Introduction: Easy to Build and to Clean Dog House
This is a simple project that can be completed in a weekend (including the time you will spend waiting for the paint to dry) and will cost around 100€. If you are ready to host a pet in your house and garden, this can provide it a good place to stay safe and warm.
Size of the dog house is 100x80x80cm, enough to fix a medium-large dog. Remember that even if we call it "house", dogs are not going to invite their friends inside and the dog will spend most of its time outside of it, using it to rest or stay warm.
To build the structure I used pine wood planks that were 100cm long, 30cm wide and 2cm thick.
Those are usually not very expensive (4-5 euros) and can be easily found at DIY shops. The house is for a medium-sized dog (female german shepherd lookalike), you may need to adapt the size if you plan to host a small or big dog. The dog house was going to be placed in a covered and paved area, so we did not invest too much into making it weatherproof, apart from using water-resistant paint and providing good insulation from the cold ground. We live in a place where temperature can go under 0C in winter, but in that case, the dog may prefer the garage. Materials: - 16 wood planks size 100x30x2cm - 1 MDF panel 100x80cm - some insulating material (we had some left from renovation works on our roof) - 4 wood lath 100x5x2 cm - 2 wood lath 200x3.5x3.5 cm - plenty of wood screws (4.5cm long) - 2 hinges roughly 3.5-4cm wide (to attach the roof) - paint (we used white and red), should be weatherproof Tools: - table saw - drill - jigsaw - sander - brushes
Step 1: Build the Long Sides
I decided to cut the sides of the planks at 45 degrees, this allowed me to use the 3.5x3.5cm lathes in the corners to keep the 4 walls together with no screws exposed on the outside.
Cutting in this way removed around 2 cm per side on my table saw, so the final length would be around 96cm.
You need to cut 5 planks in this way. 3 for the high wall, 2 for the low one.
Step 2: Build the Floor
For the floor, I used 3 planks. I cut one of them 20cm wide, to make the house 80cm wide (this will allow us to use 3 full planks for the angled roof).
I also shorten them to match the length of the long side walls (around 96cm).
We don't want to put the floor in direct contact with the ground, for this reason, I cut 4 5x2cm lates to 80 cm and attach them to the bottom, keeping the structure detached from the ground. Having some cement floor underneath I think that 5cm are enough to protect the wood from water and humidity.
First I marked locations for the lathes (evenly spaced from the front to the bottom of the house) and mark holes every 10cm, then I predrill holes for the screws (always do that or the screws may split your wood).
I used some clamps to keep the lathes in place while tightening the screws.
Once finished I quickly sanded it to remove splits and make it easier to paint.
Step 3: Cut the Planks for the Short Side Walls
At this point you need to do some calculations, depending on the size you planned for the structure.
The top of the side walls must be cut to an angle allowing the 90cm roof (3x30cm planks to cover it).
I used triangle calculator (https://www.calculator.net/triangle-calculator.html) to calculate the right angle, considering sides as 30cm and 80cm and a 90 degree angle in one of the corners.
I had to cut a 21.2 degrees angle, I set-up my table saw and managed to get it more or less correctly.
I did that twice, for both sides.
At this point I cut 4 planks with 45 degree borders and 80cm length and cut the vertical border of the two triangular shaped parts also at 45 degrees.
Step 4: Put the Parts Together
At this point, I cut the 3.5x3.5cm lathes. Two 87cm long (for the 90cm tall side), two 60cm long (for the short side).
I marked and drilled holes every 10 cm, on both sides of the lathes. One set starting at 2.5 cm the other at 5, to not overlap the holes.
Then I screwed them on the sides of the two long walls, one with 2 planks, one with 3.
I sanded both sides and then started mounting them on the base. I measured and drilled holes on the basement, then aligned the sides and screwed them tightly together. Putting the basement on a table or another support will make this operation much easier.
At this point I assembled also the back side, starting from bottom to top and screwing the panels in the holes I drilled on the other side of the 3.5x3.5 lathes and checking that the planks were at 90 degrees from each other and from the bottom before screwing them tightly together.
I cut the bottom two planks in the front side creating a small front door using a jigsaw. If you don't want to spend too much time with the jigsaw you can just cut the planks and have a rectangular door.
I used leftovers from the lathes to add a small step on the bottom of the door (protecting the inside a bit more form spills of water etc.) and to reinforce the sides.
Step 5: Insulation and Floor
I had some leftover insulation material from my roof so I cut it in stripes and used it to fill the bottom floor, this will protect the dog from the cold ground and keep the inside warmer in winter time.
Then I cut the MDF panel in two stripes and put it on top of the insulation, this will allow me to easily replace if it gets damaged or dirty.
Step 6: The Roof
The roof is made with 3 full planks, side by side, making it 100 cm long (slightly longer than the house, giving a bit of extra protection on the front) and 90cm wide (enough to cover the distance between the high and short walls).
I just screwed the planks together with 3 leftover pieces of wood I had lying around. Then I sanded it.
Just remember to not attach anything around the border, an are 5cm wide should be free to be able to mount the roof and open it.
Step 7: Painting
I painted the bottom with two layers of white paint, the same for the roof.
For the sides, I applied two layers of bright red paint.
This will give you some time to relax before you finish the work!
Step 8: Attaching the Roof
I just attached the two sturdy hinges on the outside of the high side wall and then put the roof on top and attached the other side of the hinges to it with screws.
I am not going to open it too often, but when I will need to clean and replace or wash the blankets inside the dog house I can do that without much effort.
Step 9: Final Touches
I 3d printer our dog name in white PLA and attached it to the front (should not be exposed to direct sunlight and rain so I hope it will resist for some time) and used some white paint for the sides of the entrance door.
As you can see our dog is named "Kenya", we got her from an association of volunteers that rescues abandoned pets and at that time they were named with country names.
It's time to move the dog house to his place and getting ready to welcome its new host!
And you probably deserve a cold beer or any other drink of your choice to celebrate the end of a productive weekend.
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