Pets & Animals | 28 December 2016Build Your Own Custom Dog House Castle Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Dog houses are not a must have, but if your dog spends a lot of time outside it might be nice for them to have a place to take shelter. A dog house provides comfort and shelter from the elements for your pet. You can buy a dog house or make your own. Either way, make sure you size your dog to make sure it is big enough. The following are steps to make a dog house castle from The Dog Friendly Home. Tools, Material, and Cut List Measuring tape Circular saw Straightedge guide Speed square Clamps Drill with countersink piloting bit and 3?8″ twist bit Jigsaw Level Hammer Caulking gun 3?4″ × 4 × 8-ft. plywood (2 1?2″ sheets) Finish nail (1) 1 × 2″ × 8 ft. (1) 2″ × 2 × 8 ft. Waterproof wood glue Deck screws (11?4, 15?8″) Construction adhesive Masking tape Paintable exterior caulk Painting supplies Key Part Dimension Pcs. Material A Base 3?4 × 44 × 44″ 1 Plywood B Box front/back 3?4 × 30 × 36″ 2 Plywood C Box side 3?4 × 30 × 341?2″ 2 Plywood D Box roof 3?4 × 341?2 × 349?16″ 1 Plywood E Roof Ledger 3?4 × 11?2 × 321?2″ 2 1 × 2 F Tower wall f/b 3?4 × 6 × 141?2″ 2 Plywood G Tower wall side 3?4 × 41?2 × 141?2″ 2 Plywood H Box corner 3?4 × 6 × 34″ 8 Plywood I Side nailer 11?2 × 11?2 × 34″ 2 2 × 2 J Front nailer 11?2 × 11?2 × 8″ 2 2 × 2 K Rear nailer 11?2 × 11?2 × 33″ 1 2 × 2 L Tower lid 3?4 × 6 × 6″ 1 2 × 2 M Tower lid handle 11?2 × 11?2 × 11?2″ 1 Plywood CUT THE BASE AND BOX PANELS Cut the base (A) to size at 44 × 44″ using a circular saw and straightedge guide to ensure straight cuts. Cut the two side panels (C) to size at 30″ high × 341?2″ wide. Cut the front and back panels (B) at 30″ high × 36″ wide. Tip: To make your castle smaller or larger than the project as shown here, subtract or add the same amount from each of the given dimensions; note that the box sides, front, and back are all the same height, and the side panels are 11?2″ narrower than the front and back panels. Mark the roof panel (D) for cutting at 341?2″ (side to side) × 349?16″ (front-to-back). To make the cut for the front edge of the panel, set your circular saw at 3° angle (instead of 0°, which would make a straight 90° cut) to account for the slight backwards slope of the roof (See photo 1). Make the cuts for the back and sides of the panel with the saw set for a straight perpendicular cut. NOTCH THE BOX PANELS The squared off, scalloped pro?les at the top edges of the panels and towers are known as crenelation details. They feature 11?2″ square cutouts. You can save time by ganging two panels together and cutting through both pieces at once. Make a mark on the top edge of the front panel, 51?4″ in from each side edge, then mark at 11?2″ intervals in between. Draw a line 11?2″ down from and parallel to the top edge. Use a speed square or combination square to draw straight lines from the top edge to the 11?2″ line at each mark. Label every other square space with an X to designate the squares that will be cut out. Both wide outside squares should be cutouts. Repeat the process on one of the side panels, but make the ?rst two marks 41?2″ from the side edges of the panel. Clamp the front and back panels together so all edges are ?ush, and include a scrap board behind the back panel to serve as a backer board to minimize tea-rout. Drill an access hole at the bottom corners of each cutout square, using a drill bit that’s slightly larger than the width of your jigsaw’s blade. Make sure access holes are drilled in the waste areas only. Cut out the squares to create the crenelations, using a jigsaw (See photo 2). Repeat the same process to make the side-panel cutouts. MARK AND CUT THE DOOR Mark a center line on the front panel, 18″ in from each side edge. Use the centerline to mark the desired width of the door cutout. As a general rule, the door should be at least 1″ wider than the widest part of your dog. The door height should be equal to at least 75 percent of your dog’s height— measured from the ground to the top of the shoulders. As shown, the door opening is 12″ wide and 18″ high. To mark the rounded top of the door, measure down half the door width from the top mark, and make a mark on the center line. Set a compass (or create a shop-made trammel-style compass with a stick and a nail) to equal this radius. Position the compass point (or nail) on the center line mark, and draw the arch from one side of the door to the other (See photo 3). Complete the door cutout with a jigsaw. Sand the cut edges to prevent splintering. ASSEMBLE THE BOX AND BASE The roof panel is supported by a pair of 1 × 2 ledger boards attached to the inside surfaces of the side walls. Mark layout lines for the ledgers onto the inside faces of the side panels: measure down 21?2″ from the top of the side panel, and make a mark near the front edge. Make a mark