If you were like many people, they want their outdoor dog to have a nice home that will provide adequate space, warmth in the winter and a cool place in the summer, and one that looks nice. Today�s market is flooded with some amazing doghouse designs, some being quite elaborate. If you plan to build your family pet a home of his own, you will probably go with a traditional style that includes a base of pressure-treated lumber so the doghouse is protected against insects and water. By choosing a multi-layered floor of expanded polystyrene slab, your dog will also be protected from the cold ground.
Generally, the doghouse will consist of exterior-grade plywood, pressure-treated lumber, along with galvanized screws and nails. Now keep in mind that the roof is a completely separate unit. The purpose of this is so that it can be removed easily. For the base of the doghouse, you would nail the plywood base to the base supports. These will need to be flush with the outside edges on all four sides. Now, cut 1 x 2s to fit along the outline (two short and two long). For the EPS, you will need to cut it with a putty knife to make sure it fits snug with the good side up. Nail this through both nailers and the base, again making sure the edges are flush with the nailer�s outer edge.
For the front and the back of your new doghouse, you will find that these are exact with the exception of the opening. Both will need to be cut to size and then the front will need to be laid out. With a compass opened about 6 inches, you want to draw a radius at the top and then cut the opening using a jigsaw.
The next step involves cutting the long and short end supports. Here, you want to have them stop 2 1/2-inches from both back and front edges. These end supports will now be screwed to the inside face of the back and front. Then for the roof, you need to cut the halves, making sure that one is wider than the other one. Three sections will be cut out of the roof nailer, which join the two halves. The roof nailers will need to be spaced so that the rest of the roof will rest on the walls.
Now, screw the halves to the nailers and place the roof on the walls, making sure it fits correctly. Once done, screw the roof to the end and side supports. Then on the ledges of the base, rest the sides with the ends flush to the shelf. These too will be screwed into place. The front and back will rest on the 3/4-inch ledge, screwing through the face going into the sides. Next, the skirtboards will be cut to size and the tops beveled to accommodate any water runoff. After you have mitered the corners, you can then nail them to the base supports. For the final step of this part of the project, caulk the joists located between the wall and skirtboards.
Now you will build the roof and get it installed. To cover the roof, you have several good options. First, you can use asphalt shingles or wood shakes, of if you prefer, you can use plastic, fiberglass, or metal roofing, or seal the gaps in between the plywood and add a coat of paint. Since this is a separate unit and you do have so many different options, you want to follow the manufacturer�s recommendations for the specific kit you buy. Regardless of which option you choose, once the doghouse and roof assembly are complete, you will sand, prime, and paint the exterior using quality paint. Remember that a light color or even white will help reflect the hot summer heat and you definitely want to add a water repellent finish.