Introduction: Lola's Doghouse (using Broken Pallets)

Hello world!

Long time lurker .. first time poster.

My sausage dog a.k.a. 'little miss Havoc' kept triggering the house alarm when I wasn't home so she was banished to outside during work hours. It's winter, and although not too cold right now I wouldn't dream of leaving a dog outside without some kind of shelter. Mind you she'll still live & sleep indoors .. this is just her day-house.

I've been reading about re-purposing wooden pallets on this site, and it was long weekend, so instead of doing the regular and buying a kennel I decided I was going to build her one! Seems new pallets are expensive, but I had no problem finding what they called 'broken pallets' .. for free! They even were so kind as to break it into chunks for me so it would fit in the boot of my car!

This is what it looks like now .. done, but still raw. Got to sand & varnish and maybe line the inside with left-over ceiling board against draughts (if she doesn't eat it!). Lola might look all sweet & innocent but believe me she's like a set of jaws with tiny little feet attached!

Total cost of project .. about R70 ($7) for nails!

Step 1: Rescuing Suitable Planks

Breaking the pallets apart to find suitable planks. Nothing to it really .. I used a claw hammer and a sidecutter to remove the nails.

The bucket was for the rusted nails so they didn't end up on the lawn.

Gotta warn though .. most of the planks weren't exactly straight. Next time I'll get a planer to square them first, but nevertheless I soon has a growing pile of semi-decent planks to work with.

Step 2: Starting the Build

I'm not a regular DIY'er so I don't have all the fancy tools. Honestly I had at my disposal a hammer, a sidecutter, a spirit level and a jigsaw to cut the wood. I did most of the measuring on a metal table, and most of the hard work directly on the ground.

I confess I didn't work from plans at all, I looked at some doghouse examples on the internet and did some basic sketches the evening before but I measured & adjusted in my head as I went along.

Here's the base (floor) & front and rear walls completed.

Also, as I didn't have a square I used the corner of my table to make sure everything is at right angles :-)

Step 3: Almost There

Here's the base assembled. It still needed some trimming and smoothing etc. but my daughter's reaction when she saw it was .. Dad, where's the door?

Ah .. look again, there it is!

Meanwhile .. Lola thought that eating the wood faster than I could use it would foil my evil plan!

Step 4: Our First Test-drive

She gave me a bit of an evil eye during our first test-drive ..

Also, I kept the house low enough to be cosy (she's a low-profile dog after all) but I had to consider that she's got a very wide turning circle!

Step 5: Finished

Roof almost done, just a bit of squaring and trimming left to do. I made the roof in two pieces & left it detachable for easy cleaning etc. The house needn't be proper waterproofed as it's going to stand under a veranda where it's sheltered from the rain.

Little missy inspecting her house .. but even with her favourite toy as bait not trusting it enough to go inside quite yet.

The build is done although I still need to sand and varnish it, as well as fit the interior .. but that's for next weekend.