Building a Doghouse Step by Step
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Basic Digs for Your Dog:
My house took about 12 hours to build, and the materials cost about $100. But you don’t need to go to these lengths to build a comfortable house for your pet. You can build a basic version in an afternoon from plywood, lumber and shingles. It’s a simple, sound design that handles a dog of 70 pounds or so. All framing is cut to just four lengths, shown as dimensions A, B, C and D in the diagram above. To change the overall size of the house, just change the four framing dimensions. For my saltbox design, I simply extended the rafters and base frame on one side to create the covered porch shown in the image that kicks off this article.
Step-by-Step Instructions: Framing
1. Build the base: With a tape measure, carpenter’s pencil and speed square, measure two 2-by-6s for lengths A and B, and cut those pieces to length with a chop saw or circular saw. Fasten the parts together with galvanized 12d nails or 3-inch outdoor screws (often sold as “deck” screws). Align the base frame with one corner of a plywood sheet, square up the frame if necessary, and then trace around it onto the plywood. Cut out the plywood floor with a circular saw and attach it to the base with galvanized 4d nails and a framing hammer. If you want to insulate the floor, do it now. Flip the base over and attach hard foam exterior-grade insulation with construction adhesive.
2. Build and attach the wall framing: First, make the corner posts; these are marked C on the illustration. You’ll need one 8-foot 2-by-4 and one 8-foot 2-by-2. Mark and cut each of these into four C lengths. Then nail the 2-by-2s to the 2-by-4s with 4d nails, as shown.
Next, build the top frame. You’ll need two 8-feet-long 2-by-4s. Mark and cut them to make two A lengths and two B lengths. Nail them together with 12d galvanized nails. Finally, attach the top frame to the posts with 7-inch angle clips and 4d nails, as shown.
Attach the completed wall-frame assembly to the base with 3-inch outdoor screws, two in each corner, driving them diagonally through pilot holes in the posts and into the base. This securely “tacks” the wall frame to the base; final fastening comes when you add the house walls.
3. Add the roof frame: To make the first rafter, mark and cut the last 8-foot 2-by-4 to length D. Then use a speed square to mark 30-degree angles at each end of the rafter. Cut the angles with a circular saw, and then use that rafter as a guide to mark and cut three more. Now cut the ridge beam – length B – from one 4-foot 2-by-4.