near the back edge, 31?2″ from the top. Draw a straight line between the marks to create a sloped reference for the ledgers. Position each ledger with its top edge on the layout line and its ends 1″ from the front and back edges of the side panel. Fasten the ledgers with exterior-rated wood glue and 11?4″ deck screws driven into the side panels. Fit the front and back panels over the ends of the side panels so all outer edges are ? ush, and fasten them together with exterior glue and 15?8″ deck screws driven through countersunk pilot holes. Set the box over the base so it is centered side-to-side and front-to-back. Make sure the box is square by measuring diagonally between opposing corners: the box is square when the measurements are equal. Outline the box onto the base and then remove it and install nailers (I, J, K) around the inside perimeter of the outline. Set the box back onto the base and screw the bottoms of the panels to the nailers (See photo 4). INSTALL THE ROOF Set the roof panel onto the ledgers so the point of the beveled edge of the roof is touching the front panel. The roof should ? t snugly on all sides; if there are gaps, split the difference between opposing sides to make each gap as small as possible. Fasten the roof panel to the ledgers with 15?8″ deck screws driven through countersunk pilot holes. Make marks for drainage holes along the corner where the roof meets the back panel, spacing the holes 2″ apart. Drill 3?8″-dia. holes through the back panel, angling the holes downward slightly (See photo 5). Drill slowly with light pressure to minimize tearout on the panel faces. Note: If your dog castle will not be exposed to the elements, you can omit the drainage holes. INSTALL THE CORNER TOWERS Each of the corners of the doghouse is appointed with a pair of corner boards that meet to form a tower shape. Cut the eight box corners (G) to width and length from plywood and then make a 11?2 × 11?2 crenellation notch in the top of each board. Attach the boards to each corner with the front and back boards overlapping the edges of the side boards in a neat seam (See photo 6). MAKE & INSTALL THE TOWER The centerpiece of this dog castle is a hollow tower structure in the middle of the roof. Fitted with a removable cover, the tower can be used to store a leash, toys, or other dog care supplies. To make the tower, cut two plywood strips to 71?2 × 141?2″ (F) and cut two to 6 × 141?2″ (G) . Fashion the strips into a rectangular column with the front and back strips covering the edges of the side strips. Use glue and deck screws driven into countersunk pilot holes. Once the rectangular column is securely assembled, plot out and cut crenelation notches that align. Next, cut a 6 × 6″ lid and fasten a 11?2″-long piece of 2 × 2 to the top for a handle. Tack thin wood strips around the inside of the box, 3?4″ down from the bottoms of the notches. These strips function as lid supports. Finally, cut a wood block the same size as the lid and attach it to the roof. The tower assembly is then fastened to the block with countersunk screws (See photo 7). CAULK AND PAINT THE CASTLE Sand all wood surfaces thoroughly with progressively ?ner sandpaper until you reach 150-grit sandpaper. For best appearance, ? ll any voids in the plywood edges and cover all screwheads with waterproof wood ? ller. Sand the ? ller smooth after it dries. Paint the castle as desired, using quality exterior trim paint. Apply two or more coats for weather protection. Let the paint dry completely between coats to ensure proper adhesion. The doghouse seen in the photo on page 14 was painted with primer and then topcoated with a spray-on granite tone. Seal all exposed joints on the castle with quality exterior caulk (See photo 8). If you apply the caulk after painting, choose a caulk that matches the paint tone. Buy on Amazon Buy on Barnes and Noble Let your creativity shape a fun and caring environment for you and your dog to enjoy every day of the year. Whether welcoming a new puppy into the house or trying to share a small apartment with an overactive Springer Spaniel, these home and garden projects cater to the needs of all DIY dog owners alike—from interior home improvement to beautiful lawns, special play areas, and other projects dogs love. The DIY projects in this book walk you through the reasons dogs love them as well as the benefits they provide to you and your dog. In addition, step-by-step instructions with full-color photography are included to build the projects. Valuable dog facts, insightful tips, and quick and easy mini-projects—including everything from homemade dog biscuits to fun games that make for a happy indoor dog—are also included. Learn how to build: a doghouse, dog window bench, raised food counter with storage, doggie den nightstand, outdoor agility projects, and more! Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.