and installed. The doors cut-out on the right wall were such that when closed they were both supported by the frame's center stud. Note that the side walls are slightly lower than the frame to avoid the slope of the roof supports later.
Step 8: Roof Frame and Plywood
Then the roof was framed and plyed. The V-like roof trusses were built first. Then 2 of the trusses were fastened to the front and rear plywood. Next the length-wise studs were made long enough to cover the porch and the air unit and fastened to the 1st 2 trusses. Then the remaining trusses were fastened in place. After the frame was completed the plywood was cut and fastened. At this point the roof frame will not be square, but if squared on the bottom left and right of the frame the excess on the front or back can be cut off and used to make up the defficit on the front or back (shown in picture 4 & 5).
Step 9: Roof Tar Paper and Shingles
Then the roof was tar papered and shingled as shown and per manufacturer recommendations.
Step 10: Dog Door
Next the dog door was fabricated by stapling alternating 50% overlapping heavy duty clear plastic strips to a 2x4 and fastening the assembly above the inside of the door.
Step 11: Electrical
Then exterior conduit and wire were run from the "outside" breaker in the house to an outlet secured on one of the posts. If done over this would be buried to avoid dog chewing on conduit, which thankfully hasn't happened yet.
Step 12: Silicone and Paint
Then the exterior was sealed with silicone and coated with paint. This white paint was later deemed "unacceptable" and updated to pink with purple trim to match the neighboring birdhouse, a look I am sure the neighbors love...
and about $300 bucks and six non-consecutive hours later... that's it!
a safe haven for the little ones
ps. slapped some steps together with left over plywood for sides and 2x4 steps, but its not touching structure because its not treated.