Use recycled fence palings and roofing, plus inexpensive 42 x 19mm pine and plywood, to build a luxury dog house in a weekend. Source the secondhand materials from council cleanups or at the tip for a small fee.
Recycled palings will be weathered and slightly distorted, so measure and cut as you build to correct for the small variations in board size.
TIP We have included three cutting lists so you can scale the design to suit a small, medium or large dog.
1. Cutting the birdsmouth notches
A birdsmouth cut is a chippie’s term for a triangular notch. Here it provides a small flat section for the sloping rafter to sit on the roof base frame.
To mark the notches, position one rafter against the ridge and mark a plumb cut line on the rafter, flush with the outer edge of the roof frame side.
Measure 5mm up the plumb line and square a level line back to the base edge of the rafter to mark a small right-angled triangle.
Transfer the notch position to the rest of the rafters then use a tenon saw to cut them out. Clean up the edges using a chisel if required.
2. Finishing the kennel
Once you’ve finished building the kennel, prime the gable and exposed pine elements then apply two coats of a suitable exterior acrylic.
There is no need to finish hardwood palings but be sure to seal any old holes from fasteners in the cladding and roofing using silicone.
Apply varnish stain to the cut edges of the film face plywood used for the baseboard and sand the cladding to eliminate any splinters.
To prevent cuts that can be caused by the edges of the metal components, slit 6mm poly tubing lengthways and thread it over all exposed edges of the roofing and capping, applying silicone to attach it permanently.
Use exterior adhesive on all joints and 65mm x 8g galvanised screws to assemble the roof support frame together and secure the base of the rafters.
Use 50mm x 8g screws for all wall frame assembly, securing the posts and rafter tops to the ridge.
Use 32mm x 8g galvanised screws to secure the battens and the baseboard to the wall frames.